3.11.2007

turkish delight

on saturday we had one of the most obnoxious scammers i've ever encountered.
honestly, at first she came across as a sweet elementary school teacher - chatting with us a bit and asking us what coffee roast we recommended. after a couple minutes she decided to buy two pounds of espresso roast.

"can you grind them up real fine for me?" she asked.
"sure, did you want it ground for an espresso maker, or finer than that?" i asked before i opened the bags.
"grind it for turkish." she nodded at me.
and like i always do, i verified the grind with her before i poured the beans into the grinder.

barista buddy gave the woman her total, but she hemmed and hawed until i'd finished grinding the beans. as soon as i handed them to her she re-opened each package and sighed heavily.

"this is the wrong grind!" she frowned.
"you asked for turkish grind," i reminded her.
"no," she shook her head. "i wanted it fine, but not this fine. this is wrong."
barista buddy and i exchanged sour looks, knowing full well we both weren't hard of hearing.
"what did you want them ground for?" i asked, trying to keep my voice pleasant sounding.
"they're espresso beans!" she rolled her eyes. "obviously i want them ground for an espresso maker!"

so i pulled two more pounds of espresso off the display and triple verified that she wanted them ground for espresso.
"forget it," she told me. "just give me the beans and i'll grind them at home."
so barista buddy puts the two pounds of whole beans in a bag for her and again gives her the total.

"these were my beans," she lied. "i brought them from home. i just wanted you to grind them for me."
when she saw we weren't falling for her bull she decided to leave the second set of beans but tried to take the two pounds that were turkish ground.
"ma'am, you have to pay for those." i told her, this time my tone wasn't so pleasant.
"why? you're just going to throw them away anyway." she smiled, like we would somehow ignore the fact that she was trying to scam us.
"you can have them, but you have to pay for them." i told her again.

she spent another thirty seconds trying to convince us to give her the espresso for free. when we wouldn't relent she changed her tactics and began to bitch about our ineptitude and how we owed her an extra two pounds because we were the ones that screwed up.
"i'm never coming here again!" she gave us her parting shot while leaving empty-handed. "you guys are thieves!"

later barista buddy and i concluded she must be suffering from some affliction; her attempt to scam us was too bizarre and drawn out. or maybe she was doing recon for when she and her partner in crime go on a bux scamming spree.
who knows.

customer rant: i pray that you were joking when you said "you clean it!" and tossed a rag at the customer who informed you that the bathroom was dirty. i seriously hope you know the guy, or even that he was an off duty barista - because if he really was a customer i can bet he will be calling the corporate offices to complain.

17 comments:

little miss said...

Wow! I can't believe she was so brazen! You handed her the beans and she immediately claimed that she'd brought them from home!?

Oh, and just a little question, Brat. . . I love to order London Fogs, but when I do, I often get a sour look from baristas. Or, they will say that they can't make that, but they will make a misto. Do you know what that's all about?

melissa said...

That is simply psycho!

Anonymous said...

DH had a print shop customer who pulled that - verified the art work, paper, etc. then claimed the job was wrong. DH dumped the whole thing in the trash and suddenly the job was good enough - until DH told the guy if he wanted to take the job he had to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

What is a London Fog?

Anonymous said...

A London Fog is basically an earl grey tea misto with vanilla syrup.

I would imagine maybe they just don't know what it is, I've been a barista for over a year now and the only reason I know is because a shift told me about it. So I order it as a misto rather than hoping the person at the register knows what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

I always thought a london fog was earl grey with vanilla but steeped entirely in milk, maybe a very small amount of water. i may be mistaken.

Glassmeow said...

Here and I always thought a London Fog was a raincoat :) Hee! That sounds really good. Either version.

Kale Rae said...

Wow. That's a dedicated scammer. Glad to hear the barista's held their ground and didn't give in for the sake of getting rid of the bean-grinding scammer!

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

I've had that happen a bunch of times. Apparently there's this one story of a lady who ordered beautiful wrought iron gates. She had them custom made, bla bla bla. She ended up pretending to cancel the entire order, so they had to scrap these large, oversized, custom gates that they couldn't sell anywhere else. She went to the junkyard, and picked up her gates for $10.

Goes to show how far people will go to save a buck... that, and be rude in the process.

She must've been on something or had some affliction because no one would imagine a trick like that would work, unless the baristas are out to lunch...

jp said...

I would've either fell for the scam, because I'm an idiot like that, or I would've said something to her that would've surely gotten me fired.

I seem to be getting fired from my imaginary job at your store quite often.

Beth said...

I admire the fact that you have yet to go postal.

goodness gracious! said...

i've had a customer try that with change, several times. he bought a cofffee ($1) paid (and did not mention needing change, and then instead of that being the end of the transaction, then asked for change for a $20. I gave him standard change, a 10, a 5, and five 1's, and then he asked for different denominations, and then halfway through me putting the first set on change back and making more, he just said forget about it, so i gave him his 20 back. he looked at some beans and then came back and asked for his 20 (which i had already given him). there had been a long line behind him, and now it was getting longer. the whole time i was getting this wierd vibe from him, from his initial order, and when i told him i'd already given him his 20, he got anxiously abrasive immediately, whereas most customers, if there's a change mishap, are confused or doubtful (like "really? i thought i gave you a 5?"). he's being really insuistent and aggressive, there's a line 10 people deep, so i tell him that i'm sure that i gave him a 20, but if he wants to leave his phone # or email if we are over at the end of the shift, we'll call him, and as soon as i ask for that info, he immediately says forget about it and hightails it out of there. a week later the same thng happened in a cafe a neighborhood over where my freind works. what assholes, to try to steal from a food worker!

Gamestore Girl said...

I'd rather have your type of scammers. All we seem to get are middle eastern people with fake (but appearing and working like real) credit cards buying expensive junk

LadyJane said...

When you get requests from customers to grind beans, is it possible to have them WRITE IT DOWN on a piece of paper so you will have proof when they say they ordered wrong?

Allan said...

I would've given her a straw and a mirror and told her she could keep all the finely ground beans that she could snort.
Would that get me fired?
Maybe JP could find me another imaginary job...

barista brat said...

little miss - she definately was a pill. i've heard of london fogs, but i think they're more of an east coast thing. no one orders them in my part of town.

melissa - you said it!

anonymous - ok, i thought it was bad with the beans, but PRINT WORK!!!! that takes the cake.

anonymous - i'm not quite sure.

anonymous - thanks for the clarification.

anonymous - i'm not sure, either.

glassmeow - i didn't know it was a raincoat, too!

kale rae - yeah, some baristas will do anything to get an annoying customer out the door. but i'd rather be right, haha.

fabulously broke in the city - that is amazing. who thinks up a ruse like that?

jp - haha, but you're too fun to let go!

beth - i'm reserving that for when i win the lotto.

goodness gracious! - good on you. that guy was obviously trying to get some extra cash from you. you were smart not to trust him.

gamestore girl - wow, i wonder how they get the fake cards to work?

ladyjane - we've never really had this problem before (occasionally it will happen, but this was the first time i saw it with a scammer) but if it happens again i'm sure we'll take that step.

allan - haha, too funny!

Not Perfect said...

That's the beauty of the 'bux. You can tell the occasional scammer to go suck a lemon, and not worry about it hurting business, because so many American need their caffeine fix.