This story is a story that is shared around my workplace every time we need to squeeze those low hanging justice fruit just to see the juice come out. (And when I originally thought of that description, it didn't sound nearly as testicular-ish as it does now that I wrote it down...)
One of my coworkers is having difficulties with the shake machine, and I, being somewhat mechanically minded, agree to take a look at it while he takes over at the registers.
The lady who wanted the milkshake (aka the one my coworker was trying to fill when the machine went AWOL) is currently 'in a hurry.' (It is of my mind that all retail slaves are alike to this woman; so when something goes wrong, it's everybody's fault, since we're all complicit in a vast retail conspiracy to ruin everyone's day, one milkshake at a time.)
Does it matter that I am fully visible trying to figure out what's going on with the doohickey's thingamabob? Does it matter that my buddy is explaining the situation? Does it even matter that he has apologized and offered a refund and/or switch to a different beverage?
The answer to all of these questions is, of course, a resounding "NO!"
As I fiddle with the beast from a level of hell somewhere between crashed credit card systems and telemarketers, I hear a spluttering sound, a gurgle, and then I get it right in the face with a spray arc of strawberry-whatever-passes-for-shakes-in-this-place. I slap the power button to turn the internal mixers off, grab some towels and try to staunch the eruption.
For the record, it was like trying to staunch the blood spurt scene from the Addams Family movie; it's going everywhere, onto everyone, and it's not gonna stop.
My manager hauls ass over and tries to help me contain the overflowing dam of pink. It's spewing and spluttering and making those gawd awful but somehow hysterical noises that make kids laugh at ketchup bottles. My manager and I are shoulder to shoulder with rags pressed against the machine, with pink milkshake gurgling over our hands and wrists.
My coworker, bless his soul, has not only managed to avoid laughing himself into unconsciousness at my pretty pink princess appearance, but is also calmly and coolly informing the now angry customer that we simply cannot get her the shake at this time, and he'll be happy to process a full return.
Just as a note, I wear glasses. I kind of need them to see. And here I am, pink-shake-faced from eyebrows to chin, from sideburn to sideburn, up and down my torso and all over my hands and wrists. I sigh, take off my glasses (making me look like some sort of inverse raccoon no doubt) and set them on the counter next to the registers as the spurting pink flow finally runs out of steam.
Two more coworkers show up with mops and a bucket to help clean the tide of cold goo on the floor. I accept a towel from a sympathetic coworker and start to wipe my face off.
The woman is screaming now, demanding to know how we're going to make it right because she wants a fucking shake and no a refund is not enough! My manager tells her that there is nothing else they can do about it, and a refund is all we can give her.
She slams her hands on the counter next to the registers a few times to emphasize her stereotypical rant of spending big bucks here and never coming back, blah blah blah, then spins violently away from the counter to stomp off. (Lady, it's a chain fast food joint of fairly popular make and model. We're by a fricking freeway and lose NOTHING by losing you as a customer.) Anyway, in between breaths of her tirade, I hear the distinct sound of a pair of glasses hitting the floor and sliding across the tiles.
Me: "Ma'am! Wait! Stop! My glasses!"
She's blurry, but I can tell that she stops, looks at me, looks at the faint outline of glasses on the floor, grins widely and smashes her foot violently down upon them. There is a glasses-shattering crunching sound.
Now it is here that I later wondered what she thought was going to happen. Did she think I would NOT... Scenario 1: vault over the counter and beat her face into the wall? Or Scenario 2: sue her ass so hard that she would be tasting the ink of my court papers after I shoved them up her ass?
His voice penetrates the fog of rage as he holds my very intact, and still very pink covered glasses in front of my face.
Turns out when I put them down, my coworker at the registers gently and subtly slid my glasses a bit farther away from his reg, ensuring that they were later out of the hand-slamming-zone. When she spun around, the lady's own glasses went flying out of her purse and hit the floor.
The lady's scream of horror as she recognized the fames of her own glasses under her own foot was beautiful. My manager, having wiped his hands off somewhat, and stone faced, issued her a refund and told her to get out and NEVER set foot in our building again.
Woman: "My glasses..."
Manager: "You stepped on them yourself, and say hello to our security cameras," *points* "before thinking you have any sort of case against us. Get. Out."
It was SO worth hosing myself off by the dumpsters in the back of the building! And my coworker got free lunches from me for a while for moving my glasses to safety.