Some days are just bad days. Or rather, bad shifts. When you get the Friday afternoon, usually you don’t mind because your brain goes ‘ooh, Friday! It’s almost the weekend!’ Except when you actually get to the Friday afternoon, you realise that you were once again duped by your own excitement.
Friday afternoons suck. Mostly because the local school gets out early and we have pre-teens demanding frappuccinos and paying for them in ten pence pieces, but sometimes purely because people are dickheads.
An example of such dickheadery in the Friday rush is below:
Nice Old Gent: Hello, lads and ladies, I would like a medium Americano with a dash of milk, and the lady would like a cup of hot water, please.
Barista: Really, really sorry but we can’t serve hot water.
Nice Old Gent: Really? (We expect a sudden meltdown)
Barista: I know it seems stupid, but it’s company policy now.
Nice Old Gent: (long, terrifying pause)…Okay! No problem, I’ll just go see what else she wants.
He dashes off and we breathe a sigh of relief. An easy, understanding customer who is willing to compromise despite our pretty silly but justified policy? (The same as last week, you can see why we have this policy here.)
Except a lady suddenly bustles in and starts screaming drink orders left, right and centre, so my colleague starts writing them down on cups for me to make. Then the Nice Old Gent comes back, so my colleague asks if the lady could wait one moment whilst he finishes this other transaction. Holy shit did we not expect this.
Big Mouthed Cow: Why didn’t you TELL me there was someone in front of me? YOU PEOPLE always do this! I can’t ABIDE bad service, I just can’t abide it. That’s just me, you know? That’s something that just gets to me. You could have told me to wait, and then served him, and now you’ve made HIM uncomfortable. I just can’t DEAL with this TERRIBLE SERVICE. ALL THE TIME. I just CAN’T ABIDE IT. I CAN’T.
Wow, well someone has a word of the day calendar, don’t they? Or they just saw The Big Lebowski for the first time. In which case, they should be more relaxed. The Dude abides.
Whilst I begin loudly humming Christmas carols and saying THANK YOU SO MUCH to every customer who walks by, just to release the aggression, the Nice Old Gent comes around.
Nice Old Gent: So you really can’t serve hot water?
Me: No, I know it’s really stupid because we can serve tea, but it’s a new policy. Someone ordered hot water and then threw it in a barista’s face. She was scalded so we can’t give it out anymore.
Nice Old Gent: That’s so terrible! I completely understand! (How fucking NICE is this guy?!)
Nice Old Gent then leans in and whispers: I’d be bloody careful if I were you, love. That harpy behind me looks like the water-throwing type!
I then hand him his drink, he thanks me, then looks a bit scared.
Nice Old Gent: It’s definitely mine, isn’t it love? I’d hate to have taken hers, pretty sure she’d tackle me to the ground!
Oh sweet lord, you lovely, lovely man! You’re a wonderful human being who has transported me from that bitter sick feeling in my stomach to the understanding that all is right with the world! Merry Bloody Christmas, everyone!
So Can’t Abide comes around (and although I know it’s petty, she looked like what my favourite movie reviewer calls ‘A Big-Lipped Alligator Moment’) and starts on at me. She’s also ordered a fucking Eggnog Latte, one of the most annoying drinks in the world, due to the fact that it’s chemical structure is heavier, and therefore is difficult to aerate, and thus makes A FUCKING LOUD NOISE. Much like the woman who wants to drink it. She then asks for it to be half soya. If I didn’t know she was a tool before, I do now. Mixing egg and bean milk with extra-hot decaf espresso. Fuck right off.
Me and my colleague then just stared in awe, unable to even find the words beyond sounds like ‘garble garble what the fuck?’
We then have about sixty-seconds of pure, beautiful peace, in which we find the innermost strength, deep down in the depths of our souls, fuelled by beauty, love and caffeine, to forgive the rude bitch. It’s Friday, it’s close to Christmas. She’s probably one day soon going to be found dead in her flat, slowly being eaten by her underfed chihuahua. And that, my friends, is what we call JUSTICE.
But she breaks this ‘goodwill to all coffee-drinkers’ thing we had going by walking up, pausing in the middle of the store and pointing at me.
‘YOU! We’ve spilled some apple juice on the floor. Come and clean it up.’
Of course madam. Of course. Of fucking course, you pretentious arsehole with an inability to think of anything but yourself. I would LOVE to get down on my hands and knees whilst your children kick me in the face and call me ‘cleany lady’ whilst you suggest that perhaps I should get a mop. I suggest you get a personality transplant, toot suite.
(I know, I know. Cleaning up after clumsy children and lazy adults is my job. I do it willingly. But most people, especially mothers, tend to at least apologise, or try and wipe up a bit of the mess themselves. But if you told her that she would clearly reply: ‘Well, she’s getting PAID for it, ISN’T SHE?’ Which is a fair enough point for the Dragon Lady to make.)
So what can I say about all this except that it’s a standard Friday in December? Well, if I was smart I would have said the exact perfect thing in response:
Her: I can’t ABIDE bad service.
Me: Well, I can’t ABIDE people who treat those in the service industry like shit just to make themselves feel better about their empty, meaningless and ultimately lonely little lives…And adding soya to your Eggnog adds just as much fat, so enjoy wobbling around the sales, MADAM!
...Ehem, Happy Holidays....? Everyone! (Well, almost everyone. You know who you are.)