Just Wow


I would like to begin by stating for the record that I am not exaggerating when I say this may be the strangest encounter I’ve ever had with a customer. I only hope I can do it justice here.

Working nights is a lot different from working the morning shift. For one thing, it’s a lot slower at night. And the freaks come out at night, apparently.

About a half hour before closing, my supervisor and coworker saw this chick pull up and get out of her car. Apparently they’d interacted with her before, as they suddenly got pretty weirded out. I looked up just in time to see her do an odd little side-to-side move in front of the door, as if she were dodging several people. Except she was the only one there. She finally made it into the store and stopped in her tracks about halfway between the door and the register. Something she was carrying was making a lot of noise–it might have been her phone with a truly awful ringtone, or it might have been one of these:

Transistor Radio

It's like an iPOD, but someone else chooses the songs. And there are commercials. And it sounds like crap.

After she silenced the thing, she stood there, swaying slightly with her eyes closed, as if she were meditating on her next move. Or maybe she was still hearing the song that was playing on her radio/phone/whatever.  A minute or so later, she scampered down the hall to the restrooms. Yes. Scampered. My coworkers looked at me like “Did you just see that?” and all I could think of was “Well, maybe she had to go really bad, and that was like the pee-pee dance in motion?”

Several minutes passed before she came back out. She approached the register. The first thing I noticed was the loose tank top she was wearing, slung off to the side to expose an ill-fitting bustier that appeared at least a couple of sizes too big for her breasts. Which resulted not in pushed up boobs and cleavage, rather boobs that sort of floated behind the rigid cups of the bustier. In short, not really sexy. Not that sexy is what I’m after in a customer, but if you’re gonna wear a bustier under your tank top, at least make sure it fits. Note: I was going to provide images to illustrate, but got distracted when I googled “bustier.” I’m sure you can understand.

Wardrobe issues aside, the other thing I noticed was that she looked wasted. And not in the slightly sexy way you’re likely to find if you google “stoned chicks.” No, she was out of it in a way that suggested she was not at her best in life. I should point out here that I have no problem with recreational drug use. What you do in the privacy of your home is your business. But if you come into my store high as fuck, I can’t be held responsible for finding sadness and/or humor in your situation.

Me: “So, hey. What would you like tonight?”

Trainwreck (swaying slightly again, eyes closed): “Ummmmmm…. Okay… Okay. Yeah… So, I’ll…. have… an… a… one of your blended icy thingies…”

Me: “Okay, what size.”

Trainwreck: “Okay… and a ummm… oh. Um… a small one… yeah. Small. Yeah… And I want a, um… iced white… white mocha whatever… iced, yeah…”

Me (trying desperately not to laugh as both my coworkers escaped into the safety of the back room): “Got it, anything else?”

At this point she looked pretty distressed, like she’d messed up the order or forgotten something, or both. And to make matters worse, another customer had arrived.

Trainwreck: “Uhhhhmmm, I think… no, wait. What? No…wait, okay hold on… Okay, can you put me on hold while I figure it out? Help those guys…” And then she ambled away, possibly to receive instructions from the Mothership.

After I helped the other customers, she came back and we went through the first part again, to make sure we had it right. Then she ordered a hot drink, her own, which went pretty smoothly. The last drink, which ended up being another “iced white mocha whatever” was a little more difficult.

Trainwreck: “Okay, so… yeah, okay, so umm… a white moch… mocha thing, but… agh! does he want whipped cream? I don’t know… umm… ugh!” I was a little concerned that she was putting too much pressure on herself, so I suggested “maybe a little?” but she wasn’t really hearing me. She continued fretting about it: “I just want to make him happy, you know?  Argh! I don’t… I don’t know…” She spread her arms, palms up and tilted her face up to the ceiling, eyes closed. “God? What do you think?”

Yes. Really. I am not making this up. Or this: After a few seconds of waiting, and apparently not getting an answer, she cupped her hand behind her ears. “Come on… come on… Okay, good. Thank you… Yes, put whipped cream on it.”

At this point I thought I’d seen and heard everything I could that would surprise me. Naturally, I was wrong:

“I need to get a bank account.” (waves a wad of $20 bills around) “It’s not safe to have this much cash, you know.”

No, it’s not.

“I used to be a dancer. I would walk into the club with $700. $1000. Nobody ever bothered me. I’m kind of intimidating. Do I seem intimidating to you?”

No, you really don’t.

“Agh! I’m so tired. I have sleep apnea, you know. People think I’m on drugs, but I’m not. I have never done drugs. Except one time when I was 13 I smoked pot and I was all like (makes a face with her tongue hanging out) on the couch.”

Oh. Huh.

“I’m wasting your time, aren’t I?”

No, are you kidding? You’re writing tonight’s blog post.

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Filed under *The Coffee Shop Days*, Just Wow, Oh The Humanity!

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