“What’s wrong with the coffee drink?”
I looked around. Oh, you’re talking to me?
“You, what’s wrong with the drink?”
I glanced down at my now-empty tall drip. I used to get the mocha this and the caramel that all the time. But of late, they seem too sweet, too heavy–and they take too long to make.
“Oh, nothing is wrong. I’m just in line for a refill.”
“Did you buy that here?”
I looked at this man’s frown, the sheen of perspiration across his pale brow, the stained flush on his cheeks and around his neck. He knew something I didn’t. He was desperate to tell me something he thought I should know.
“Uh, no. I got it just up the street. But, um, I thought it was okay to get a refill. Last week, one of the clerks told me it was okay.”
“Is that clerk here, now?” he demanded, his voice rising to an anxious pitch. “Because it’s not okay. It’s against the rules!”
The guy in line in front of me turned to look at me, as did the two others in front of him. What on earth are you thinking? their bland expressions seemed to ask. I looked back at the clearly upset guy behind the counter who puffed himself up a little taller to stare back at me.
Even if the clerk who had told me refills were fine was standing right there, I would have never sold him out to this idiot.
“Well, I am happy to buy a tall drip at full price. I didn’t know about the rules.” Or how they only allowed complete assholes to be in charge here.
“I’m the manager, okay?” he told me, waving his hand in a tight little circle.
“It’s against the rules to get a refill at any store other than the one you bought the first cup at. You didn’t buy that here, right?”
I already told you, no. And I already told you I’d pay full price, now that I know about the rules. So, for the love of God, shut the hell up.
“But I’ll do it. I’ll give you that refill. I’ll give it to you right now,” he sneered at me.
Hey, f— you.
“Denise, charge her the refill price. She says she doesn’t know the rules.”
Seriously, f— you. Oh, and f— you everyone else in line for looking at me as if I am some common thief.
Denise poured my tall drip, even gave me a clean lid. I dropped a dollar into the tip box.
Poor Denise. You know her resume is up to date and she’s out the door, probably after this shift is over.
I despise encounters with jerks first thing in the morning. They set the tone for the whole day, don’t they?
Now, I’ll have to air-kick a pigeon on my walk to work.