The Bear Growls: Employee stupidity at Suncoast Seattle’s Best Coffee
September 7, 2004
At about 11:55 PM, the clerk put up the CLOSED sign, but had not put the products away yet. The following took place, recreated from memory shortly after the incident:
Customer: What time do you close?
Customer: Oh, good, then I can still get something, since it’s not midnight yet.
Clerk: Did you ever think your watch might be wrong?
Customer: No, I check it regularly for accuracy. It’s 11:56.
Clerk: By my watch, it’s after midnight, so we’re closed. I can’t help you.
A second customer, elderly female, came up. She said, “My watch says it’s not midnight yet, either.”
Clerk: Your watch must be wrong, too.
The lady, apparently frustrated with his attitude, walked away without further comment.
Customer: Well, you still have everything available, so may I order?
Clerk: No, I have closed the register.
Customer: I’ll pay with exact change, or let you keep any overage. I just want some coffee.
Clerk: I told you, we’re closed.
Customer: Is the manager here?
Clerk: She’s the one who told me to close.
Customer: Is she still here?
Clerk: Yes, but she’s busy.
Customer: I’m busy, too, but I’d like to speak with her, please.
Clerk: I’ll see if she will talk to you.
Customer: Thank you.
Manager: Didn’t he tell you we’re closed? What do you want from me?
Customer: I wanted some coffee, but not any more. I see where this guy gets his bad attitude. You could have saved two customers instead of driving them away, if either your clerk or you had used any common sense. I won’t ever come back here.
Manager: That’s fine, sir. Is there anything else I can help you with?
The would-have-been customer walked away, vowing never to return.