Leaves Them Very Tai-wanting

, , | Right | July 22, 2021

I work at a bubble tea place and am full Taiwanese — where bubble tea came from!

Me: “Here’s your drink! Have a wonderful day!”

The customer looks at the drink mysteriously.

Me: “Is there an issue?

Customer: “Yeah, I just don’t think this is the right shade of black for the boba!

Me: “I’m… sorry?

Customer: *Hands the drink back* “Yeah, so if you could just make it the proper shade and change that, that would be great!

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Reaching New Tea Totals

, , , , | Right | April 24, 2021

I walk into my favorite tea shop in the early afternoon and am greeted by the owner.

Owner: “Well! Glad to see you… You’re our seventh customer today!”

They’ve been open since nine am.

Me: “Well, you’d better get your restroom breaks while you can. You know what happens when I come in.”  

We’ve been joking about how every time I come in, they immediately get slammed. The owner’s husband replies as he goes into the restroom.

Owner’s Husband: “You snooze, you lose.”

I get a cup of the tea they’re sampling and then go about picking out my teas to refill my stash as we chat.

Just as the last of the shop’s staff goes into the restroom and the owner’s husband is weighing and bagging my tea, the door opens and two groups come in — about seven people.

The owner helps one group and her employee helps another. Several more groups come in.

By the time I’ve been there for twenty minutes, the shop is packed. People keep coming up and asking me about various black teas.

Customer: “Thanks! I will get all these. Can you ring me up?”

Me: “Just take it over to the register.”

Customer: “But we want you to get the credit.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have a register login because I don’t actually work here.”

Customer: “Oh! I’m sorry!”

Me: “If it bothered me, I would have made an excuse and escaped!”

I was doing that for over an hour. When everyone finally cleared out, they had made more than $1,500 in that hour! They’d been under $100 when I walked in.

They gave me my tea for free; they said I’d earned it.


This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of April 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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It Doesn’t Even Sound Good On Paper

, , , | Right | April 12, 2021

It is early in the morning and I am working alone, with no customers in the store. An older man comes in and I am already opening my mouth to say my usual greeting. The man speaks before I can, not having looked around once nor saying hello. 

Customer: “You do not have what I need!”

He wanted normal tea filters out of paper. I work in a tea shop.

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Cold Is The Tea Drank By This Customer

, , , , , | Right | August 25, 2019

(I’m working at a tea shop that steeps loose-leaf tea. Hot teas are served in white paper cups and cold teas are served in clear plastic cups.)

Customer: “May I have a hot oolong tea with no sweetener?”

Me: “Sure.”

(I prepare the tea and hand it to the customer. The customer leaves and comes back a couple of minutes later.)

Customer: “Hi, sorry, could you please give me a different cup for this?”

Me: “Oh, sure. Did something happen to the cup?”

Customer: “It’s just weird; it looks weird.”

Me: “Umm, okay? How can I fix that for you?”

Customer: “Can you switch it to a plastic cup?”

Me: “Sure.”

Customer: “Also, add ice to it.”

Me: “Umm… So you want a cold tea?”

Customer: “Yes.”

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When The Person You’re Insulting In A Foreign Language Isn’t Foreign To The Language

, , , , | Right | November 21, 2018

(On a particularly busy day, a group of Arab women come into the store keen on getting some tea. I’m excited because I actually speak fluent Arabic.)

Customer #1: “We want tea; what are the discounts?”

Me: “We currently don’t have any discounts on, unfortunately! Is there a specific tea you are looking for?”

Customer #2: “We want the one that’s like the one at [Restaurant In Town].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’ve never been there. Could you describe it?”

(This continues for about thirty minutes; they want teas from random places, and I bring down what I think will work, and they seem pleased. It’s at this point they start bickering in Arabic to each other.)

Customer #1: *in Arabic* “She is so stupid; she doesn’t even know what she’s talking about.”

Customer #2: “She’s probably going to overcharge us.”

Customer #3: “Could she go any slower?”

Me: *smiling, still pretending I don’t understand* “Your total today will be $127.83.”

Customer #3: *in Arabic* “OH, MY GOD, IT’S JUST TEA! I COULD GROW THIS IN MY BACKYARD FOR TWO DOLLARS!”

Customer #2: *in English* “How can this be? You have to give us a discount; it’s way too much!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I can’t apply any discounts, but I’d be happy to make you a tea on the house.”

Customer #1: *very angry* “No, just let us pay so we can get out of here.”

(I ring them through,and before I reach for a bag, I decide to make this whole transaction worth my while.)

Me: *in Arabic* “Would you like a bag?”

(I had never seen anyone turn so white in my life; I thought they were going to pass out. They said nothing as I handed them their bag and wished them a wonderful day again in Arabic, just to hit the point home. Most satisfying feeling ever!)

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