Friday, October 21, 2011

A Tale of Entitlement (part one)

(migrated from my Tripod blog on 11/05/2011)

It's ten minutes 'til showtime.

As I sit at my desk, sipping my morning coffee, I'm reminded of a story.

So gather ye round, brothers and sisters, and I will spin for you a tale of entitlement.



The following is a true story I just made up. 

Our business moved to a new (bigger) location last year, after spending the previous couple of years in a perpetual state of overcrowding.  As business grew, so did our inventory, and we soon saw the need for bigger premises.

After several months of hunting, the boss decided on a building... right across the lane from our current location.  In addition to being roughly twice the size of our current location, it was also located on the front street.

Location, Location, Location

Being on a fairly high-traffic street, we predicted (correctly, as it turned out) our foot traffic/walk-in business would explode.  Thus, plans were made to increase the size of our showroom and counter sales area.

As we pride ourselves on making hoses et cetera "While You Wait", we decided to add a waiting area to the showroom, complete with comfy leather seats and a coffee pot.

Remembering the hassle it was to monitor and maintain the coffee maker in the showroom at our previous location, we decided to sign up with a coffee service.  They would provide us with an industrial coffeemaker and several urns, as well as delivering fresh coffee, sugar, and creamer every week.  All we had to do was make the coffee.

We placed an urn in our showroom/waiting area for customers, and one on the warehouse manager's desk fror staff.

This arrangement worked well for the most part, but a couple of weeks later, our head shipper asked if he could have an urn in the shipping/pickup area, so courier drivers and customers could have a cup.

This is where our story begins.


The coffee service was a hit, especially during the colder months.  The staff (myself included) loved it, as did our customers (especially the Hutterites).

But it really took off with the couriers.  I can appreciate what they do, and know it can be a bit of a hassle to stop for coffee when you're under the gun because of demanding customers (God forbid anyone should have to wait for anything these days).  But there are limits.

Most of the couriers were great.  They'd grab a cup and go.  The odd one would fill his travel mug.  But one driver stood out among the pack.

We call him Supertanker Steve.

"Steve" worked for a courier company contracted by one of our customers.  He was a nice enough guy, but could be a tad impatient and ornery at times.
Steve, as it turned out, had a nasty habit of filling his travel mug full of coffee whenever he visited.  This wasn't your average sized mug, either... it was one of those "Coffee Junkie" mugs that looked like it held at least a litre's worth!

One day, as I was heading out back to drop off a stack of orders to be filled, I ran into our head shipper... he was carrying his coffee urn and looked decidedly pissed off.

CJ: Hi Kenny, what's up?  You don't look too happy.

Ken: Mraugh!  Gotta fill the coffee up again.

CJ: Shit, it's only ten o'clock.  Are you thirsty or just tired?

Ken: It's that fucking Steve again.

CJ: Steve?

Ken: That driver for "Snailspace Express"  <--- fictional 

CJ: What's he done?

Ken:  He filled up his bloody big mug again.

CJ: What, like a travel mug?

Ken: It's one of those really big ones.
 
CJ: Oh, like those big ones that hold a litre or so?

Ken: Yeah.

CJ: That's pretty ignorant.  Does he do that often?

Ken:  Nearly everytime he's here.

CJ:  Wow.

Ken:  The shitty thing is, he wasn't even picking anything up here today!

CJ:  WHAT?!  So he was just here helping himself to some free coffee?!

Ken: Says it's cheaper than Horton's.  (CJ's Note:  There's a Tim Horton's location in our parking lot)

CJ:  That's pretty fucking selfish.  The coffee is there as a courtesy to all our couriers and customers, not solely for him.  Next time, cut him off at one regular sized cup.

Ken:  *sigh* I'll try...
To be continued...

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