Friday, June 30, 2006

The bad with the good

In all, yesterday was a great day at work. Met some interesting people, talked to more customers about the developing book club, and of course made some excellent drinks. There are a few customers I'm going to go into more detail about. Three annoying customers and one awesome customer. I'll start with the annoying ones, so I can end on a good note.

1. The lady who corrected my grammar
This woman was totally cool at first. She, her husband, and her son came in and ordered their drinks. Then, she mentioned something about going to the Starbucks at Barnes and Noble and how she had an unfortunate experience there. So I explained that those Starbucks aren't technically "real" Starbucks. They're called licensed stores, which means they can use the name, but the employees don't actually work for Starbucks, they don't have the same rigorous training, and their standards aren't quite as rigid. At one point, towards the end of my explanation, while I was getting their change and was a tad distracted, I said, "They don't have the same training as us." She immediately jumped in, loudly, with, "You mean we. They don't have the same training as we. It's WE." This woman corrected my grammar, like I'm an imbecile. No, I don't expect her to know that I was a college english teacher for a few years and that after that, I was an editor. But, even without that knowledge, what kind of asshole would say that to a total adult stranger? YES, I realize that she is correct in that I should have said 'we' rather than 'us.' But for god's sake, I was counting back her change, not writing an essay. What a bitch.

2. The lady who thinks she's further to the left than I am
The only thing that could offend me more than someone correcting my grammar is someone who accuses me of being further to the right, politically speaking, then they are. I'm always further left than the person I'm talking to!! Doesn't everyone know that by now??!! ;)

So this other woman came in, ordered a drink, then started drilling me with questions about various Starbucks corporate policies and how the company works with their growers, etc. She was looking for ways to prove that Starbucks is unethical and immoral, and that I personally have no philosophical, ethical, political, or social awareness since I work for Starbucks. I answered her questions to the best of my ability, though of course I don't know every detail down to exact numbers. I do know, however, that I would not be working for a company that didn't uphold extremely high ethical standards. I told her this and she snorted. See, I researched all this before I even applied for this job. I'm the one who would rather cut my own foot off than spend one penny at Wal-Mart. And I haven't shopped at JC Penny's since they started that hideously chauvinist ad campaign years ago with the frazzled, retarded looking father, glaring at his son, saying, "Where is your mother?" as if he hates to "babysit" his own kid, and then they show the wife/mother running around JC Penny's in an orgasmic state, as if the second she has any time to herself, all she wants to do is go shopping. And don't even get me started on Sprint, the Fox network, or the auto industry.

Anyway, when I couldn't provide all the information she wanted, she looked at me like I work for the Bush administration or something equally disgusting, said something about how she can't believe she's a "social anarchist" and is "standing in a place like Starbucks," and then stormed out. I should note, however, that she took her drink and sat peacefully at one of our sidewalk tables for a couple hours having what looked like a lovely conversation with a friend. Apparently, she's not above that.

3. Guy who tried to break a $100 bill
Not much to this one. He came in and bought a $1.80 cup of coffee and wanted to pay with a hundred. We don't typically allow that, though if we happen to have the cash in our drawers at the time, we can occasionally make an exception. I had enough, technically speaking, but it would have left me with no twenties or tens, and very few fives. So I asked him if he had anything smaller, and he glared and said, "No, of course not. Why wouldn't someone be able to make that kind of change?" So I went ahead and took it, giving back most of my bills higher than singles. I don't care about that so much as his attitude. What an ass.

4. My wonderful new friend
I've made friends with an awesome older woman, probably in her mid-sixties, named Henni. She comes in every day for an iced mocha and is always reading a different book. So we have a running conversation about literature, and wow is this woman well-read. Since I've been reading Jude the Obscure, we've talked a lot about Thomas Hardy, who she also loves. But I'm beginning to think she's read everything ever published....and has read libraries of criticism about it all, too. Yesterday, she came by when I happened to be sitting at an outside table on my lunch break, so she sat down and we had a great conversation. She's super damn smart, has been all over the world, and feels the same ambiguity towards this town that I she totally relates to some of my current frustrations about living here. Fortunately, I snagged her for the book club, about which she is terribly excited. Talking to Henni makes me happy.

So that was my day in a nutshell. People are funny.


At June 30, 2006 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe some complete stranger corrected your grammar. To me that is just pure rudeness!

At July 01, 2006 1:22 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. I hate when people do that, because it's just their way of assuming they are smarter than any stranger they encounter. And she acted like she was doing some noble duty by it. That's ok, as I'm sure I could tear her to pieces in a discussion on literary criticism or something similar. We'll see who's so freaking smart then! HA! And there's no way she could make a better latte than I can.

At July 01, 2006 2:20 AM, Anonymous JH said...

My mom does the same damn thing to me. I hate it. I tell her, loosen up and live a little. My poor verbal grammar doesn't change the essence of my statement. She assures me it makes me look stupid. I disagree.


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