Saturday, March 15, 2014

Conversations With Our Customers: Be Grateful

When you're feeling crabby and pissed off because work's a bitch, you don't have enough hours in the day and someone in your sphere has this really annoying habit that makes you grind your teeth... when you just don't get why things aren't nicer for you and why it wasn't you instead of that twat in the news that won the lottery... when you can't wait for the new year to begin because this year has been just about all you can take, be grateful.

A new customer walks into the cafe. I've seen her on the street before but this is the first time she has come inside. She wears big clompy boots and a light summer dress, looks kinda cool from a distance. She walks with a limp. She needs a cane to walk. She is not old. She is, perhaps, in the prime of her life, as they say.

Now that she is closer than just out on the street, I see that she has something terribly wrong with one eye. The lid is sealed over a bulging eyeball. Perhaps it was never an eyelid, more like an area of skin that just never developed into its promised function. I don't know why the eyeball looks so swollen. I don't know. I don't know anything.

She asks for a latte with one sugar. Her mouth, I notice now, sags at one corner, like she's had a stroke. Her voice is strange, uncontrolled. I have no idea why she is the way she is. Was she born without sight in one eye? Was this perhaps the reason she was involved in some accident that has left her with her limp and the need for a walking stick? I don't know. I do know that the problems I have with my eye seem suddenly trivial. And the stress because work has been busy... yeah right, what a fucking bitch that is.

I ask her which size coffee she'd like, and she says in that cracked, slightly spastic voice, "I'm sorry - I'm deaf."

I point at the paper cups. She points. I make her coffee, amazed at the stress levels the milk has been causing me (a thing called Lipolysis... it causes tiny, unsightly bubbles after the steaming process... it's sooooo fucking frustrating). Her money has been dumped with a shaking hand on the counter, and she takes her coffee and makes her way back out into what is really a spectacular, sunny day.

So yeah, if work's getting you down, be grateful.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Basil Fawlty Conversation With Our Customers

As you may or may not know, we don't have table numbers in our cafe, we have a selection of animals. It's been a bit of a hit with the customers.

Today, serving a youngish couple, I gave the girl the walrus because it's kind of my favourite and he's a cute little thing. She went back to the table and the guy moved to the counter to place his order. I like to double check things to avoid misunderstanding, so I said to him, "Are you with the walrus?"

Accompanied with a nod of the head in the direction of the table his girlfriend was sitting down at. Or indeed, nodding at his actual girlfriend, depending an how you looked at it.

I was horrified because there was no guarantee that he had seen me give the girl the walrus.

Given that I couldn't unsay what I had just said, I said, "No I mean at the table with the walrus on it..."

The fuck did that mean? At the table with the walrus on it, not at it?

Fortunately my brain came to the rescue by commanding me to JUST STOP TALKING NOW!

Are you with the walrus. Nice one, Basil.