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All I want is one squirt

Blast San Francisco Bureau

Gourmet coffee drinkers, I apologize. I like the flavored coffee. Unfortunately for me, most serious coffee houses don't serve it, so I'm forced to go for the syrup. You know there's all types of flavors – hazelnut, almond, chocolate. But I like it subtle, not overbearing. Too much syrup, too many squirts, and my coffee is doomed. Might as well just pour it all out.

In my quest for lightly syruped coffee – that's at least 50 visits to coffee houses – I have come up disappointed.

Even when I say, "just one shot of hazelnut please," or, "I only want a teeny bit of hazelnut syrup," it never fails, the coffee house employee proceeds to pump fast and plenty on the syrup dispenser.

I stand there shocked, baffled, betrayed.

One time I told the woman, "pour it out, I don't want that much." She gave me this look.

"Hey fuck you. I told you what I wanted." That's what I almost told her. Another time I couldn't help myself from yelling, "Stop, stop that's enough!" as he continued to pump.

Which begs the question, if they're not listening what are they doing? Thinking of their lives outside of work. Maybe of a good-looking co-worker. They're not thinking of me. Me, the person that's paying the $1.25. They obviously didn't get trained at McDonalds.


Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the attitude in many places, nowadays, not only coffee houses. I've been to fast food restaurants where the person taking my order never once looks me in the face. Places where cashiers continue talking on the phone to their friends, or family, or whomever, even after they see me standing there to purchase something.

So at a time when we are expected to tip on a $1.25 cup of java, I should get coffee the way I like it.

Even though it is a simple request. One squirt.

I advocate people learn from the McDonalds school of customer service. It's a good philosophy. Go down to the local McDonalds and ask to see their training manual on customer service. Customers should be treated with respect. We are always right. And we should be listened to. And, don't forget, smile. I expect to be treated that way. I'm paying for my squirt. I'm actually leaving the coffee house ahead by asking for less.

So please, it's simple, just one squirt.