centers of the unibux

i've blogged often about customers with entitlement issues.
you know, the ones who think they are allowed to bypass the register partner and order their drink directly from the barista at bar.
the ones who expect you to stop pulling shots, pouring frappuccinos and steaming milk so you can get their venti cup of ice water.
the ones who want you to call every store in your district to find a mug that is on clearance, no matter the fact there is a line out the door.
the ones who think we baristas are slacking at our jobs because we didn't save the last blueberry muffin for them and we should have known to since they didn't come in and get it at 7am.
the ones who want you to remake their drink three times because "oh, i don't know, it just doesn't taste right".
the ones who expect free drinks every time they come in because one time in the distant past a barista was rude to them.

today we had some royal gems as far as entitlement goes:
- since howard now expects every store to run a negative 3% variance to ideal, we are noticeably short handed during the morning rush. in fact, many customers commented on how well we were doing and how they appreciated us obviously working our apron strings off. there was one customer, however, who felt that even though we were busting our butts just to stay afloat, SHE still wanted us to go above and beyond.
"i want a bagel with butter - TOASTED!" she barked as she threw down a hundred dollar bill.
"ma'am, i'm sorry but i don't have enough change in my drawer for that bill. do you have anything smaller?" register partner politely asked.
"no, i don't." said big baller, jutting her chin out. "that means you gotta give me my bagel for FREE."
"uh," register partner surveyed the line and decided it was worth it to give away the bagel. "i guess we can do that for you today."
"and i want it toasted!" big baller stuffed her benjamin in her bra (in her friggen' bra!), "and i want it buttered BEFORE you toast it - with TWO pats of butter on each slice!"
"ok", register partner sighed.
"AND after it's toasted i want you to let it cool down before you put it in the bag so it doesn't get soggy, understand?"
"i understand she's a bitch," register partner whispered to me as she prepped big baller's breakfast.

- a man set up camp in one of our leather chairs. he ordered a frappuccino, a bottle of water, a sandwich and two pastries. he then pulled out his laptop and began surfing the web.
about ten minutes after he'd settled into the chair, a customer came up to mr. split assistant manager and myself.
"excuse me, but i thought you'd like to know that the man over there in the corner is watching porn on his computer and the volume is up high enough so that i could hear it." he told us.
i didn't know whether to gag or laugh. i mean, who does that? who goes to bux to watch porn?
"i'll take care of it. thanks for letting me know." mr. split said before heading into the lobby to talk to mr. happy.
"i'm sorry sir, but we've had a complaint about the nature of what you're watching on your laptop." he awkwardly started. "we don't mind you staying here, but you have to watch things that are appropriate."
"who the hell are you to tell me what to watch?" mr. happy grunted.
"well, we just can't have you viewing explicit content on our grounds."
"i just bought twenty dollars worth of stuff - i can watch whatever the hell i want to!" mr. happy was now getting angry.
"this isn't coming from me -" mr. split assistant manager was getting intimidated. "it was brought to my attention and it's my job to come over here and talk to you. it's not coming from me."
"you gonna refund me my twenty bucks?" mr. no-longer-happy growled. "if you make me stop watching what i'm watching, then you have to give me my money back. i paid for this seat and to use your damn internet!"
"it's not coming from me." mr. split almost whimpered.
apparently this was enough to ruin the mood for mr. happy because he left - without his twenty dollars but with a free drink coupon.

- and there was the woman who expected us to kick out the person occupying the bathroom so that she could use the mirror to re-apply her make-up.
when we informed her that there was no way we would tell someone they had to leave the bathroom before their business was done just because she wanted us to, she then pulled the "well, you HAVE to. i come here every morning for my REFILL and you're supposed to just say yes to your customers!"
"well, i already told they guy in the bathroom 'YES', so you'll have to wait your turn." i responded.
she then took my manager's business card to report me.
gee, i'm so scared.

partner rant: i appreciate your initiative, i really do, but for the love of espresso PLEASE finish a task before you start a new one. yes, i know the trash needed to be changed, and yes the coffee needed to be rebrewed, and yes the pastry case was empty, but what good does it do if you pull out the trash without putting in new bags, empty the urns without starting the rebrew, and opening boxes of coffee cakes without putting them in the case? it does NO good. in fact, it makes the store messier. so please, please, PLEASE finish up a task before heading into the next.


JTN said...

Occasionally when one of my undergrads really really gets under my skin, I look at them really brightly, smile and say in the most sympathetic voice I can muster "I know your mother thinks your special, but to me, you're just one out of 150."

