Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The "fun" of working customer service

I work at the cash register for a national doughnut store chain. Most of the time when people finish ordering, they then move to the other side of the counter to pick up their food and drinks. This works well when there are two people at cash (one taking orders and one making drinks) but when it's just me it can get a little awkward. Often the next customer will come up wanting to place an order immediately but I've still got three drinks to make and doughnuts to pick up. And, depending on the time of day, I might have to make a sandwich too.

Today was no exception. I got an order for several fancier drinks (including flavourings, whipped cream, and a blender) plus some food items. That was when an older gentleman came up to the cash register and announced, with a heavy accent, "Egg salad. Egg salad and coffee".

I smiled and said, "I'll be with you in a minute sir, I'm serving another customer."

He repeated himself, "Egg salad and coffee."

I repeated myself and again was told, "Egg salad."

I thought for a minute. I could argue with him or I could ring in the egg salad sandwich, hope that someone popped onto the sandwich counter to make it while I made the drinks, then I could come back and finish his order.

So I went to the cash and said, "Is this for here or to go?"

He just smiled.

Scratch that. "Would you like your sandwich on white or whole wheat?"

Same smile. He gave no indication he knew what I was saying. Okay, white non-toasted bun it is. Keyed that into the cash register.

"What size coffee would you like sir?"

Same smile. Fine. Medium black. I can put some creams on the counter for him with the sandwich.

I held up one finger and said "Just a minute sir, I need to help the other customers."

This time he added a nod to his smile.

I made the drinks and went back to the cash register. I read the total amount to him and he handed me a fistful of change. I counted the change out and he had $1.85. A sandwich and a medium drink came to $4.90.

"I'm sorry sir," I explained. "This isn't enough money for a sandwich."

That was when he looked at me and clearly said, "I don't want a sandwich. I want an extra-large black coffee." His accent faded dramatically.

Thankfully no one had made his sandwich and I hadn't poured the coffee yet. If that's his idea of a hobby, I suggest needle point. If it's his idea of a joke, I suggest getting a book on elephant jokes out of the library. Pretending not to speak English just to confuse the cashier is bizarre.

Shortly after that I had an 80 something year old man try to pick me up. His parting words when I turned him down were, "Now don't you try and pretend I never offered." Sorry sir, but I'd much rather pretend this never happened at all.

I don't know when the full moon is, but from the behaviour today I would have sworn it was tonight. My sister assured me it's not and, thanks to Google, it's apparently not until the 12th at 2pm (which was more specific than what I was looking for but still interesting to know).

And woo hoo... I've got tomorrow off. I got asked if I wanted to work but it's my Mom's 65th birthday today (happy birthday Mom!) and my Dad splurged for a spa package for my Mom, my sisters and I for tomorrow. Sorry work, I'm too busy getting pampered tomorrow to come in for you! I figure I'll spend tomorrow morning writing and tomorrow afternoon getting pampered.

A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook today. Thanks to my daughter, I now know it's by ironydesigns.com. It speaks to me and I'm sure my friends can relate to it as well! Thanks, Wanda, for putting it up on your wall.


  1. it says trendydesign.com at the bottom
    i think

  2. Your guess is as good as mine... or maybe as bad as mine as "trendydesign.com" doesn't exist.

  3. http://www.ironydesign.com/store/index.cgi/funnysayings.ironydesigns.4181857+best-friends.html

    you're quite welcome. :P
    (I figured out it said ironydesign.com THEN went on the website to back it up)