But First, Let Me Take Your Selfie

| Finger Lakes, NY, USA | Friendly | December 3, 2015

(My husband and I are on a wine tour. I brought a camera with me and am about to take a selfie of the two of us. We are in our mid twenties. A stranger, probably mid-forties, calls over to us looking a little irritated.)

Stranger: *loudly, walking over to us* “No, no. Let me take one of you.”

(We wanted a selfie but since he is just being nice, I agree. I hand him the camera.)

Me: *pointing* “This is the button to take a picture.”

Stranger: *affronted* “What, because I’m too old to understand this newfangled technology?”

Me: *confused at his tone* “Um, no? Because the power button and picture-taking button look almost identical, and even I get them mixed up sometimes.”

Stranger: “…Oh. I guess that makes sense.”

(He took the picture and left, a little embarrassed. We took the selfie anyway.)

Here For The Whine

| NY, USA | Right | June 11, 2015

(On weekends, I provide wine tastings for customers visiting our wine region. One Saturday is particularly busy, with me jumping between multiple groups. A new group walks in and I greet them.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Winery]. Are you folks interested in doing a tasting?”

Man: “Chardonnay.”

Me: “We currently do not produce a Chardonnay, sir, but if you are interested in trying any of our current releases, take a minute to look over our list to see if there’s anything that interests you.”

(I go back to another group to pour their next wine, while the man glares at me until I come back.)

Me: “Thanks for waiting; we’re pretty busy today! Were you interested in trying some wine or do you have any questions for me?”

Man: “I looked over the list.”

Me: “Great. Can I bring over anything for you to try, or would you maybe like to have a glass of wine to enjoy here?”

Man: “I want your chardonnay. And don’t give me a skimpy pour like these other crappy wineries have.”

Me: *starting to get aggravated, but knowing that this is ultimately an easy albeit difficult customer to take care of* “Again, we don’t currently have a chardonnay. Is it safe to assume you prefer dry white wines? That is what we specialize in and we have six to choose from today.

Man: “I want chardonnay.”

Me: “Why don’t you take another minute to look at what we do offer? These two other wines may interest you.”

(I go off to serve another group. The man continues to glare at me, but finally looks at our wine list. I come back to him a minute or so later.)

Me: “Okay, sir, have you decided what you would like to start with?”

Man: “”Well since you don’t have a chardonnay…” *huffs* “I GUESS I’ll just settle with your Cabernet Sauvignon.”

(We currently do not have a Cabernet Sauvignon released, nor is it listed anywhere in the winery as being an option.)

Me: “Okay, I’ll be right back with your wine.”

Man: “It’s about time.”

(I walk to our wine cooler and find one of the owners is grabbing bottles for a tasting he is also conducting.)

Me: “Hey, [Boss], would you grab me a bottle of something while you’re there?”

Boss: “Sure, what do you need?”

Me: “Just whatever you don’t need. Doesn’t matter.”

Boss: “Ummm… what?”

Me: “This, uh, gentleman wants our chardonnay or our cab sauv.”

Boss: *chuckles and shakes his head* “Here’s a Riesling. Good luck.”

(I go back and pour the man a Riesling. He declared the bottle was corked, the temperature was wrong, and that the wine was ‘sweet’ based on the name alone, even though it’s bone dry. He spends a solid five minutes of my time berating me for my service and how bad our award-winning wines are. I eventually grow tired of this.)

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry if you didn’t like what I poured you, but you asked for things that we personally don’t have. You’ve also taken up time from customers who, thankfully, are quite patient and happy to be in this winery that they personally chose to come to, as I assume you also did. If there’s anything I can actually help you with, please let me know; otherwise I am going to go continue my tasting with this other group who are good sports.”

Man: “I want to talk to the manager!”

(Right that second, the boss, who has been at the cooler.walks by.)

Boss: “Oh, Riesling, that’s my favorite! Did [My Name] tell you it’s on sale?”

(Somehow, the man walks away and buys six bottles of the ‘horrible’ wine he hates. It isn’t even on sale, by the way, he just thinks he was getting a deal. Thankfully he leaves without another incident.)

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], I never want to see that happen again.”

Me: “Sorry I talked to him like that. I had a full bar and no patience.”

