Sorry, Sir! We don’t serve on table…

So one of my dear friends managed to fractured his ankle recently. You know how that feels. I certainly do. It sucks. His new uniform is a plastered leg wrapped in a blue sleeve, crutches and a lot of pain (it’s much better now though)! (Sure, he puts on clothes when he gets out of his room. Thankfully!)

He and I went to a Starbucks near his place. I felt like giving him a break from his work and his makeshift office — his bedroom.

We ordered our standard tall Americanos. I picked it up from the counter while my friend settled on a leather couch at the corner table. The patrons before us had leftovers for us to stare at. So we called for one of the crew members to help us clean the table.

This friendly (seemingly) employee came over and cleaned our table and the one next to us. My friend had his unmistakably blue plastered foot placed on the leather sofa and his crutch next to it.

I placed our tray on the cleaned table and just then my friend instinctively looked at the crew member and asked if she can help him with a glass of water.

The reply was short: “Sir, you will need to pick it up from the counter.”

And off she went!

My friend and I looked at each other. Stunned! What the hell just happened? Could she have missed the plastered foot? What about the crutch?

I’m not sure how that is possible. Nonetheless, we were stung. And were sore. We didn’t talk about it then. Just sipped on to our favorite cup of java. And pondered.

It’s been a couple of days since and I still can’t seem to get it out of my head. Imagine how hard would it be for people to experience such rudeness. Sure, we get into situations like that every day… but not a place like Starbucks.

We could have reacted to the comment or escalated it to the manager for him to take further action. But we just finished our coffee and left.

You may have had a bad day at work or home but that does not give you the right to treat your customers like that. That is inexcusable. This crew member wasn’t the only person to have treated her customer badly. Millions of customer service representatives around the world make this mistake.

They get emotional and react. And the customers are too stunned to react or respond. They just leave.

The key is to remember that nobody has the time or inclination to take matters into their own hands. It’s not their battle to fight. They’ve got better and probably bigger things to do. The easier decision for them to make is to leave.

Are your customers leaving you?