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Mr Stingy (Or…How Refusing to Waste a Twenty Five Pence Discount Makes You the Least Appealing Human Ever)


I’ll start with the fact that I am so very good at my job (the projecting an image of a sane and friendly human being part, not just the making coffee part) that this man thinks I like him. Not even just ‘like him as a customer’ like him. He thinks I’m giddy as a child when he walks through the door. Which means he’s as bad at interpreting a grimace as he is at spending money.


Well, you'd be smiling too if you were shagging Nathan Fillion. And eating pie all the time.

He comes in every weekend to moan about the same thing. We used to do a promotion. Buy some coffee beans, get a free drink. That promotion is now over. It has been over for a while. And whilst other customers may have been a little sad that their freebie was gone, no-one was as bothered as this guy. Which is why EVERY week we heard the SAME argument. ‘But why? Why is it gone? I deserve to have it! Why should I no longer get a free drink just because you’ve removed the promotion?’


'i'm watching you'

Firstly, nothing happens because WE do anything. You want to bitch about making nationwide-changes to a promotion that happens in hundreds of stores across the UK, you call head office. You don’t bitch at someone who makes minimum wage and pretty much just exists to do the bidding of both bosses and customers. That makes no sense. Yes, democracy means we can all make a difference, but whilst coffee monkeys can vote, attend demonstrations and have their own opinions, they aren’t really qualified to argue about why something that’s costing a company money should exist, just so a snooty little man from East-Jesus-Nowhere-Town can get his free drink.


No-one like a scrooge. Or a stingy duck

We’re BORED of this now, ya hear? We don’t give a flying fuck. You’re in here buying your coffee anyway. You’re ALWAYS in here, despite the lack of free drink. You know how we know this? Because you’re ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT THIS. If it was up to me I’d give you a free drink just so you’d stop talking about how the shop in Dagenham gave you a free drink, or the one in Newham, or Milton Keynes. They probably gave you the drinks because they wanted you to go away. Also, if you are going to these places on a regular basis, you probably have bigger problems than missing out on free coffee, because it’s very likely your life sucks. Everything else in Milton Keynes does.


He then comes in for a ‘business meeting’, which as far as I can tell is two overly pompous men drinking pretentious coffees and looking at graphs on an iPad, whilst looking up every thirty seconds to check if people can see how important they are. But what do I know, I’m not a business person. Mr Stingy offers to buy his colleague’s drink, which allowed him to raise a few notches from ‘very annoying person’ to ‘very annoying person who hasn’t mentioned his free drink in two days’.


I should mention that whilst he’s been moaning about this, he has been ‘arranging’ his drink order in such a way that he thinks he’s getting one over on us. Ordering espresso shots with hot water, instead of a black Americano, which saves about a pound. Then he brings in his own cup. That saves him 25p. The man is clearly saving for retirement.


He orders his friend’s drink in a mug, then sadly sighs. ‘I’d quite like to have my drink in a mug as well, today.’

‘Well, we can absolutely do that for you, sir!’ I chirp with very well hidden self-loathing.

‘No! No, I couldn’t do that! I couldn’t waste twenty five pence!’

Waste? WASTE? How are you wasting a discount? You’re not spending an extra twenty five pence…I…uh…you have an IPAD. Unless you paid for it over three years saving up the ‘own cup’ discount I can’t see the fucking point.

This is the sad, sad story of a man who couldn’t bear to waste twenty five pence. Which, to be fair, is the only legitimate discount he should be getting. He then explained what his job is. One that earns approximately eight times my yearly salary. So, if anything, Mr Stingy, you should be giving ME free coffee. Yeah. How’d you like that rationale? Because it makes entirely as much sense as yours. No-one likes a cheapskate. Especially a cheapskate rich person.


But...this is super cute. Look! Look how cute it is!


Mrs ‘Can’t Abide’ AKA The Sorry Tale of the Big-Mouthed Bitch

Some days are just bad days. Or rather, bad shifts. When you get the Friday afternoon, usually you don’t mind because your brain goes ‘ooh, Friday! It’s almost the weekend!’ Except when you actually get to the Friday afternoon, you realise that you were once again duped by your own excitement.

Friday afternoons suck. Mostly because the local school gets out early and we have pre-teens demanding frappuccinos and paying for them in ten pence pieces, but sometimes purely because people are dickheads.

An example of such dickheadery in the Friday rush is below:


Nice Old Gent: Hello, lads and ladies, I would like a medium Americano with a dash of milk, and the lady would like a cup of hot water, please.

Barista: Really, really sorry but we can’t serve hot water.

Nice Old Gent: Really? (We expect a sudden meltdown)

Barista: I know it seems stupid, but it’s company policy now.

