Thursday, December 10, 2009

Which one is which?

Blog #2!

This is a story where a customer quite literally made me speechless. The question was so ridiculously absurd that I couldn't form a sentence to answer. Fortunately one of my co-workers came to my aid, answering the question while I stared with my mouth hanging open and my eyes bulging at the customer who had the nerve to ask me this question in all seriousness.

At the smoothie shop, we also serve made-to-order salads, wraps and paninis. This woman ordered a turkey wrap and a chicken panini to-go. I made her food, wrapped each in a foil wrapper, placed them in a bag and handed them to her with a cheerful "Here you go!". She hesitantly took the bag, glanced down into it blankly and looked back at me.

Woman: "Umm, yeah, how am I supposed to know which is which?"

Now, under certain circumstances this is a sensible question, for example when a customer has ordered more than one wrap. In which case, we place the ticket inside the wrapper so that when it is opened the kind of wrap is easily visible. However, I felt it was unnecessary to label these two items in this case, for the following reason.

Let me reiterate. One was a WRAP and one was a PANINI. This is the part where my co-worker, noticing that I was trying to form words but no sound came out, stepped up and gently explained that a WRAP is long and round, even when wrapped in foil, and a PANINI is a rectangular sandwich. Apparently, this woman could not distinguish between something that is wrapped in a tortilla and therefore round, and a sandwich that is two pieces of square bread.

I believe that the customer noted my shock, and I'd guess that she didn't grasp why I reacted stunned to what seemed to her to be a completely acceptable question. I have tried to come up with ways to cut the woman some slack. Perhaps she is not familiar with wraps and paninis the way that I am? Perhaps she has encountered a long, round panini or a short square wrap (in a parallel universe)? I have to hope that is the case, although it seems unlikely.