I love the cafe. I really, really do. My coworkers are so much fun, and our customers are pretty awesome too. Well, most of the time.
A woman came in today and I could tell she was a tourist immediately. We get plenty of tourists, and usually our largest problem exists in trying to translate what they want. This woman was different. Horrid tank top, fanny pack (really? they still have those?) and walked right over to me. “Get me a gelato,” she demanded. I try to ask her which of our twelve flavors and three sizes she would like and she rolls her eyes. “Let me use your phone, I gotta call my husband to figure out what he wants.” I explain to her that according to policy I’m not allowed to let a customer use it, with the exception of an emergency. I tell her that the front desk would be happy to let her use theirs. “You gotta be fucking kidding me. This is ridiculous,” she says. And then she proceeds to pull a cell phone out of her fanny pack.
She walks away and I can hear her on the phone talking badly about me. Hi, the hallway is ten feet away. And also, your voice echoes off of the walls. When she comes back in, she demands food again. “Get me a gelatto, a piece of strawberry shortcake, and two sodas.” I tell her that she can get the sodas out of the case while I get the rest of her food. “No, you can get it,” she responds. At this point I am violent. I am imagining stabbing her with my cake knife. Everything from here on out was degrading. “Gimme more gelatto,” she says when I hand her a large gelatto. I explain to her that we weigh them out to a specific weight and that hers was already about the standard large. “Well then, get me a top for this.” I am already whimpering as I tell her that we don’t have tops for the gelattos. “You gotta be fucking kidding me. I’m paying seven fucking dollars for ice cream, you can get me a top. Figure it out, you’re smart enough to work at a cafe, aren’t you?” Her voice has the most derisive, degrading tone to it.
I get her food packed for her and hand it to her without saying another word. She stalks over to the register where my coworker Amy is ringing someone up. I can’t hear what she’s saying, but a few moments later Amy walks over with her eyes wide. She starts laughing, and says “That evil bitch asked for the manager, said that you were rude to her and that your service was shitty. She also asked for your name, and that she was going to speak to the hotel manager about it. She also asked for the food to be free. The best part? I told her that your name was Jill.”
I never expected anyone from the hotel to come talk to me. Afterall, they all know me and they know that her description of me doesn’t fit. Even better was a man, who had watched the entire bit go down, offer to go to the hotel management too and tell them that I was wonderful. He then threw down a five dollar tip and a smile. He absolutely made my day, in the aftermath of such a brutal customer.
I think it all boils down to the fact that there is such a misconception about people working jobs like this. They don’t understand that I’m working a full time job and a coaching job, as well as going to college full time. They seem to have this notion that you have to be a college drop out to have a job like this. Some of the people that I serve don’t understand that I’m going to have a Masters by the age of 22. They think a job like this is so simple, so undemanding. It really is frustrating.