That refreshed feeling I had being able to get back to my “Japan Plan” somehow took a momentary nosedive when I decided to grant myself an evening off in favor of an iced coffee and a sweet snack. That was a terrible run-on sentence but I don’t give a @#%$! after the experience I just had. Beware of ugly ranting up ahead. I promise I’m not usually such a Bitter Betty, despite what this blog post and the previous one might imply.
So I have this favorite coffee shop where I go to write, relax, and get away from daily stressors.
I arrived ready to sip an icy beverage and jot down some notes. I was annoyed to discover two new employees. With no supervisor in sight, both girls were incapable of dealing with a very slow night’s flow. An age just to put a teabag in this man’s cup. Another age to fumble with a lady’s mochaccino when the wrong flavor syrup was added. I spent half an hour trying to pay through my rewards points card. My frothy drink had already separated by the time I got to drink it. The cashier managed to delete 3/4 of my earned points and didn’t know how to give them back.
After an unsuccessful phone conversation with her manager, she offered to make me 2 more drinks to make up for the lost points. I said ‘I don’t think I’m that thirsty.’ She then halfheartedly suggested I could have 2 free baked goods instead (that don’t even cost as much as the 2 drinks’ worth in points that she deleted from my card).
Before I could decide if this sounded like a fair deal (it didn’t), she disappeared. I’m sorry I had to take it out on her colleague, but by that point my mood was shot, I didn’t want to stay on the premises, nor write in my journal, and frankly, their customer service was lacking. The second barista claimed the first one was taking out the recycling. Um, no girl. I’ve been a regular here for 3 years, and no staff has ever taken out garbage or the recycling DURING their shift. Your friend ran away to avoid this problem she caused.
After about 15 minutes, I approached the counter again, to ask if I could possibly have a couple of brownies to take home. I just wanted to end my night elsewhere and get it over with. A customer came in behind me, and the barista looked right at me, skipped me and then took their order. OMG, really? I returned to my seat, throwing back a snarky ‘Thanks! It’s not like I was in line or wanted to order anything!’ and she came running after me to my table, trying to make me see that I was wrong and she didn’t mean it. I said ‘It’s fine. Deal with your more important customers. I’ll just sit here and keep waiting on Missy with the recycling.’
She was clearly upset, but I was not there to comfort her. I’m usually a quiet person, and rarely speak out in any intimidating manner, especially to strangers. But she was really pushing it. After the other customers were gone, and 10 more minutes had passed, I asked her how much longer she expected me to wait for her colleague, and couldn’t I just have my make-the-booboo-better baked goods so I could get going? She again tried groveling and said if her colleague still didn’t come back in 5 minutes, that she’d let me have some baked goods. Except that this is my go-to coffee shop, I wanted to waltz right out and never return. I wanted to dump my drink on her head. I didn’t care about my points, nor my baked goods. I just wanted my sanctuary that I came looking for. Elsewhere.
She asked me to be patient, and I said she was lucky I wasn’t anyone else. I am someone with overflowing patience, usually to my own detriment. I told her I’d been MORE than patient but this was getting a bit ridiculous. I felt like I was being held captive. Had I been the employee, I would’ve just said, here, take 12$ as a refund for the points we deleted. Instead, I continued to wait. I was in there over an hour from start to finish of this debacle. Wouldn’t you call that being patient?
Finally, she announced, all happy-dappy, “Come on, girl, lets get you some baked goods so you can go home!” I happily trotted over to the counter, finally feeling relief. She apologized again, and I said it’s all good as long as I go home with a couple of brownies. Did she not hear me?
“How about this nice………
CROISSANT?” she asked.
I looked at her funny as if to say, um no. I asked for 2 brownies. Don’t give me a cheap, airy pastry that’s also dried out at this late hour of the evening. She literally tried everything in her power to not give me the brownies. She tried to have me compromise, like hello, are we really bartering for a 5$ pastry that costs 50 cents to make when you owe me 12$? I smiled sweetly, and said “Two brownies, please!”
We finally did compromise with 1 brownie and 1 lemon bread. OMG this is a completely ridiculous moment in my day, and probably in my life. I just wanted to go home and she was now stalling me. Maybe she was hoping her colleague might materialize? I actually wished her manager had walked in right then. He knows me. He would have resolved everything by either putting the points back onto my card, or giving me a store credit if he couldn’t pay me back in cash for the mistakes of his newbie employees.
In any case, we said good night on relatively amicable terms. She apologized again that she’s new and is learning the ropes. I told her I understood, but I just wanted a nice relaxed evening and now my blood pressure was through the roof. What the eff even happened tonight? Was it a punishment for me trying to take a breather from my travel research?
Sorry for such a random rant. I’ll try to make it somewhat relevant. One of the things I love about traveling is trying new food, and especially testing out any cute-looking coffee shops. I do a lot of food photography as well, and you’ll see that as my blog goes deeper into detail. So…hey! Photo of Food and Beverage! *wink* even if it’s in my own city and I only traveled 10 minutes down the street from my home. Here’s a photo from the same coffee shop a couple of years ago on my birthday weekend.
When I said I visit when I need a break from life, I meant it. I’d had a miserable weekend, and felt very unloved, and took myself out for a little pampering. The new barista that greeted me that night was such a happy pill, I perked right back up. He didn’t know I was feeling down, but maybe he sensed it, and went out of his way to be cheerful. He even apologized for not being very good at his coffee art yet. I tearfully told him it was lovely, and sipped away at it the rest of the evening.
Oh, how I miss all my old baristas. The new girls were actually nice, but completely clueless, and under-trained to be manning the whole shop alone like that. I even told the second girl, the manager shouldn’t staff you on the same shift. Put someone with each of you that already knows the ropes. She smiled sheepishly and apologized again.
I’ll return, but maybe in a few weeks when the girls have learned the ropes, or perhaps have been replaced by more competent staff.