the only thing worse than activating a billion gift cards right before christmas is having every customer use them to purchase coffee the day after.
the cards are supposed to make the process easier for both the customer and the register partner, but often times the transaction takes longer. throughout the day our system will go offline which forces us to redial over and over, or the computers will show their age and take forever to process the cards.
but let's not forget the human component: those customers who have no idea how much is on their card will hold up the line while they look for spare change to cover the cost of their drink, as well as the customers who try and spend the entire amount of their card in one sitting and will add random items one after the other until the card is empty.
and of course there are the customers who demand we give them cash value for their unwanted gift cards. somehow they think that if they give us a big enough sob story, we'll break down and hand over the cash.
so not going to happen.
today i heard everything from "my car needs a new engine" to "i need money to get into rehab". but my personal favorite was this one: "i really need the cash - this isn't even my card. i stole it from my uncle".
a couple of customers even tried to toss their cards in our tip jar and take out the cash equivalent though, of course, none were successful.
it was nice, however, to hear customers lament that there was no way to tip us with their cards - and even nicer when they dug through their wallets to toss a dollar into our tip jar.
barista rant: yes, i know christmas is over. yes, i realize we still have a ton of christmas merchandise. yes, i know that even though it is all marked down there is still an abundance, but that doesn't mean you can demand i give you an extra 50% off. and trust me, phrases like "well, you should just give it to me for free since it's the day after christmas!" will only make me want to raise the price.
*barista rave*: thank you all for your comments to the last post! it was my favorite christmas gift by far.