Boss: “No, no, not that. Just don’t let another idiot taste wine here!”

Me: “Uh, [Boss], that would cut out the vast majority of our clientele…”

Boss: “Good point. Okay, don’t let another idiot taste wine here unless you have wine, too.”

Me: “That I can handle.”

(People may be ridiculous and get worse once they have wine, but at least I have the coolest boss in the world!)

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When Pinot Means No

| Sonoma, CA, USA | Right | November 2, 2014

(Sometimes, the wineries in the Valley join up for a tasting event. People can buy a ticket, get a special wine glass and get to travel to different wineries and get free tastings of specific wines.)

Me: “Hello, welcome to [Winery]. May I pour you a sample?”

Guest: “What do you have?”

Me: “I have the 2007 Merlot and the 2010 Chardonnay.”

Guest: “Can I have a Pinot Noir?”

Me: “I have Merlot and Chardonnay.”

Guest: “You don’t have a Pinot.”

Me: “No, I do not.”

Guest: “Do you have a Pinot?”

Me: “Yes, we do, although, the Pinot is not being offered for this specific tasting. However, if you’d like to taste the Pinot, you are more than welcome to visit the tasting room upstairs and try it out. Unfortunately, it won’t be complementary.”

Guest: “Oh, never mind… What do you have again?”

Me: “I have the 2007 Merlot, and the 2010 Chardonnay.”

Guest: “I’d like to taste the Cabernet.”

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Whine About Wine

| MA, USA | Right | September 15, 2013

(I’m working at the tasting bar for our winery. It’s been a fairly busy day. I’m serving two women around my age—early 30s.)

Me: “Hi! Can I get you anything?”

Customer #1: “Um…. let me think. Sorry, I’m not ready!”

Me: “Sure, that’s f—”

Customer #2: “Can I try the chardonnay?”

Me: “Sure!”

(I get the wine and start to pour.)

Customer #2: “It must be really annoying to work here. You have all these people interrupting you to say ‘Can I try this? Can I try that?’ Is it really annoying?”

Me: “Actually, that’s not annoying at all! What’s annoying is when people say ‘I want to try this. It sounds delicious, what a great description, how do you like it?’ and I say ‘I think it’s great,’ and they try it and then say ‘this is terrible, it’s disgusting, how can you serve this? Who in their right mind would drink this?’ That’s annoying.”

(Both of them are staring at me in disbelief.)

Customer #1: “No… people don’t really do that.”

Customer #2: “That’s crazy. They really say stuff like that?”

Me: “I’m afraid so.”

Customer #2: “Well, I think this chardonnay is really good! Thank you!”

Me: “You’re very welcome!”

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When Bosses Show Their True Colors

| Western New York, USA | Working | May 17, 2013

(I have just finished giving a wine tasting to a very nice African American couple, who then goes on to purchase two cases. They love the wine so much they buy a postcard and write a nice note to me and the owner saying how much they enjoyed their experience. As the couple gets into their car to leave, the owner returns from an errand and walks up to me.)

Owner: “Anything good while I was gone?”

Me: “Yup, had two couples come in. I sold two cases to one of them.”

Owner: “Oh, fantastic.”

Me: “And! The couple that just left  were so impressed they bought a postcard and wrote this nice note for the two of us. ”

(He reads the note, while I go grab a push-pin out of the office. We have a corkboard that we hang thank you letters and photos from customers up on.)

Me: “I’m going to go ahead and hang it up on the corkboard if—”

Owner: “NO. Throw it in the rubbish bin!”

Me: “…Pardon?”

Owner: “You heard me! I’m not putting up a half hearted thank you note from a bunch of n*****s who didn’t buy jack s***!”

Me: “You do realize that couple just spent nearly $400 on wine? They also bought the rest of our Cabernet.”

Owner: “…”

Me: “You didn’t see the two cases they loaded into their trunk?”

Owner: “But n*****s don’t have any money! Did they pay for it?”

Me: “Here’s the credit card receipt, and yes I did check his ID since the amount was over $50.”

Owner: “…”

Me: “Oh, and he’s bringing his Church group back this fall for a wine tasting.”

Owner: “Go f***ing mow the lawn or something!”

(I put my notice in that afternoon.)

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