I once worked at a sandwich and soup cafe for two years while I was undergraduate and for a year afterward. Nice work and easy money is all I thought before graduating. We used to offer quick breakfast options such as breakfast sandwiches & burritos, bagels & cream cheese, hash browns or grits, a quick two egg breakfast with toast, etc. Besides, we offered a $2 small cup of coffee since Starbucks was two blocks down and my boss was just like that. We broke on the coffee not even hoping to profit by trying to get customers in the café and serve them with a quick, good food.
In due time, a yoga aged soccer lady started coming in each and every morning to purchase a coffee. On coming, she would bring in her cream cheese and bagel. She would buy the coffee and later ask us to toast the bagel and put her cream cheese on it for her and expect us to run the food out to her like we did for every other paying client. While she was buying her coffee, she would ask us to put on new and clean gloves while preparing her food. Okay, fine. It was not a big deal for the first couple of times since the owner who was a working manager tried to keep his customers happy all through. However, this budding cafe had started to expand exponentially regarding business.
This Bagel lady started coming in every other, single day. The manager grew a little tired of her request since after all, he was not seeing the benefit of selling her a $2 cup of coffee and have us prepare her food for she didn’t tip at any single day. However, because my manager always lived by the fact that the Customer was always right I kept being submissive to every customer.
The lady once came in on a Saturday morning thinking she had special treatment since she was a regular customer. She decided to skip the line and put her bagel on the counter near the register. She waited in line and after purchasing her $2 coffee, she noticed that her bagel was right where she had left, untouched.
“Excuse me sir; I expected this to be toasted and ready when I purchased my coffee. I come in all the time, you should have known me by now. I am one of your daily customers.”
“Yes, Ma’am, I did not see it, I am sorry. Here is your coffee; I’ll bring it out to you in a minute.”
“Sometimes I just don’t understand you people – very incompetent and rude to your customers. This is the kind of behavior which brings disease and even sickness in restaurants.”
I didn’t realize my manager was standing right over my shoulder during such encounter. He pushed me out of the way, grabbed her bagel with ungloved hands, took a bite, went straight to give it to her, dropped it and asked her to leave with a mouthful of bagel. It makes the story even better if I add that this guy was clearly not a big fan of going to the dentist, and he chewed with his mouth open just to upset this lady, showing off his mouthful of stained (and a couple of missing) teeth. He went to his office and closed his door still chewing the bagel. A minute later, he came out and said “Coffee is now $ 4” and the lady’s problem was solved.
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