“I would like a large Muddy Tiger, but, this time, with no milk added to the espresso. Thanks.”
That’s how it started, with what would be an otherwise innocuous sentence leading off an exchange that was largely confrontational, all for a single reason: wanting to be right.
Before we begin though, for those who don’t know: a Muddy Tiger is the name we, and a couple of other shops, have given, to a chocolate milkshake with espresso added into it. Pretty simple, nothing complicated there, but it’s a very popular drink that we have (that and the other milkshakes we make) and a lot of people come here specifically to get them.
Also–this is largely a rant of an interaction I had today. There’s isn’t much of a structure or a point to it. I’m just talking and saying things.
The couple walks in–they’re kind, they’re normal. Not abrasive, not demanding, they just walk up to the counter and smile, waiting for me to say “Hey. How’re you doing?” so they could answer, “Hey! We’re good!” And start to order.
She gets a medium cup of coffee and he orders the Muddy Tiger. She says what I put up top and he just nods in silent agreement.
Interjection: if you’ve ever had a milkshake before, that top line doesn’t make too much sense. A milkshake with no milk? Why? What is it then? Sure, you could just use the espresso to water it down or something else or, potentially, I suppose, nothing at all, but you’re already taking in so much milk product–what is another splash of milk in there? So I try to clarify.
“I’m sorry. You don’t want any milk in there?”
To which they respond, “Just none added to the espresso. The girl who made it last time–I don’t know she must not have known what she was doing, but we ordered two extra shots [of espresso] and she topped it with milk. It was very loose. Very liquidy.”
This is where the back and forth begins.
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
First, the espresso, the milk–it all goes in the same place, whether I pour it in with the espresso, pour one in first before the other, baste the ice cream in their liquid juices–it doesn’t matter.
Secondly–I know, because…I work here, that the more espresso you add to anything, especially ice cream, the hotter it will be. Espresso is such a small part of the milkshakes–it’s meant to only flavor the shake, not be the main ingredient, so when someone doubles or triples the amount meant for the size they are getting, it’s bound to be a little more watery. It’s not going to be as thick as it would be otherwise.
But these two were convinced it was the milk, that someone working here was so incompetent that they added milk to a milkshake (WHO DOES THAT?!), causing the molecular stability of said shake to deteriorate to the point it was nothing but some offensive and frothy mess.
The heathens and their insurmountable sin! Learn to make a milkshake.
I told them that the espresso was probably the issue, that the ice cream isn’t as firm in the colder months as it is in the warmer ones, but nope–the milk. “Just tell everyone to add less milk next time,” she said with a wink.
And it just kept on.
Oh…That’s What’s Wrong.
I’ve learned since working in a coffee shop that there are “special” kinds of people: people who are so used to being served a certain way in life and in Starbucks that when somewhere isn’t the same as what they are used to, it is that place’s, that person’s, fault rather than their’s for just expecting too much. And I don’t understand it–not completely anyway.
I know we all have our preferences, but I feel like there is a social level of acceptable behavior when it comes to what we want and what we should have that’s shattered when you walk in a store or a shop or a restaurant and just insult and demand. And to their credit, these people, the people who came in today, don’t encompass all of things that I’m saying–they were very nice and very pleasant. Had they just asked for the milkshake to be thicker or for there to be less liquid rather than coming at the situation with the express purpose of putting down someone who works here then we may very well have had a more pleasant conversation.
But it didn’t go that way.
In these situations I do my best to hold it together. I tend to be rather patient in life regardless, but everyone has their tipping point, and rather than be inflammatory, even when customers are inflammatory to me, I do my best to correct using facts they may not be aware of, judge, and go from there. Sometimes it works, sometimes you just have to throw in the towel–I’ve found that some people just have to be right, and will fight hard to make sure that’s proven.
I don’t know why it’s a thing or where it comes from, but I don’t like it.
Im here to make your day a little better, to be a friendly face when your day’s gone sour, and coming in demanding and complaining and insulting–well, that just makes the job a little harder. And that’s not nice at all.
So be cool dude, take up a gun sport to get that confrontation out, and don’t act like the world is your playground to be trampled upon as you please. It makes daily life a whole lot easier.
This ends today’s declamation. Until next time.