I've also been known to murmur "cattle prods" under my breath alot when the herd gets too much and I have brief lucid day dreams of coralling them.

You have my sympathies.

Hungry Bitch said...

That first bitch: what a fucking bitch.

With Love,
Hungry Bitch

fading in the sun said...

who the hell butters their bagel before toasting it? what a lunatic.

and yes, the sense of entitlement some folks have is absolutely amazing.

Emily said...

That "multi-tasking" issue drives me nuts in my office; if you've started 50 projects but finished NOTHING, that's really not any help to me.

ramblingmom said...

the ones who think they are allowed to bypass the register partner and order their drink directly from the barista at bar

I do that a lot -- I do that whenever the register partner is busy and the barista looks directly at me and says can I get something started for you. But unless I'm asked I assume that the barista is too busy or not yet ready for my order.

Hmmm, maybe that's why I don't get the wrong drink at the other end?? Ya think??

excuse me, but i thought you'd like to know that the man over there in the corner is watching porn on his computer and the volume is up high enough so that i could hear it

THANK YOU Mr. Split. I go into bux with my YOUNG CHILDREN at times (they like the hot chocolate). And while I certainly am not naive enough to think they won't ever be exposed to such things, I don't want it to be at the age that they are, and I do NOT want them to be exposed to that at bux.

Your store has some real winners.

and there was the woman who expected us to kick out the person occupying the bathroom so that she could use the mirror to re-apply her make-up Usually if someone is in the restroom I want them to finish what they went in there for AND wash their hands. I'm just saying. (Unless Mr. Happy is watching videos).

Anonymous said...

I guess I just don't get it. I expect to be waited on with respect and courtesy and I expect to treat those waiting on me the same. But common sense has to come into play at some point. I would have told the bagel woman to go get change and come back, shut off internet access for the porn dipsh!t and the makeup woman, I hope the person ahead of her left it smelling 'fresh'.
I really don't know how you guys do it.

Lisa said...

Fading in the Sun... I butter my bagel before toasting it under the broiler becasue the butter will be evently melted on the bagel and it saturates the bagel a bit more than if you toast it first. It's just a personal preference and I'm pretty sure it doesn't qualify as lunacy. Of course, I don't demand that others prepare my bagel that way; it's strictly an at-home thing.

igneous fatuus said...

Mr. Happy is my hero. I see three of my students in his shoes ten years from now.

Awayuki Hayashi said...

Is this an American thing - behaving horrendously towards customer service personnel? I've never witnessed anything like that over here in England. No overly complicated demands of coffee shops. No watching porn in public (or even reading obscene magazines in public - hell, people even hide page 3 in The Sun). We queue politely and quietly however long it takes.

Come and live over here, Brat! The climate may be horrendous, but clotted cream and jam scones, sponge cake and nice customers will surely make up for it.

Anonymous said...

Porn in public? That is absolutely wrong; I would have lost my temper with him for sure. Porn at home; fine whatever but I don't care how much money you spend it has to be "suitable for all ages"!

John said...

WOW! I would have been tempted to tell the woman who demanded the bagel as free that normally yes, but today you WILL pay for it. And then precede to giver her as many $1s as my drawer could spare.

It always shocks me that people would pay for a $4 drink with a $100. I would never do that to someone. In fact, I apologize if I am paying for it with a $20 at times.

Meghan said...

Wouldn't openly displaying porn in public be considered sexual harassment? If he was watching it with children around, I bet it could even be considered criminal.

Kiz said...

First, what's "negative 3% variance to ideal"? Not all of us speak corporate. I think I know what that means, but I don't quite get the implication.

@Meghan: That would've been a great way to handle it, actually. Instead of bringing up the whole "who are you to tell me what I can't watch?" question, the manager could've said "Because this store also serves minors, we can't allow you to use our internet connection to broadcast material illegal for minors. You can voluntarily change what you're watching, but if you don't then I'll be forced to ask you to leave."

It's better than saying that the complaint isn't coming from him, since it's a legitimate legal reason. Unfortunately, I understand situations like that can get tense, but you might want to forward that idea onto your manager if something like this happens again--if nothing else, it can at least help to calm his nerves if he knows the law is on his side. KF

Colleen said...

Wow, sometimes I apologize for using a $20 for a three dollar drink. I guess I'm not being nearly bitchy enough haha!

Platy said...

I had a customer last night who kept money in their bra. Only thing, it was a dude.

rjha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.