I work in a European airport.
This morning, I had a very irate lady order a coffee. I small talked with her, she told me she'd taken a red eye and that she'd read her book the whole way. Fairly standard transaction.
... Until I asked her to pay. I told her that the total came to €2.50. She then insisted that I gave her a discount, because she was "an American citizen on the 4th of July" and that "every airport in the US would give me a discount". She then started waving her passport at me.
Eventually, she left and still refused to pay for the coffee.
This is not an ideal exchange at 6am.
Oh, man. Where to begin?
I have a regular who comes in and orders a "double espresso with a little steamed milk and foam," doesn't know it's a macchiato. My shop is new, about 2 months old next week, and my coworkers had been charging him for a double espresso and steaming the milk for free. (Steaming around 10-12oz each time because our smallest frothing pitchers are 22oz and they like microfoam.)
Anyways, my shift comes along and I charge him for a double macchiato. He complains. I explained the reason for the difference in prices and apologized for the apparent increase, but let him know that he had been getting a discount and was now paying the product's price.
He nodded, acceded, and has been coming in every weekday since ordering the macchiato.
Three days ago, I was in the shop a couple of hours before my flight to California and my coworker calls me away from the book I am quietly enjoying to figure out some pricing.
The guy says, "I'll have my usual cubano macchiato."
He ordered it for the first time five days ago and now it's his usual? I help my coworker out and ring him up double macchiato + cubano shot (extra .25) and the guy FREAKS. Like it's some conspiracy that it costs a quarter more, not just our company pricing. Orders a double espresso, fills it with a handful of raw sugar packets, tops the 12oz cup with 1/2 n 1/2 then smirks on the way out like he's just won some very special game. Congrats, buddy.
One day I served his drink and a bit sloshed over the side as I was reaching for a saucer. He told me he wanted to not waste the soap needed to wash the saucer, and to put it back. I do so and grab a napkin to wipe the bottom of the mug. He grabs my hand, takes the napkin from it, puts it in his pocket and tells me he will take it home to dry it out and re use it until he has a chance to go to his sister's house to burn it.
Some woman came a week after the shop opened and left because we had no Splenda.
A man told me to put some ice cubes in his Americano, because he read somewhere that in Feudal Japan women would serve men tea first and then later serve themselves when it was cooled. He proceeded to tell me that mouth cancer rates in men were higher at that time.
Okay... I put some ice cubes in there.
Then he goes over to the service counter and adds 17 EQUAL PACKETS. I wish there was some way to uppercase, emphatically type 17. !!! Has he read no current reports on the health safety of nonsugar sweeteners?
Two come to mind. One lady comes up to the counter with an order written on her phone. Starbucks secret menu.
I say, "Well we don't do things the same way they do so I wouldn't recommend ordering anything like that here."
Her order says something like "half sleep tea, half mint tea and fill the cup half with lemonade".
She says "Well you're the closest coffee shop... soo....."
I really try to push that, while we do have mint tea, chamomile tea and lemonade I definitely do not recommend mixing all of them in the same cup...I can't even figure out if this is supposed to be a hot or cold drink.
She said she just wants it and it's supposed to be hot. Wtf, we keep a lemonade concentrate in our fridge and I'm not asking our barista to steam it....
I tell her I'll have to charge her for two teas and a small lemonade.
She's annoyed and says, "Just do something like this."
I charge her 7 bucks and she gets a lukewarm mess. I can't tell you how much I stressed that our tea is really good and if she just wanted a sweetened hot tea with lemon It'd definitely be delicious. Oh well.
A lady ordered a toast on granola bread with cinnamon butter (a local chef makes it for us, it's so good) and wanted her money back or a free drink because she was allergic to nuts. How are you gonna order granola bread when you're allergic to nuts?!
So for background, I worked at a speciality, small coffee shop right outside of Seattle and all the baristas there had college degrees and at least 2 years of Barista experience before we started working there.
Well one morning it was me, and another girl who graduated with her masters at 20 years old. Anyways, we are working and this man comes in with a big, long, complicated Starbucks order, I believe it was like a venti, decaf, caramel macchiato with raspberry or something. I would have been happy to make something similar, but our largest cup was a 16 ounce and we didn't have the raspberry syrup he wanted.
We offered him a caramel latte and he dismissively was like "Yeah, sure whatever, just get me coffee."
So the other girl made his drink while I start ringing up the next customer. Well she hands him his drink and first he says,
"This isn't a venti I ordered a venti."
Coworker: "Well sir, this is the largest size we have, I only charged you for the 16 ounce."
Man: "This will never last me all the way to the coast! I'll have to go buy another drink because of this! And it costs more then a venti does, why is it smaller? It's bullshit!"
Coworker: "Sorry sir, there's comment cards over by the condiment bar if you want to tell the owner to offer bigger sizes."
Man: "Yeah, like they'd listen, whatever!"
He then takes a sip.....
Man: "This tastes so wrong! Where is the raspberry?!?!" He was getting really angry at this point. "Fuck you guys! No wonder you work at a coffee shop, you're too stupid to do anything worthwhile in your life! It's a good thing my daughter is in med school so she doesn't end up like you retards! You can't even make coffee right and it is not that hard! etc. etc. etc."
He kind of just kept yelling and ranting as he walked out of the store with his coffee. I wish I could have seen the look on his face when he realized that I was on my way to go to Pharmacy school just like his precious daughter, and the other girl already had a masters. But oh well.