Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like people are getting harder to please. I remember when I first started working at the cafe–almost a year ago–I was amazed by how grateful customers were for little things. Things like a cup of water for their doggie waiting outside, me bringing the meal to their table when they had trouble, changing the order four or five times and running down to the line to make sure they knew the deal so the sandwich came out perfect. I mean, it’s not a big deal, and yet it is because it takes lot of work, regardless of how happy I am to do it. But now…. now seems… different.
Maybe Obama’s handouts are making people feel entitled. Maybe the social barrier isn’t as diminished as we all thought and people still look down on “the help.” Or maybe the people who can still afford to eat at Panera are used to getting what they want without having to show any gratitude.
That’s not to say I don’t still see some of the kindest people in the world on the other side of the counter. And some days it’s like everyone is in a good mood. As far as employee/customer relationships go, I definitely believe Panera is tip-top.
In any case, this post is in honor of those difficult days and the customers who don’t know any better…
Letter Challenge Day 29 — The person that I want tell everything to, but am too afraid (for excellent reasons) to do so.
Dear Guests of Panera Bread,
Scones are hard. They are for having alongside tea or coffee or another liquidy hot drink. Think of them as a sweet dense biscuit. Please stop bringing them back and complaining about them being hard. It’s a scone. If it’s harder than a cookie, it’s been made right. If you can mush it, it’s undercooked, not to mention sad and pathetic and will be mocked by its real scone friends, which is something you would not wish upon a scone. If you do not like real scones, you are welcome to order a muffin or muffie. Both are soft.
Also, the scone with a dusting of powdered sugar is blueberry, not chocolate chip. We have a sign, dearies. It’s the one that sits right above the scone with the dusting of powdered sugar that says, “Wild Blueberry Scone.”
The little cookie-shaped thing that is not with the cookies but with the pastries is a muffie. I know it looks like muffle. But it isn’t. That’s ie. No l. Not muffles. I know, it’s confusing. But it is, in fact, a muffie.
I do not set the prices. I simply explain them. I’m sorry that the price of food rises all the time, but you can’t exactly blame Panera for that either. (Unless you want to blame our need to serve you the freshest and best products ever. Rimshot!) Blame the cows or something. Just don’t yell at me (or throw stuff at Haley) because drinks are more than you thought.
Those green numbers are calories. The prices are in black. It is not 3.90 for a full Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. Haha. You wish! :P
Don’t sneer at me for asking if you want a baguette with your soup in a bread bowl. I get a baguette with my bread bowl, as do many of our other guests. So if you ask, “Who does that?” I will have a sardonic answer for you. Masked by a friendly smile and a 12 year old voice that sounds apologetic, but really I’m sorry that you’re so grumpy about bread. Because our bread is amazing.
You cannot pick three entrees for a YP2: You Pick Two. I never thought I’d have to explain that… but apparently I do. :P A lot.
We don’t take tips. Just donations. If you want to give me the equivalent of a tip, you can take the time to call the number or follow the link at the bottom of your receipt and mention my name in the mindshare. That would make me ever so happy, it would make my managers happy, and we would project that happiness back to you. So it’s a win-win-win! :D
The grey vent-looking things under the coffee carafes are not drains. Please stop pouring entire cups of coffee in there, because it’s not going to go anywhere but on the floor when we try to switch the old coffees for new and it all splashes out. I’ll be more than happy to get you a new mug if you want a different kind of coffee. But those trays, they’re only there for catching drizzles. Kind of like how a thimble isn’t a hard hat.
If you’re buying a meal and a drink, it’s pretty much a crime not to add the 99 cent pastry. These cookies and sweets go for two to three dollars a piece, regularly. You’re already getting the drink. What on earth about that deal doesn’t sound worth it to you??
And possibly the most amusing of all…
The “associate trainer” etched into my shiny silver name tag does not mean I’m still in training. It does, in fact, mean that I am able to train others. It always makes me giggle when people think otherwise. “Oh, you’ll be through the training phase soon, and it’ll get easier!” No. No it will not. xP But thanks for saying so.