Sunday, April 10, 2005


Work today was mostly same-old, same-old: work the register, get coffee and pastries, listen to my manager's rendition of that song that starts off "on top of spagheeeeetti..." The usual. (Well, last week's music selection was Gloria Estefan. She really knows how to mix things up.) With a few minor changes:

1. Ran into another middle school alumna as I arrived at work. On a Sunday morning! What the hell is wrong with these people, can't they just stay out of my way until the reunion? Huh?! Or at least stop frequenting my place of business and start accosting me in the mall or something? Sheesh.

2. Someone I currently associate with stopped by for the first time. I rewarded him with a free cup of tea. I totally owe him anyway after all the free beer I drank at his house on Friday.

3. I got my first paycheck. That was depressing. Two weeks of work = $268. Can kind of identify with how Becky feels, though I think I like my job a bit more. Most of the time, anyway:

4. A customer actually earned my hatred. Hatred. Irritation I know well, and can forgive it pretty easily because I'm as often the source of it as not. But I would never consider actually spitting in someone's coffee. Until today. I would make an exception for this guy.

I've been assured by a coworker that I'm overreacting, and he's probably right, but I still hate this guy. Let's set the stage: it's a sunny Sunday morning in Beverly Hills, there are a few people in the store but no line. I smile and ask him what he'd like to order, he says a grande coffee in a venti cup. It's a pretty common order for people who like a lot of cream and don't want to pay for coffee they're just going to pour out anyway. I always overfill them, though, because I forget that it's supposed to be a smaller size, and better to pour out extra coffee in the sink than in the trash can. It happened this time, too, so I pour out a little bit, put the lid on and hand the coffee to the guy. He immediately takes the lid off and pours the coffee into a grande cup he's just pulled from one of the stacks next to the register. There's maybe 3/4 of an inch between the coffee and the rim of the cup, which is about how I'd fill a grande cup (more than that and you're just asking to get a burn from spillover). He looks at me accusingly and asks me to fill the cup up to the top. While I'm doing this, he says, "I find it amazing that you would pour the coffee out rather than give it to me."

Asshole! As if I'm the coffee nazi, jealously guarding my stash and stingily measuring out the exact amount to those people I deign to do business with. The smile I used when I greeted him was part of my scheme to dupe him. I stammered out something about trying to give people the amount they ask for, and he just glares at me as if I represent all that's evil in this world and walks over to the bar where we have all the milk and sugar. I wanted to trip him.

He supplanted the guy that I previously had at the top of my pyramid of dislike (yes, there's a pyramid of dislike, and I have one), who also got there for accusing me of trying to gyp him. (And for asking for a specific piece of banana loaf and actually returning the first piece I gave him because I hadn't selected the right one. I mean, he didn't just correct me when I picked up a piece with the tongs: he actually walked away to his table, had a look, and then came back to ask for a different one. The one he'd been given apparently didn't have the requisite number of walnuts or something. wtf?) It was my first week and he ordered a venti tea, so I rang up a venti tea. But apparently if someone only has one teabag then we only charge them for a tall, a fact about which I was speedily educated when he started to complain that I was overcharging him without telling me why he thought so and another person I work with had to step in and fix everything. (This was over a difference of thirty cents, by the way.) The guy glared at me and walked off in a huff. Asshole.

Ok, that was really just an excuse to vent about customers that suck. Most of them don't, but there are those special few who make you wish for a rewrite of the Divine Comedy so you know there's a circle of Hell just for them. (Sidenote: I would think that a poet, of all people, would be sensitive to the impact of the words they choose, but I don't think 'comedy' means what Dante seems to think it means.)

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