Business, Humour, Life Skills

Special Cafe People – Part 1

Well, at long last it is time to feature the customers that truly make you wonder whether their parents were asleep at the wheel, or, sadly, whether you yourself are off your rockers.  Some of these are your regular customers and you are afraid to ask them directly or the topic is awkward.  Others are one-off wack-nuts that come in like a storm and leave you gasping for breath.  Whichever be the case, they deserve some of the limelight instead of continual sighs.  Speaking of Sighs, you might want to check out

Straw-in-the-Hot-Drink Wasting Wilma

Why?  Why do they do it?  It’s usually [blond] females between the age of 27 and 45.  Some have told me ‘It’s to help avoid staining my teeth’ while others have said ‘It tastes better that way’.  No matter what your supposed good reason is, let me help you understand that you are off base.  You are wasting a straw.  It’s bad enough that you have already taken a cup, a sleeve, and a lid, not to mention (probably) more than one stir stick and a few paper sugar packs and a pocketful of napkins.  Then you take a straw – for your hot drink!  It’s hot, girl!  It’s not cold!  Why do you want a small .25cm jet of boiling hot liquid shooting on the thin of your mouth skin?  Are you a sadist?  Leather and chains?  Something like that?  One thing is for sure and that’s that you don’t care about landfills and wastage.  And, once in a blue moon I’ll see a male try this move.  It’s so rare that it’s almost not worth mentioning but I did want to ask whether you were either super confident in your masculinity (like the football player who can dress up as a girl for halloween) or whether you want to be perceived as feminine.  I don’t think you can be both.

For-Here-in-a-To-Go-Cup Landfill Larry

Landfill Larry is Waster Wilma’s close relative and their wasteful mentality runs in the family.  Here are some of the lies that Larry boy has first deceived himself into believing:

  1. The paper cup stays warmer longer than the ceramic cup
  2. I might not finish it all here so I’ll put it in paper ‘just in case’
  3. I prefer paper cups –> I like to show off my brand

Let me address these lies one by one:

  1. I have done a test and the difference is negligible.  Not worth filling a landfill for.
  2. I have almost never witnessed someone take that cup with them in nearly six years.  They all walk over the the garbage and throw their paper cup out before they leave.
  3. Buy a t-shirt or a re-usable mug, fan boy.  There.  Brand Loyalty proven and problem solved.

Sleeve-on-a-Cold-Drink Sissy Steve

Nothing throws me off more than when I sell an iced drink and someone asks me where the sleeves are.  Sleeves?  Did I accidentally screw up your order? Where is the hot drink that necessitates a sleeve?  So, one time I asked “Why do you need a sleeve for your iced drink?” and the answer blew me away.  They said ‘Because it’s cold.”  I said ‘And…..?” and that was it, Jack.  It took everything inside of me to stop my mouth from opening and saying “Does your mommy wipe your butt and change your diapers still?” And yes!  I have seen grown men do this too.  I hope they never have to experience true hardship in their lives.  I bet they use a straw in their hot drink, too.

Communal Pre-Ordering Discussion Huddle Buddies

Before beginning this profile customer, allow me to give a quick lesson on what is correct protocol.  In a coffee shop or fast food (no table service) environment, one should walk into the establishment, line up and order (if you know what you want) or stand about 3 meters back and stare at the menu (if you don’t know what you want).  It’s also common courtesy to explain to the staff working that you need some time and you will let them know when you are ready to order.  Some people, however, like to confuse and even aggravate this flow by walking in, occupying sometimes 4 to six chairs while chatting about life, and then, sometimes 10 to 15 minutes later, come up and order.  Here is why that is not cool so you can become a better customer:

  • the staff who are working can’t go and do other tasks (like clean tables, build relationships with regular customers, etc) because they have to hang around wondering when you will order
  • the staff or management might think you aren’t going to order at all and have to plan on forcing you to order to free up space for paying customers.  Don’t be surprised.  People *really* come into cafes and just sit there without ordering.  It’s a real problem.
  • You like strange sitting there at your table all staring at the menu board as a group.

So, walk in, order, and make everyone happy, happy, happy!

Feet-on-Chair Frieda

Yes, it’s always women and I don’t know why.  And, it’s either Korean women or hippy white girls.  Don’t ask.  It just is.  My theory on the Korean women is that they are used to sitting on the ‘bap sang’ tables which are on the floor so it’s kind of natural to have your legs crunched under you on a coffee shop chair…Maybe?  The hippy girls?  I think their parents simply forgot to teach them this very important etiquette lesson.  Don’t dismay – it’s not too late.  First, here are the reasons why you should not put your *shoes* on a coffee shop chair

  • Your shoes have tread in other people’s bubble gum, drunk sports fans urine, and fecal matter from the bowels of a dog.  I don’t need to sit on the residue your shoes leave on my chair.
  • You look bad.  The very sight of you sitting like that reminds people of all the possible things your feet may have tread on (refer to list above).
  • It’s not your chair.  You didn’t buy it.  I repeat, it’s not your property.

