“One of my coworkers was having difficulties with the shake machine, and I, being somewhat mechanically minded, agreed to take a look at it while he took over at the registers. The lady who wanted the milkshake (aka the one my coworker was trying to fill when the machine went AWOL) was now ‘in a hurry.’ Did it matter that I was visibly trying to figure out what’s going on with the doohickey’s thingamabob? Did it matter that my buddy was explaining the situation? Did it even matter that he had apologized and offered a refund and/or switch to a different beverage? The answer to all of these questions was, of course, a resounding ‘NO!’ As I fiddled with the beast from a level of purgatory somewhere between crashed credit card systems and telemarketers, I heard a spluttering sound and a gurgle. I got hit right in the face with a spray arc of strawberry-whatever-passes-for-shakes-in-this-place. I slapped the power button to turn the internal mixers off, grabbed some towels, and tried to staunch the eruption. For the record, it was like trying to staunch the blood spurt scene from the Addams Family movie; it was going everywhere, onto everyone, and it was not going to stop. My manager hauled it over and tried to help me contain the overflowing mess of pink. It was spewing and spluttering and making those awful but somehow hysterical noises that make kids laugh at ketchup bottles. My manager and I were shoulder to shoulder with rags pressed against the machine, with pink milkshake gurgling over our hands and wrists. My coworker, bless his soul, had not only managed to avoid laughing himself into unconsciousness at my pretty pink princess appearance, but was also calmly and coolly informing the now angry customer that we simply could not get her the shake at this time, and he’d be happy to process a full return. Just as an important note, I wear glasses. I kind of need them to see. And here I was, pink-shake-faced from eyebrows to chin, from sideburn to sideburn, up and down my torso and all over my hands and wrists. I sighed, took off my glasses (making me look like some sort of inverse raccoon no doubt), and set them on the counter next to the registers as the spurting pink flow finally ran out of steam.
Two more coworkers showed up with mops and a bucket to help clean the tide of cold pink goo on the floor. I accepted a towel from a sympathetic coworker and started to wipe my face off. The woman was screaming now, demanding to know how we were going to make it right because she wanted a shake and no, a refund was not enough! My manager told her there was nothing else we could do about it, and a refund is all we could give her. She slammed her hands on the counter next to the registers a few times to emphasize her stereotypical rant of spending big bucks here and never coming back, blah blah blah, then spun violently away from the counter to stomp off. In between breaths of her tirade, I heard the distinct sound of a pair of glasses hitting the floor and sliding across the tiles. I said, ‘Ma’am! Wait! Stop! My glasses!’
She was blurry, but I could tell that she stopped, looked at me, looked at the faint outline of glasses on the floor, grinned widely, and smashed her foot violently down upon them. There was a glasses-shattering crunching sound. Now it was here that I later wondered what she thought was going to happen. Did she think I would not either vault over the counter and beat her face into the wall? Or sue her butt so hard that she would be tasting the ink of my court papers after I shoved them up her butt? Regardless, I was about to vault the counter to do Scenario 1 when the coworker at the register grabbed my arm, ‘Dude! Dude! It’s okay! They’re not your glasses! They’re not your glasses!’
His voice penetrated the fog of rage as he held my very intact and still very pink-covered glasses in front of my face. Turns out when I put them down, my coworker at the registers gently and subtly slid my glasses a bit farther away from his reg, ensuring that they were later out of the hand-slamming zone. When she spun around, the lady’s own glasses went flying out of her purse and hit the floor. The lady’s scream of horror as she recognized the frames of her own glasses under her own foot was beautiful. My manager, having wiped his hands off somewhat, and stone-faced, issued her a refund and told her to get out and never set foot in our building again. The woman said, ‘My glasses!’
My manager replied, ‘You stepped on them yourself, and say hello to our security cameras before thinking you have any sort of case against us. Get. Out.’
It was so worth hosing myself off by the dumpsters in the back of the building! And my coworker got free lunches from me for a while for moving my glasses to safety.”