Nice Old Gent: (long, terrifying pause)…Okay! No problem, I’ll just go see what else she wants.


He dashes off and we breathe a sigh of relief. An easy, understanding customer who is willing to compromise despite our pretty silly but justified policy? (The same as last week, you can see why we have this policy here.)
Except a lady suddenly bustles in and starts screaming drink orders left, right and centre, so my colleague starts writing them down on cups for me to make. Then the Nice Old Gent comes back, so my colleague asks if the lady could wait one moment whilst he finishes this other transaction. Holy shit did we not expect this.


Big Mouthed Cow: Why didn’t you TELL me there was someone in front of me? YOU PEOPLE always do this! I can’t ABIDE bad service, I just can’t abide it. That’s just me, you know? That’s something that just gets to me. You could have told me to wait, and then served him, and now you’ve made HIM uncomfortable. I just can’t DEAL with this TERRIBLE SERVICE. ALL THE TIME. I just CAN’T ABIDE IT. I CAN’T.


Wow, well someone has a word of the day calendar, don’t they? Or they just saw The Big Lebowski for the first time. In which case, they should be more relaxed. The Dude abides.

Whilst I begin loudly humming Christmas carols and saying THANK YOU SO MUCH to every customer who walks by, just to release the aggression, the Nice Old Gent comes around.

Nice Old Gent: So you really can’t serve hot water?

Me: No, I know it’s really stupid because we can serve tea, but it’s a new policy. Someone ordered hot water and then threw it in a barista’s face. She was scalded so we can’t give it out anymore.

Nice Old Gent: That’s so terrible! I completely understand! (How fucking NICE is this guy?!)

Nice Old Gent then leans in and whispers: I’d be bloody careful if I were you, love. That harpy behind me looks like the water-throwing type!

I then hand him his drink, he thanks me, then looks a bit scared.

Nice Old Gent: It’s definitely mine, isn’t it love? I’d hate to have taken hers, pretty sure she’d tackle me to the ground!


Oh sweet lord, you lovely, lovely man! You’re a wonderful human being who has transported me from that bitter sick feeling in my stomach to the understanding that all is right with the world! Merry Bloody Christmas, everyone!

So Can’t Abide comes around (and although I know it’s petty, she looked like what my favourite movie reviewer calls ‘A Big-Lipped Alligator Moment) and starts on at me. She’s also ordered a fucking Eggnog Latte, one of the most annoying drinks in the world, due to the fact that it’s chemical structure is heavier, and therefore is difficult to aerate, and thus makes A FUCKING LOUD NOISE. Much like the woman who wants to drink it. She then asks for it to be half soya. If I didn’t know she was a tool before, I do now. Mixing egg and bean milk with extra-hot decaf espresso. Fuck right off.


To truly understand the Big Lipped Alligator Moment check out this site.

Me and my colleague then just stared in awe, unable to even find the words beyond sounds like ‘garble garble what the fuck?’


We then have about sixty-seconds of pure, beautiful peace, in which we find the innermost strength, deep down in the depths of our souls, fuelled by beauty, love and caffeine, to forgive the rude bitch. It’s Friday, it’s close to Christmas. She’s probably one day soon going to be found dead in her flat, slowly being eaten by her underfed chihuahua. And that, my friends, is what we call JUSTICE.


But she breaks this ‘goodwill to all coffee-drinkers’ thing we had going by walking up, pausing in the middle of the store and pointing at me.

‘YOU! We’ve spilled some apple juice on the floor. Come and clean it up.’

You think this dog is too cute to eat anyone. But he knows a bitch when he sees one.

Of course madam. Of course. Of fucking course, you pretentious arsehole with an inability to think of anything but yourself. I would LOVE to get down on my hands and knees whilst your children kick me in the face and call me ‘cleany lady’ whilst you suggest that perhaps I should get a mop. I suggest you get a personality transplant, toot suite.


(I know, I know. Cleaning up after clumsy children and lazy adults is my job. I do it willingly. But most people, especially mothers, tend to at least apologise, or try and wipe up a bit of the mess themselves. But if you told her that she would clearly reply: ‘Well, she’s getting PAID for it, ISN’T SHE?’ Which is a fair enough point for the Dragon Lady to make.)

So what can I say about all this except that it’s a standard Friday in December? Well, if I was smart I would have said the exact perfect thing in response:

Her: I can’t ABIDE bad service.

Me: Well, I can’t ABIDE people who treat those in the service industry like shit just to make themselves feel better about their empty, meaningless and ultimately lonely little lives…And adding soya to your Eggnog adds just as much fat, so enjoy wobbling around the sales, MADAM!


...Ehem, Happy Holidays....? Everyone! (Well, almost everyone. You know who you are.)