"May I have the Internet code, please?", I asked as I put my debit card back into my wallet. The girl behind the counter said, "Sure-here you go". She printed off a receipt and at the bottom was a series of letters and numbers. I was prepping for a conference call that was to start in 3 minutes. "Jenny will hook you up with some water for the tea", stated the girl behind the counter.
Okay-great, I thought. There was a large rack on the counter that displayed nearly two dozen metal canisters of tea. Orange blossom, honey-mint, Earl grey, and lemon-green tea to name a few. 2 minutes before my conference call...
The girl that was making drinks-a "barista"?, was busy crafting a coffee drink and chatting with the older man that was patiently waiting. Without any direction, and because the labels were facing me and easily accessible...well, I decided to take a tea pod out of the lemon-green tea canister.
When the barista was done making the man's coffee drink, she was about to go into the backroom when I asked, "Excuse me. Hi (and smiled), could I please get a cup of hot water for my tea?"
"Sure", she said. She grabbed a foam cup from the stack, and as she was filling it up with hot water turned her head to speak to me. "You know, you were not supposed to take your own tea. We have tongs for that. We don't like customers touching all of the bags-people get weird about that".
One minute before my conference call. "Oh-okay. I apologize. Yeah, I didn't like put my paws over ALL of the bags. I just shook the canister until a pod fell into my hand."
"well, here is your water". She placed the filled foam cup on the counter and walked into the back room. I dialed into my conference call and marched over to the table that housed the sugar, honey, napkins, and other coffee 'condiments'.
As I grabbed a handful of honey packets (I'm obsessed), I noticed a bunch of loose brown plastic coffee straws, totally unwrapped and exposed for anyone to grab, touch, or slobber on. I grabbed one from the top, like I was playing Jenga, but still touched the four or five straws that directly surrounded the chosen one. This could not be avoided.
I was not grossed out by this, but was a bit upset with the 18 year old that just chewed me out. So let me get this straight, people would be weirded out by someone dumping a tea pod from a canister into their hand, BUT have no issue with people (all day long), touching a plastic straw that WILL make it's way into your cup or mouth? Double standard-I mean, right?
I waited tables all through college at several different establishments ranging from smelly bars to upscale dining. I always thought it was REALLY funny when guests would say, "there is a spot on my spoon". It's a water spot-an inconsistency in the dish washer. Maybe a bit of residue from soap, maybe it didn't dry. Who the hell knows-it's not bodily fluid, poison, or anything else to freak out about. The same person that complains about a spot on their spoon ought to be more concerned about the fact that one of the line cooks has been coughing all day, or that the menus are touched all day, everyday, by dozens of people. You touch the menu and then help yourself to a piece of bread from the basket, which may or may not be clean, on your table.
Then you help yourself to some ketchup for your fries. Ketchup in a glass bottle that people have access to all day. People that may or may not place the tip of their knife into the jar, after they may or may not have licked the butter off moments before. Gross.....
I mean, right? People are so funny like that....