The Reason Sarcasm is now banned from WaWa.
*Disclaimer: The specific Starbucks employee mentioned was fired the next day. Oops.
Moving on....I happen to be a very easy going person. I don't ask for
much, in fact most of the time I don't really try and have a
conversation with people at all. The sound of people weeping gets on
my nerves and seems to follow me around any day I feel chatty. However,
this particular day all I wanted was a simple coffee. I like coffee.
Coffee likes me. We get along great, as long as no one tries to
converse with either of us until we get together for our morning
ritual. I either hit my usual Wawa (where the coffee is usually made with the
tender loving care of other religious coffee drinkers) or, if I'm feeling spendy,
I will hit the Starbucks, which is along the same route to work.
Well, on this particular day, I had to take a different path than I usually do, so I stopped at a relatively new Wawa in my area. Used to the good quality
brew I find at this franchise, I made my black, lightly sweet, cup of coffee,
and took my place in the check out line queue. Some of you are groaning right now. He hasn't paid for it yet, why is he drinking it already? Well, frankly, I made my cup of Joe all by myself, just the way I like it. I may not have filled the water reservoir, or scooped the grounds into the filter, but I poured the resulting liquid smile into the cup, added just the right amount of sugar, and stirred till the granules dissolved. They aren't going to put it back in the pot at this point, are they?
No, of course not. So, logically, standing at the counter waiting to check out is the perfect place to take the edge my early morning stabbie feelings. Two birds, one stone, and all that. Normally, this action would have resulted in a deep, throaty groan, closed eyes, and a small smile. On this day, however, I gagged. You can imagine my disappointment to discover the coffee was ice cold, and at a closer glance had black flakes of something floating in it. Please don't get me wrong, I enjoy a delicious glass of
iced coffee as much as any other addict. Floaties though? Not so much.
I know, it was probably just burned coffee from a pot left on the warmer too long, no biggie right? Well, to me, it most certainly IS a biggie. You see, I come from a long line of coffeinds.We are a rare breed of human who require the achingly sweet embrace of caffeine on a daily basis to ward off a murderous demon that resides deep within us. This demon, if not appeased, makes my normal sarcastic self seem like Bob Hope
in a Christmas special, with Jerry's kids, Santa Clause, and 6000 Puppies thrown in for that extra "if I wasn’t sure I wanted to kill myself before" effect.
We like our coffee hot, fresh, and not burned.
I started to walk back to dump out my cup, and try and find a fresh pot
of hot coffee. Before I could, some clerk, who will be forever known to me as dick face lumpy chins, stopped me and declared in a nasally power mad voice, "You drank from that CUP!!!".
Now, with the entire store staring at us, and the other coffee loving patrons
staring at me like I had something wrong with me, I explained to the
clerk that I had all intentions of purchasing said cup of coffee until
I realized they must have used frozen piss to make this batch of
coffee and I was going to go back to find a decent cup of coffee from
their plethora of coffee dispensers and then purchase a cup when and if I
found one. At this point the other patrons began to try theirs, and
several looks of disgust ruled out the Hazelnut, Irish cream, and
Jamaican Blend from the options available to me. As the clerk
berated me for about 2 minutes for abusing the serve yourself kindness of his establishment, I watched as several future customers set their coffee cups on the counter and left. I pointed to the counter then to the clerk and said. "Your service sucks, your coffee sucks, and now everyone who is in here knows it too." I handed him my cup of coffee and left.
Luckily there is a Starbucks down the road. Well, at least usually that
is a good thing. While waiting in line at the drive through window,
the common thing to do is listen to music and think about what you are
going to order. The person in front me however felt the need to yell.
I assume her screams of anger were at a person on the other end of a
cell phone although she had no cell phone in hand, no kids in the
backseat and no passenger, unless they happened to be invisible. I
suppose she could be an actor, and any play with that kind of language
is going to be high on my must watch list, but I doubted it. So with
the drama unfolding before me we crept slowly in the manufactured
circle of service around the Starbucks. The screamer pleasantly
ordered something with too many names to be called a coffee, and I
ordered my usual heart bursting caffeine overload. When I finally
reached the window, I paid for the white and green cup, and waited for them to finish making my coffee. The clerk who took my money set my cup of coffee on the little metal counter just inside the window. I knew it was my cup because the espresso box was marked with a number 6, followed by 3 question marks.
And then she left. Walked away. Leaving my cup of coffee all by itself,
alone, without handing it out the window to me. There sat my hot
cup of coffee, slowly getting colder, kept from me by only a glass and
metal frame. That was locked by the way! I tried to open it but it
About 2 minutes later I noticed the woman working the drive through window was standing at the corner having a cigarette, and talking on her cell phone. And there I sat. So I did the only thing I deemed to be the least violent, much to the chagrin of my inner demon, who would’ve preferred I smashed the drive through window and retrieve my cup of coffee. I got out of my truck, locked the doors, and went in to talk to the manager. About the time I got inside they were all asking about the truck sitting in the drive through. I explained that it was mine and I had been forced to stare at my coffee sitting in the window in front of me for the last five minutes without bothering to hand it to me before she took a smoke break out behind the Starbucks. I think I went on for a little while because I blacked out with rage at this point and found myself walking back to my truck with a gift card and a fresh cup of coffee in hand. So there I was, a fresh cup of coffee in hand, and more free cups to come in the future, walking past the clerk who had snubbed and forgotten me. Well, obviously, there was only one thing to do. I got in my truck, rolled down my window and drove up to where she was.
I poured my coffee on the ground about where her feet were and drove
next door to Dunkin’ Donuts and got a cup of coffee there.
I have not been back to the WaWa. However, the manager of the Starbucks remembered me, apologized again and gave me another free cup of coffee. Cool guy, he also fired the clerk. That's justice, and the Sarcasm Way.
So remember, Customer service is not dead, with the appropriate amount
of rage it comes back rather quickly, with bonus prizes.