Coffee Break

“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.

No! Really?

“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.






16 responses to “Coffee Break”

  1. cj Avatar

    Wow. Drunk off of his own little pocket tyranny.

    It’s such a shame he has to make up for that itty-bitty little penis in such an obnoxious way. It must be soo difficult for him.

  2. Jennifer Avatar

    Well, I HOPE you learned a very valuable lesson. And I hope that order for the penis extender arrives in the manager’s mailbox very soon so he can stop venting his feelings of inadequacy on his customers…

  3. Artful Dodger Avatar

    What a butthead. I’d have probably said something nasty in return and gone to the gas station for a cup of joe. That man sounds like a coffee nazi. Kudos for not blowing your top.

  4. […] there have been some good, thoughtful posts lately on customer service. First off, there’s Restaurant Gal on how not to do it. Then, Michael on the social library, which to my mind is all about service, […]

  5. Katie Avatar

    Wow, someone takes their job way to seriously!

  6. Michael Avatar

    People vote with their feet. A rude approach like that ensures that the company has seen the last of me. And manager or not, the OWNER of the business would sure like to hear about anything that drives his/her customers away.

  7. Fat Lazy Guy Avatar

    I’m going to pretend that you didn’t just think those f-bombs, and I’m going to pretend that the dude shrunk down, and I’m going to pretend Denise started a slow clap, and everyone joined in, and you walked out a hero. Feel free to tell other people you did this as well 😀

  8. Kim Avatar

    Of course not only does he alienate you, he alienates everyone in the queue and passers by within earshot. What an idiot, especially when there’s competition just up the street!

  9. Bob Avatar

    He makes a big deal about NOT letting you have it for the refill price then offers to do it anyway. You gotta know he told a DIFFERENT story to his buddies (oh yeah, he has those …..but no friends) about how he put you in your place, at the end of the day. What a jerk!

  10. Raven Avatar

    Oh my, I’m sorry your day started off so badly with the coffee nazi. My day on the other hand, started off with a giggle imaging air kicking a pigeon…I’ve never heard that one before.

  11. MelissaM Avatar

    The guy sounds like a cartoon. Great piece.

  12. Jenni Avatar

    I was just gonna say arrrrrg.. that guys a jerk… but I happend to read Jennifer’s comment and now I’m just giggling.

  13. question girl Avatar

    i would have made some snarky comment like “next time i’ll NOT do my part to save the environment and waste another cup”

  14. Heather Avatar

    Can you imagine that you spoke up (in a nice way of course) and asked him what his problem is… Why he finds it necessary to speak to you in such a manner, etc.
    I’ve been finding myself doing this lately and it goes a long way to shutting up the jerks who have been getting away with this crap because no one wants to confront them.
    Anyway, just my .02!

  15. Whatever Avatar

    You of all people should read Barista Brat – you do, don’t you? You are so articulate and intelligent isn’t it obvious that refills are meant to breed location loyalty, right? It doesn’t make sense that you would bring a cup from another store [even if it is a Starbucks too] and get a refill for cheap….or maybe I just think Barista is right….I don’t know…the common sense just seems to dictate that the refill should be from the cup’s original location.

    Still the guy should never have talked to you that way, it was condescending and rude…and you didn’t deserve it after being so completely honest and willing to pay full price….I agree with all the posters that you deserved better and reading you I would think that you would have had a very snappy retort….I am sorry he was so rude…really….

    just get the refill from the store the cup came from, okay?

  16. Ian Avatar

    The manager is supposed to be the one who has no spine and kisses customers on the behind. You’re a saint for letting him get away with that.