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  • Establishing Order Over Tall Orders

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m in line at a coffee place. When it’s the turn of the guy in front of me, he rattles off a ridiculously complex order, with all sorts of alterations. At no point does he say ‘please,’ nor does he even bother looking at the lady taking his order. Surprisingly, she seems to get happier and happier as he spends a few minutes saying his order. By the end, she’s positively beaming.)

    Barista #1: “All right, sir. If you’ll wait over by the side of the counter, please, your order will just be a moment.”

    (The instant she finishes saying the word “moment”, she suddenly starts making the man’s drink with incredible speed. She’s flying around making the complex drink, pouring and stirring and grabbing various ingredients with astounding dexterity. Her movements are so rapid and precise that it’s like watching a sped-up version of a dance. Her face shows intense concentration, and all the other baristas and staff have stopped what they were doing to watch. She finishes after a minute.)

    Barista #1: “Here you are, sir! I hope you enjoy your drink!”

    (Suddenly, another barista calls out.)

    Barista #2: “She did it!”

    (The staff near her begin to clap her on the back, congratulating her, and generally acting like the event is a minor celebration. After a moment, she turns to serve me.)

    Barista #1: “What would you like today, ma’am?”

    Me: “Actually, can I ask what just happened?”

    Barista #1: “Oh, we have a competition among the staff. If anyone can make a drink in less time than it takes the customer to say what the drink is, the manager has agreed to take us all out for dinner, on her. [Barista #2] was timing, and it looks like I made it!”

    Barista #2: “Yeah, it makes us actually like the customers with over-the-top, customised drinks. They’re the only ones we stand a chance at beating! Normal drinks, like, ‘tall flat white,’ only take two seconds to say, so we can’t compete. That guy’s order was record-breakingly long, though!”

    (The guy, who had been ignoring them and inspecting his complex drink to look for flaws, turned red and slunk out. Later, I found out that the manager had created the competition to address the negative morale caused by difficult orders. It was obviously working.)

    Ki-Wheezing

    | MN, USA | Employees, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Liars/Scammers

    (I often visit a local coffee shop that serves not only coffee items, but also pastries and real fruit smoothies. The menu, however, does not list the fruits included in the smoothies. I have a kiwi allergy.)

    Me: “Hi, can I get a tropic blast smoothie and a scone?”

    Barista: “Sure thing! That’ll be [price].”

    Me: “And does the tropic blast smoothie have any kiwi or kiwi flavoring in it? I’m allergic.”

    Barista: “No, none at all! It’ll be right up.”

    (My friend and I pay and collect our food and go to sit down. I take a sip and immediately feel my lips tingling and itching, and my tongue feels like it’s getting pinpricks and is swelling. I realize there is kiwi, and I’m having an allergic reaction. Since my reactions aren’t life threatening, just uncomfortable for an hour or so, I bring it back up to get a replacement.)

    Me: “Uh, sorry but there is kiwi in this. I’m having a reaction but it’s in control. Can I get a refund or replacement, maybe?”

    Barista: “F*** off.”

    Me: *shocked* “Excuse me?”

    Barista: “You heard me. F*** off. That had got to be the fakest lisp I’ve ever heard, and Jesus is watching you lie to get things for free. You even drank half of it!”

    (The ‘fake lisp’ is from my swollen tongue, and I had only taken a small sip so the cup is nearly filled to the brim. Another barista gets the manager/owner for me without being asked, and I tell her what happened.)

    Owner: “Did you really tell this poor girl to ‘eff off’?!”

    Barista: “Listen to her! She’s obviously faking. She just wants free smoothies.”

    Owner: “Can you show her your tongue, please, miss?”

    Me: *sticks out my red and obviously swollen tongue*

    Owner: “Why did you tell her the tropic blast didn’t have any kiwi?! And why did you accuse her of lying?!”

    (The barista tried to defend herself and failed. The owner fired her and told me this isn’t the first time she’d been rude to customers. The owner gave me a 15 free drinks coupon, and even though I’ve used them up, I’m still a regular! But I’ve never had another smoothie from them.)

    Penny For Your Lack Of Thoughts

    | IA, USA | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Money

    (This happens between two coworkers. Coworker #1 is 29 and Coworker #2 is 23.)

    Coworker #1: “Hey, look, they changed the pennies!”

    Coworker #2: “Oh, no, that’s from the Bahamas. We must have accepted it by accident.”

    Coworker #1: “No, I took it on purpose. It’s a penny.”

    Coworker #2: “Well, yeah, in the Bahamas. It’s not worth anything here. It’s not American currency. We can not accept this.”

    Coworker #1: “But it’s a penny.”

    Coworker #2: “Yeah, from the Bahamas. It’s not legal tender in the US.”

    Coworker #1: “But it’s a penny.”

    (Throughout the day at various points I’d hear her say “it’s a penny.” She still doesn’t get it.)

    Too Early For Proper English

    | Shippensburg, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (In my first semester of college, I have an eight am class clear on the other side of campus. I am not once on time. One particularly bad morning I am walking to class, for my eight am midterm, at around 8:35. I stop in at my usual coffee spot on the way with my usual elderly coffee lady.)

    Me: *apparently speaking in what I assume is poor German for no apparent reason other than fatigue* “Ich möchte eine tasse kaffe, bitte.” *German for: I would like a cup of coffee, please*

    Coffee Lady: “Eine große oder kleine?” *German for: Large or small?*

    Me: *very much confused* “Did I ask for coffee in German?”

    Coffee Lady: “Yes.”

    Me: “Oh. Uh, große, bitte.” *German: A large cup, please*

    Coffee Lady: “Coffee’s on me. You’re going to miss your test.”

    (I run to class. As it turns out she is from Germany and was just as surprised as I was that I ordered in German! After my midterm I came back and chatted with her and we have been friends ever since! And she’s bought more than a few cups of joe for me!)

    Clocked Off For Good

    | MI, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Employees, Time

    (I manage the college campus coffee shop. One day, I notice one of the student workers going into the back room, where the time clock is located. She leaves moments later. Since she isn’t due to work that morning, I am curious, and I look at her time card. She has clocked in and left. I look back at past weeks, and determine that she had been clocking a few hours prior to most of her shifts for almost a month. I pull her time card, and leave a note for her to come see me.)

    Employee: “Hey, what’s up? I couldn’t find my time card, and your note didn’t say.”

    Me: “You clocked in a few hours ago, and then left.”

    Employee: “…and?”

    Me: “You falsified your record of hours worked, which constitutes fraud and theft. Since this has been going on for a month, the amount you’ve stolen is enough to count as a felony.”

    Employee: “Oh. So… is that a problem? I was short on money, and thought I’d get some extra hours.”

    Me: “Extra hours that you didn’t work?”

    Employee: “Yeah!”

    Me: “And you don’t see why that’s a problem?”

    Employee: “No, why?”

    Me: “Then you’re REALLY not going to expect what’s coming next.”

    (Since I’m a big softy, I just fired her, and didn’t bring the police into it.)


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