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Even if it does just pain you to get a water cup, you’re not supposed to overtly show it…

July 16, 2008, 8:37 PM

This week, I’m not at the office as I usually would be. I’m at American University all week at Plone Bootcamp along with two of my coworkers. It’s been very interesting, as I’ve been learning about Plone, an online content management system that’s somewhat similar to a few things I’m used to, but on a far deeper level than anything I’m used to. It’s interesting, and I’ll get the hang of it. And I’ve been taking the Lappy along for this, and so we’ve been bonding all week. I figured that rather than borrow one of the Mac laptops from work, for this week, I’ll just use my own personal laptop, a Dell Inspiron.

And then meanwhile, there’s the lunch hour. I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know various other people in the class. There’s an Einstein Bros. in one of the buildings near where we’re having the class, which is where I’ve been getting lunch. And obviously, they didn’t hire the woman with the mustache working behind the counter for her personality. She is not a pleasant person. Her style is almost confrontational in asking us what kind of sandwich we wanted. After all, who are we to be asking for a meal from her? Puts me slightly on the defensive as soon as she says it. And I don’t even get a custom-built sandwich. I get the Italian chicken sandwich, where the only question I get is whether to get lettuce and tomato on it, and then I get a fruit cup with it.

And then there’s the drink. That’s what’s inspired this Journal entry more than anything. As you know, at Food & Water Watch, we oppose bottled water. And this place has a LOT of bottled water for sale, and I refuse to buy it, and for perfectly valid reasons. I ask for a cup of water. They charge ten cents for the cup, and then the woman with the mustache gives me this really dirty look when I ask for the water cup. She acts like it just pains her to get that cup and fill it with tap water. My goodness. Even if it’s a colossal pain to go do that, you’re not supposed to show the customer your disdain for their request. Getting a receipt for my card transaction obviously pains her, too, since I get a dirty look for that, too. If looks could kill, I’d be dead twice over.

Of course, you have to remember that this is on a college campus. Thus you have outrageous prices and hideous service. That’s because colleges have a captive audience and thus know that they can (A) charge anything they want, and (B) they can provide any kind of crappy customer service that they want because they know you’re a captive audience. After all, at American, there aren’t any eateries adjacent to campus. The nearest off-campus eateries are over by the Tenleytown-AU station, which is a little more than walking distance away. So they’ve got you. No fun. Still, you have to wonder where they find these people to work behind the counter, though. Geeeeeeeeeez…

But at least the company I’m keeping at lunch makes up for the poor service at the counter. Absolutely wonderful folks. Still, if I had given that kind of customer service when I worked at CFW, Telegate, and Wal-Mart, I’d have been tossed out on the sidewalk in short order.

But at least this is only for a week. Next Monday, I’m back in the office, and back to making my boring turkey sandwiches. See, I can’t take a lunch for this week, because first of all, I don’t have any room in the Lappy’s bag to carry a lunch. And secondly, no refrigerator where this class is located. Not good. And I also realize how much I miss Metro Cafe (in the basement of our office complex) this week, since they have really reasonable prices and great service. I love the folks at Metro Cafe.

Web site: Seems I'm not the only one encountering grouchy cashiers...

Song: "What Is Love" by Haddaway

Quote: Meanwhile, the strangest thing is having to remember that Tenleytown-AU is my work station this week, and not Dupont Circle. I've got the Dupont thing down. Get to the "Look Out" section in Express by Brookland. Finish the Express by Judiciary. iPod on by Gallery Pl-Chinatown. Out of the seat and towards the door at Farragut North, and then off at Dupont. It's hard to break that habit, even for a week. And that's a very long Metro ride, too, from Glenmont to Tenleytown. Any further, and I'd be back in Montgomery County again, on the Shady Grove side.

Categories: Some people, Work