Here are the reasons why you should not put your bare or sock feet on a coffee shop chair:

  • How do I know you washed your feet today?
  • How do I know how much your feet have sweat and begun to stink since the last cleanse?
  • Do your feet have fungus and other microscopic gross feet organisms that might stick to my jeans and end up getting transported into my home later?
  • It’s gross.  It’s wrong.
  • It’s not your chair.

Patchouli Oil Patty

If you don’t know what patchouli oil is, you are probably wrong.  When you smell it, you will know it – and your eyes will burn before they pop out of their sockets, roll across the floor, and explode.  If you haven’t read my previous post called ‘Patchouli Oil – The Easy way to Lose Friends and Kill People”  on this topic, maybe take a moment to do so.

Here are some things you need to know about odour before leaving in the morning:

  • Just because you and  your husband like Wagner and Liszt does not mean that the rest of the people you encounter that day will agree.  Same with perfume and other body odours.
  • In the same way we don’t publicly broadcast our music on public transportation, we should keep our body odours at home.  *None* is the safe amount to wear.
  • Some people are actually *allergic* to the thing you think is sexy.  Even if I thought throwing peanuts and walnuts at sexy girls might make them think I was sexy, I’d still restrain because they might have a nut allergy and end up in the hospital because of me.  Same with your perfume or random oils.
  • More people will dislike  your smell than like it, so why bother?
  • If you decide to forsake my advice, please poll at least 10 unrelated people for their opinion at your office before assuming they will like your smells.

 Freeloader Lunchroom Leo

This ‘customer’ is not a customer at all usually.  Their motive is not to help the business, enjoy a drink, or anything at all for that matter.  Their goal is to find a comfortable place to eat the food they packed from home.  Some people will immediately read this and be in disbelief that such a one exists but I assure you they are not without number in this earth.

There are two kinds of Lunchroom Leos: Shameful and Shameless.

Shameless Lunchroom Leo will walk in, find a nice spot to eat, finish his bagged lunch, leave a mess, and then leave – all without purchasing anything.  Sometimes, just to make sure he has abused the business enough, he will use the washroom, on his way out, grab a handful of napkins, smile at the owner, and say ‘Thanks!” with a big smiley face.

Shameful Lunchroom Leo has just one level of difference – He will purchase a token purchase of the lowest possible price so that his conscience is appeased because he knows that his behaviour is wrong.

Token Purchase Tom

Token Purchase Tom is very much like Shameful Lunchroom Leo.  His goal is to find a comfortable place to study or camp for many hours at a time.  You can immediately identify Tom because the first thing he looks for is a power outlet to plug his laptop into.  The second giveaway is that he will ask about wifi before looking at the menu.  Tom will often stay so long that the ceramic cup he has used will be impossible to wash.  Tom is also often a For-Here-in-a-To-Go-Cup Landfill Larry which makes him even worse than Larry because not only does he waste but he sucks up valuable cafe real estate.

Washroom-Only Willy

Washroom-Only Willy is a simple creature.  He was trained at the University of Starbucks Ethics and believes that every cafe is a Starbucks offering: free water to go, washrooms without orders and other such ridiculous freebies.  He will walk in with absolute confidence that he will be able to make a meaningful deposit in your lavatory and will be flabbergasted when he is politely instructed to order something.

Willy, allow me to give you a short education in bullet form:

  • toilet paper costs money – you didn’t give any
  • hiring people to clean your toilet costs money – you didn’t give any
  • keeping a clean washroom available for paying customers is paramount


No-Order Norman

Norman is very rare, thankfully, because he is truly one of the most offensive kinds.  He only shows up about once a week at most.  He will walk in, grab a newspaper, sit down and enjoy the nice seats and warm heaters (or air conditioners).  Oftentimes he will start a conversation on his cell phone and even interrupt paying customers.  All the while, Norman doesn’t order anything.

When Norman is approached and offered (with pressure) the opportunity to come up and order something, he is offended at the idea.  He rejects the offer and says ‘Maybe later’.  If given the chance, he will prove every time that he was lying and leave – sometimes leaving his newspaper on the table for you to clean up – all without a single order.






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