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“You Got Numb Tongue?” “Nmm Tnng?!”

, , , , | Working | March 29, 2022

One day, I decided to buy a fancy iced drink from a popular coffee shop chain at a location inside a grocery store. I wasn’t familiar with their menu, so I asked whether the “lite” drink contained artificial sweeteners; I didn’t know if lite meant low-calorie or low-fat. They said that drink did not have artificial sweeteners, so I ordered it.

Once I got my drink, we continued grocery shopping. I tasted the drink and the flavor was good, but by the time we got to the back of the grocery store, I could tell something wasn’t quite right. My tongue started tingling and felt numb. I wondered if it did have artificial sweeteners and tossed out the rest of the drink.

After I got home and put away the groceries, I looked up the ingredients online and found out that the lite drink did indeed have artificial sweeteners. Back then, I wasn’t a very assertive person, but I was upset about being told the wrong information. I called the main number for the coffee shop chain to complain.

The customer service representative who answered the phone listened to my story. I was expecting an apology, an offer to refund my money, or at least a coupon to try a different drink flavor. But when I complained about my tongue going numb — which could have been an allergic reaction — the response from the representative was:

Representative: “Oh, yeah, that’s happened to me before, too.”

That was it.

I was so shocked by the lack of concern that I hung up without pressing them further.

It’s been over ten years now, and I still refuse to buy anything from that coffee chain, even though that location is within walking distance from my house.

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