Saturday, April 21, 2007

Make absolutely certain

I'm sure we have all had those times where the cashier gives us our change and we say, "Oh, but I gave you a X." Well, I make a lot of precausions to avoid that from happening. When I am given a note I lay it down in front of me, on top of the till, until I am done giving the change. Also I say "out of." So if they ordered a grande latte I would say, "That is 2.25 out of 10."

So I was serving a lady today, doing all of these things as usual, but of course she waits until I put the money away to say, "I gave you a 20." I was pretty certain she didn't, but I looked in the spot where I place my 20s and 10s. There was a 20, but there were a few 10s on the top. I told her this, but she kept insisting, saying that she knows it was a 20 because her husband gave it to her. So I grudgingly give her an extra 10. BIG MISTAKE!!! I know that I should not have done that, but it was so busy, there was a queue going to the door and I figured I would not be able to take the time to take my till downstairs to count it. I served the next person, then consulted my coworker. The lady was sitting in, so I still had time. He told me to count my till. He would cover for me.

I took my till downstairs and counted it. Sure enough I was £10 down. I consulted my coworker again just to make sure I was figuring it right. I went to the lady, apologised, and said that I had counted my till and it was now £10 short. She huffed and puffed and rolled her eyes (she was a bit snippy to begin with, couldn't believe that we didn't have a microwave to heat up our croissants with). She said she was going to call her husband because he gave her the money, then she would come over to me.

So I had to cover bar. Ten minutes later she had not come back to me, so I went to her. She said that her husband told her that he did give her a 20, but since she didn't want to dispute it she would give me the 10 back. I then went downstairs and had a good cry. I guess it really stressed me out.

It seems that I have been in the habit of giving change too quickly and giving 10s rather than 5s lately. This is really silly on my part because the bills are different sizes and colors. This means my till has been £5 short a few times and is starting to look suspicious. I caught it once when I glanced up as a guy was putting the note into his wallet. I saw the color and said, "Oh, did I give you a 10?" Without even looking at it he said, "Yes." My heart dropped and I thought, 'this guy knew I had given him too much change and did not even say anything.' So, as a cashier I am pleading with you, please make sure you know what you are giving the till operator and check to make sure they have given you the correct change.

And another thing, make sure you get YOUR drink. When it is busy and customers are in a rush, sometimes they will just come over and grab the first drink that appears on the bar, even if there are other customers before them. If I have a suspicion that it might not be their drink I will repeat it and they will nod and take it anyways.

Today a lady came over and grabbed the venti skimmed latte I just put on the bar. I had a feeling it wasn't hers. I made the next drink, a decaf grande latte. I put that on the bar and the poor guys standing there said, "I think that lady took my drink." I said, "Well, she is going to be suprised because she ordered a decaf, and that is not what she got." See, I clearly called the drink out, she was standing right in front of me, and it was a different size. I don't get it!

And this leads to another thing. Decaf coffee. I have heard people complain several times that they ordered a decaf and were sure it was not because they were so perky afterwards. First of all, make sure you get YOUR drink! :) Secondly, decaf is not caffeine-free. They are not able to get all of the caffeine out of the bean so there IS still just a wee bit in there. For some who are sensitive, it may effect you. Thirdly, yeah, there is the chance that they did not give you decaf. If you are getting your drink at Starbucks and they call your drink out but you did not hear "decaf" don't be afraid to ask. It is such a habit for me to hit the regular button, that I have to think hard to make sure I hit the decaf one. If I am not absolutely certain which I hit, I will remake the drink. I understand how important it can be to some people to have decaf rather than regular. Not all are this careful so just double-check. I try not to get annoyed with the customer who asks, "Is it decaf?" after I have clearly called it out as decaf. :)


ErinOrtlund said...

You're a saint to put up with all that! That does sound very stressful.

jil said...

As a former Barista, I can totally relate to everything you wrote about. Even the money thing- I had that happen to me too. Something I hate though, now that I know it happens at every Starbucks here, even though it's not supposed to, is when they re-steam milk. Eew, I can totally tell. It's way too airy. Anyway. :)
I'm so happy that your parents got to visit you. Can't wait to see all the pictures!!