Clink. Clink. Clink.
The steady sound of dishes knocking against each other in the background put me into some form of a trance that was quickly interrupted with a squeaky, high-pitched, “Excuse me, Miss.”
Snapped out of my weird form of meditation I turned my attention away from the espresso machine and to a tiny, frail looking woman nearly shaking at the register. I grabbed a rag and as I wiped coffee grounds from my chafed hands I felt my lips form into the best customer service smile I could manage. “Yes? What can I help ya with?”
This was the moment that this woman’s attitude was not as delicate as her stature. “Hi, yes earlier I asked for a large Americano and I received this.” She confidently gestured to the cup that she had set in front of her. I took a few moments to take in the situation trying to decide how to respond.
“Okay…” I give another smile, meeker this time, “and what is the problem with it?”
The woman let out a tremendous sigh as a pregame to her response. “Do I really have to explain this to you?” Her eyes rolled with annoyance. Now if you are wondering why I had no idea what was wrong, when she was implying that the cup’s presence clearly spoke for itself. It’s because I was looking at the Americano I had personally prepared in our facilities largest cup we carried. So I responded with all I could think could possibly have been a mistake.
“Oh, did you want it iced?”
“Mmm, no? Did I say I wanted it iced? I said I wanted it large.”
Ah, okay, so we got a customer unfamiliar with our sizes…got it.
“Well, ma’am, that is the largest size we offer. So, is there anything else I can help make you feel more taken care of?” As the words finish filing out of my lips I can see her mouth twitch. Ope, I’ve done it this time.
“You could get me a manager.” She smirked. I don’t know what exactly she though a manager could do about our large cup not being large enough…but she seemed confident. After a small smile and a nod I headed to the back, leaving her and her smirk at the counter. I stepped through the back swinging door into the back of the kitchen/ dish pit area.
“You look you are having a good time.” Our dishwasher, Reggie had a huge smile with a gap in the front, plastered to his face.
“Oh yeah, customer wants to talk to the manager.” My lips split into a grin. “Can’t wait to see her face when I walk back out there and I am the manager.”
Reggie let out a belly deep laugh. “Best manager we could ask for.”
“Thanks, Reg. Since you are such a kiss-ass, when you finish those dishes you can head out and take the muffins that expire today. Say hi to to Marc for me.”
“Will do. Thanks boss. Good luck with that one out there.” he gestured out towards where the customer awaited through the door.
“Oh thank you, I’ll need it.” I let out a slight chuckle as I pushed back through door. “Alright Miss, heard you were looking for the manager. What can I help you with.”
The woman looked dumbfounded. Beautiful. “Is this a joke?”
“No, ma’am. I am the manager. So, like I said that is the largest hot drink we sell. If you would like to buy another to have more you are more than welcome to, or if I can get you anything else I am happy to help.” I assumed my position at the register awaiting her response.
Flustered, she huffed, seeming to give in to the reality of her cup size. A problem many women deal with, I’m sure.”