Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just a Small, Black Coffee, Please...

What you are about to read could not be made up, exaggerated, or really even tolerated by the average human being. If you get annoyed and want to smack yourself in the forehead, by all means. I know I had to...

Working retail hours is just bundles of fun, but working retail Holiday hours...now there's a good time. So as the evening winds down (meaning only 4 more hours), foot traffic slows, and your need for food and caffeine sky rockets. Naturally, the food takes rank, and 2 of us decide to take a gander down the mall to find something to munch on. As we left, we ever so kindly offered to pick up a small, black coffee for a fellow co-worker. (Foreshadowing)

On our way back from munchies, we strolled in the little coffee shop as if we owned the place, and we were thrilled to see only one customer and her daughter in front of us in line. As we take our places, we continue our small talk, knowing all we needed was a dumb, little cup of coffee.

It was a few minutes before we noticed the non-existent line was not moving. As we look up, we key into what exactly is happening in front of us. I think I wish we hadn't. Mommy and Daughter Dearest in front of us were still ordering. Perhaps for a large group, you ask? NOPE. Just STILL trying to decide what Mother wanted to drink. As I began taking in the conversation between this woman and the 16 year-old behind the counter, it quickly became apparent that this small, black coffee had turned into a field trip to the circus that I never got my permission slip signed for.

Allow me to give you the Reader's Digest Version. (You're welcome.) She is wanting a hot, flavored tea. She is asking about every last detail that you never even knew could be asked. Finally, she asks for just a hot tea, and perhaps they could just put a shot of flavor in it. After asking individually for every flavor in the rainbow, we look up to find the flavors ourselves. If you want to get an idea of where said flavors were, take a moment and look up from your screen and focus your eyes on the CLOSEST THING TO YOUR FACE. So, low and behold, she decides on blueberry. The clerk nicely looks up and says, "Ok, well that is the only one that is actually just flavored blueberry, and there is no need for a shot of flavor." The woman replies, "Hmmm, like how strong is the blend?"

At this point, I wanted to "Tanya Harding" Nancy's ass to the ground and ask her what the hell she wanted, a BAR GRAPH?? Better yet, I hear they can convert tea blends over to the Richter Scale, because I'm sure then you would be able to understand it.

As if this story isn't ridiculous enough, this is where the "I SHIT YOU NOT!!" comes in. At this point her daughter is red faced and embarrassed, and even I can feel the lazor eyes radiating over my shoulder from the now 16 customers in line. This woman looks up at the clerk and says, "Oh, ya know what, Hun? Just gimmie an iced tea." I wish I could relay the tone of voice she used. It was not that of remorse or fluster, but instead she said it with great confidence in her choice. (As if iced tea were invented yesterday.)

I do want to thank this woman though, because a magical thing happened while we were waiting in line for seemingly 3 hours. The clock switched to the happy time at night when that little cup of black coffee goes from .96 cents, to a half-off grand total of .48 cents. But after all of the emotional damage and waste of my life, I would have rather paid 10 fold and been able to pour my small, black coffee into Nancy's tall, flavorless iced tea.

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