Every morning I get a Caramel Latte from the corporate coffee place between the Tube station and my college. And every morning I've been growled at by the woman who manages that particular branch of the coffee empire. As in 'WHAT? TO GO? DO YOU WANT ANY PASTRY?' in a somewhat obnoxious voice. She didn't seem to grasp the idea of me not getting any pastry in the morning. Ever.
But by the time I started toying with the idea of giving her an award for the most unfriendly customer service in town, things took a radical U-turn. Last week, I walked into the shop as usual, found myself a little confused and mumbled something about a Latte I'd like to have. Expecting the usual 'WHAT?!', I stared at the coffee woman. And that's when it all went tits up. Rather than ranting about me not having any pastry, she politely enquired if I wanted a 'Large Caramel Latte as every morning?', followed by one hell of a scary smile. 'Well', I thought, 'it only took her about half a year to work out my shopping habits'. As I rummaged through my joke of a purse, I noticed that the woman's smile was still firmly engraved onto her face. What on earth was going on? This was wrong: it was her job to be unfriendly, not to grin at me like a maniac.
And as if that hadn't been enough, by the time I grabbed my change, she had also managed to not only wish me a nice day, but she also congratulated me to my haircut (that I had ever since I first started getting coffees from that place...). All I could do was mumble an awkward sounding 'Hmm. Uhm. Erm. Thanks. Bye!', then I headed for the door, quite possibly breaking some land speed record or other.
Surely she meant well, but, no offence, no customer in the world deserves such an attack of friendliness first thing in the morning. Some people are just not designed for such behaviour. The most scary thing, however, is the fact that I had been recognised in a busy shop. Don't you just hate it when that happens? I personally changed my local off license three times, after members of staff cried 'Hello my darling, how are you?', whenever I ventured into the shop in question.
Call me anti-social if you like, but next week, I'll buy big shades, a hat and a moustache. Make mine...errr....a Hazelnut Cappuccino, please.