Those Who Stay In Line Get A Prize

, , , , , , | Right | June 21, 2019

It’s the day before a big holiday, and I decide to treat myself to some fancy coffee before heading into the office. Once I arrive, I join the queue, which is already quite lengthy, but not at all surprising given the time of day and the location. Since my boss is flexible about my start time, I settle in to wait and casually check my work email on my phone while I stand in line.

The customer in front of me, however, is not interested in waiting. “Can you believe this?” she says to anyone who can hear her. “This is ridiculous. I just want a coffee.”

The line to order is six people in total. She is number four in line. No one says a word.

A few more moments go by. The line has moved incrementally. I have finished reviewing my email, and I admit it’s a bit slower going than usual. Again, I’m not terribly pressed by this.

Number 4 starts trying to start the revolt again. “Isn’t this ridiculous?” she asks me.

“Well, it’s like this most of the mornings I come here,” I say.

“But it’s ridiculous! It shouldn’t take this long!”

I shrug. “Some people have larger orders.”

She then turns to the person in front of her. “These people are clearly idiots!” she yells. “It shouldn’t take this long to get a d*** coffee! All of these high school dropouts need to learn how to do their jobs!” The person in front of her just kind of rolls her eyes.

At this point, I’m more uncomfortable with this customer making a scene than I am with the wait, so I bury myself in my phone, all while the customer in front of me loudly harasses the staff for being “dumb” and “slow” from her spot in line.

Eventually, she shouts “I’m going to leave if no one is going to serve me!” As this threat is met with absolutely no one caring, she finally huffs off, slamming into the line that has formed behind me in her wake.

When I get to the counter, I place my order. “Is that all?” asks the cashier. “As an apology for taking so long, the gentleman who was picking up an order for his entire office paid for everyone’s order. There’s… a substantial amount available,” she says with a wink.

I can’t help but feel just a little pleased at how that played out. Had the angry customer waited just a few more minutes, she would have enjoyed a free breakfast, but instead, her impatience and rude behavior passed that free meal onto another customer!

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