His Training Is Not In Mint Condition

, , , | Working | May 5, 2018

It’s about three weeks before Christmas, and I’ve just finished a late shift at work. It’s almost midnight by the time my boyfriend and I stop by a coffee shop to get a hot drink to warm us up for the rest of the walk home.

I’m well aware that, due to competition from another branch only a few blocks away, this particular location is always understaffed at night and the employees never seem to be fully trained. However, this location is directly on our route home, so we decide to go for it.

The chain has just started serving a holiday special peppermint hot chocolate; it’s a premixed powder packet which is loaded into the machine the same way that the regular hot chocolate is, and is usually topped with whipped cream.

The poor kid at the register is completely alone in the store and obviously has only the barest grasp of what he’s doing. I admit that I’m not actually paying attention to what he’s doing, because I feel bad for him and don’t want to stress him out. I also don’t actually look what he’s charging me for, because it’s late at night and the total sounds about right. He hands me the standard coffee cup with a lid and one of those cardboard rings designed to keep you from burning your fingers. I give it a cursory taste test, and we head back out.

Halfway across the parking lot, I take another sip and realize that, while it does taste like hot chocolate and peppermint, it tastes kind of off. I take another few sips to validate the taste, and have my boyfriend taste it; he agrees that there’s something funny to it.

I pry the lid off the cup, and discover that the kid, obviously having no idea how to make the brand new limited-time promotional item, has given me a cup of regular hot chocolate and put a peppermint tea bag in it. I didn’t notice initially because he tucked the string from the bag into the cardboard sleeve on the cup.

I’m actually highly impressed by the kid’s problem-solving skills, and I actually find that I enjoy the drink this way better than I do the overly-sweet promotional item. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen him there again. I hope he got a job that actually trained him before leaving him alone.

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