Coffee slingin’

Working in the restaurant and coffee business you meet all kinds of people. Some have become good friends, most of them are pretty nice, and I’ve been lucky so far that the few crazy ones I’ve met have been of the gentle variety. That finally changed yesterday.

Our shop is divided by a big wall that separates the bar area from the seating lounge, so when I’m working I can’t see what’s going on back there. Inside the lounge there’s one big table that’s slightly wobbly and meant to be shared plus a smaller table attached to the back wall. (It’s not much seating, but we’re expanding soon.)

Here’s the scene. There’s one lady sitting at the big table with a 20 oz. coffee. A man and a woman, both very nice first time customers, are in the bar area ordering double espressos (yay!). They receive them and walked back into the lounge.

Less than a minute later I hear a chair falling to the ground and the two women yelling at each other, at least one of them swearing and telling the other never to show her face here again. Before I can round the corner to see what’s going on the woman with the coffee storms back into the bar area, soaking wet. She grabs some napkins to wipe coffee off herself and tells me to have the owner call her. Then she exits.

I walk into the lounge to find coffee everywhere — on the table, the floor, the light fixture hanging from the ceiling, the wall, the artwork, even the other customers, who are looking very stunned. I ask them what the heck just happened.

Apparently, as they were sitting down they jostled the table slightly. The woman with the coffee told them to be careful. The other woman responded that some wobbling was inevitable on that table and that if she was really worried about it she might want to try the other one. Not the best response, but true nonetheless. Coffee woman took this as sarcasm and things escalated from there. Somehow it all ended with her proving her point that it would be bad if her coffee spilled by picking up her cup and throwing its contents onto everything in the room, herself included.

To her credit, she proved her point exceedingly well.

The other two customers declined to call the police and, though angry at first, were laughing by the time they left. They said they’ll be back again. Within half an hour everything was back to normal. But if one looks closely at the white walls in the lounge, some faded coffee stains remain as a reminder of the tale.

[Cross-posted on Smelling the Coffee.]


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