dearest readers -
once again i must apologize for my lack of updates. i can promise, however, that by july i should have more time to blog.
so many things have happened at bux in the past couple weeks, and i have SEVERAL stories with which to regale you, but i think today i must focus on an even that happened this past weekend.
now you might recall my post about our infamous scammers – mr. and mrs. moocher. well, since their scam was no longer working at my bux they decided to “patronize” the other bux’ in my district. apparently they’ve been quite successful because it had been several weeks since they’d made an appearance in my store.
last week, though, i was informed of a mrs. moocher sighting. apparently her husband now waits in the car while she tries to pay only eighty cents for two grande drips, two venti ice waters and two empty cups (that she fills with milk from the condiment bar). so when she came in on one of my shifts, i was ready to (once again) inform her of our refill policy and charge her the correct amount.
what i wasn’t ready for, however, was the verbal lashing she had well-rehearsed just for my benefit.
“brat!” she pointed at me after a fellow barista had called me out of the backroom. “i have a bone to pick with you.”
“with me?” i asked with a smile. honestly i had no clue as to what her problem was, but i was amused nonetheless.
“yes, you!” she gently pounded her aged fist on the counter. “you have mortally offended me!”
i guess i didn’t give her the reaction she wanted because she repeated twice more that i had “mortally offended” her. it took every ounce of self control to keep from chuckling because i kept thinking “hey, if i ‘mortally offended’ you, then shouldn’t you be dead?”.
“brat, i always liked you,” she lied, “and i never, ever had a problem with you,” she continued to lie, “but now i am so upset that i don’t even think i want to buy coffee from you anymore!”
to my credit i was nice and did not flippantly remind her that she barely “pays” for coffee in the first place, nor did i inform her that i would in fact be quite content if she chose to no longer try and run her scam on me.
“it has been several weeks since i’ve even been here, you know, and i’m so, so upset because i’m so offended.” she rattled semi-cohenrently. “you know, we don’t always come to this store – sometimes we go to other starbucks. we are very loyal customers, you know.”
“yeah, i’ve seen you at other stores before.” i answered evenly – still not sure of what i had done to “mortally offend” her.
“well, we went to a different starbucks, and before i even ordered my coffee the boy working there said to me, ‘i know who you are. you always try to get things for free – brat at the other store warned me about you.’ and i was so upset and embarrassed!”
now i was surprised for a couple of reasons. first, it seemed odd to me that someone at another store would just come out and tell mrs. moocher that they had been warned about her. secondly, what would make mrs. moocher think baristas WEREN’T talking about her and her scamming husband?
“well, i’m sorry if you were offended –”
“mortally offended!” mrs. moocher interrupted me. “he named you specifically! i was so hurt that you would spread lies about me to someone i’ve never even met before!”
“first off, i have no idea who you’re talking about.” i told her honestly. “and how can you be sure he was telling you the truth?”
“but he named you specifically! he said YOU warned him about ME!” she cried out while shaking her empty coffee cup. “not only that, he got in trouble with his manager because he refused to give me my discount.”
“listen," i told her evenly and calmly. "we get in trouble if we don’t follow policy. i'm only doing my job when i charge you for your grande drips. there's no reason to be offended because i've done my job and another barista happens to know that."
"YOU listen," she pointed her finger at me. "what YOU should be concerned about is whether someone comes in with a gun and shoots you dead. or if they jump over the counter and rob you! you should NOT be so concerned with how much i pay for my coffee!"
"it's true," i conceded before launching into my own tirade. "being robbed is a huge concern, however that doesn't mean i completely ignore policy and let you pay whatever you want just because i don't want to be shot!"
"well, i would never expect you to not do your job." she said in a tone that was part sarcastic and part complimentary. "let's just say this: let's start fresh next time i come in. you have apologized and i accept your apology. perhaps we can forget all this ever happened." she offered before leaving (WITHOUT her two forty cent refills, i must add).
my fellow baristas had a good laugh about my tongue-lashing, their favorite quote now being "brat, you have mortally offended me!".
but the best part of the story hasn't even been told yet!
a few days after mrs. moocher chewed me out, one of my favorite baristas ever came into my bux. he and i used to work together quite often before he was transferred to the bux across town.
"hey brat!" he called out before giving me a hug. "you'll never believe who showed up at my store - mrs. moocher!"
i laughed and began to fill him in on me having 'mortally offended' her, but he interrupted me.
"what a liar!" he shook his head. "she came in and tried to run her scam on me, but i told her 'hey - i know who you are! you used to come into my old store all the time and try to get freebies and discounted drinks.' she tried to deny it until i said 'lady - i worked with brat at the other store. i was there when she told you that you had to pay regular price - so don't think just because i'm at a different store that i'm gonna forget to charge you correctly'."
now i can't wait for mrs. moocher to come back to my store. i have a feeling that she'll be quite disappointed that i'm not so willing to "start fresh".
customer rant: please, please, please let me know if you are out of iced coffee! pouring hot coffee over ice cubes is NOT the same beverage at all! especially DON'T pull this stunt with me since i work with you! if anyone can taste the difference, it's a fellow barista - and if anyone should know better it's the baristas i work with.