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    His Hearing Is Week

    , | OR, USA | Bosses & Owners, Language & Words

    (I am a supervisor at a popular coffee chain. I had just started counting some product when I realized I had left my clipboard on the counter.)

    Me: *to manager nearby* “Hey could you grab me that thing?” *makes dramatic reaching motions towards the clipboard*

    Manager: “Um, sure.” *hands it to me with a look*

    Me: “Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks…”

    Manager: *mishears me* “Well, at least you’re honest about your choices…”

    Me: “Wait, what?”

    Manager: “You just said it was from all the weed.”

    Me: “…No.”

    Adding A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi

    | MA, USA | Employees, Food & Drink

    Me: “I’d like a medium vanilla coffee, please.”

    Clerk: “I’m sorry, we don’t have vanilla. We only have hazelnut, pumpkin spice, and French vanilla.”

    Scream If You Want To Go Calmer

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (I suffer from anxiety, and it is often noticeable in my demeanor when I am at work. My manager is male; I am female.)

    Manager: “You’re doing fine, really. It’s okay to relax. Take some deep breaths.”

    Me: “I know. It’s just hard.”

    Manager: “One of these days I’m going to take you out to the alleyway behind the shop and make you scream.”

    Me: “…”

    Manager: “… I mean, it’s a really good confidence building exercise – the primal scream! God, that sounded really wrong. Sorry.”

    The Sweet Taste Of Death

    | SC, USA | Employees, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (My friend and I decide to stop at a popular local coffee shop known for their smoothies. My friend is waiting outside with our dogs.)

    Me: “I’d like a large mango smoothie and a medium banana smoothie. Could you also please make sure the banana doesn’t touch any peanut products? My friend is allergic.”

    Barista #1: “Certainly. It will be ready shortly.”

    (Evidently the entire neighborhood had the same idea we did, so there’s a small wait for frozen drinks. While the baristas are busy making and taking orders, I quick pop outside to ask my friend something and check on my dog. By the time I come back in, our drinks are already made, but I notice something off about the color of my friend’s smoothie and decide to taste it before I bring it to him.)

    Me: “Um, ma’am, this is a peanut butter banana smoothie. I asked for just banana because my friend is allergic. If he drank this, it would kill him.”

    (The barista immediately goes pale and some of the chatter in the shop dies down. She immediately turns to one of her two coworkers, who evidently was the one who made the smoothies.)

    Barista #1: “Did you put peanut butter in the banana smoothie?!”

    Barista #2: “Yeah. They taste better that way. The regular banana ones are kind of bland.”

    Barista #3: “You don’t do something like that! He’s allergic! He could have died!”

    Barista #2: “Oh. Well, how was I supposed to know that?”

    Barista #1: “She told us! I wrote it down on the slip so you knew! Didn’t you bother reading it before you made the drinks?!”

    Barista #2: “How do you know she isn’t lying, though?”

    Me: “Do you really want to chance that I might be lying about my friend having a life-threatening peanut allergy by giving him peanut butter because you think it tastes better?”

    (The woman who took my order apologizes and remakes the smoothie personally, this time being careful to avoid any cross-contamination, and not only refunds the cost of it but also gives us a voucher for a free drink and cookie, and some water for our dogs. I explain to my friend what happened while we’re walking home.)

    Friend: “Huh…she’s right though. It does taste a little bland. Maybe I should have taken the one with death in it instead.”

    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.)


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