Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dial 911

Earlier this week, an elderly woman appeared in our store. I say "appeared" because, since she didn't actually order anything and it was pretty crowded in there at the time, we didn't even notice her until she emerged from the back hallway and demanded, in tones which only people from this part of the country can muster, "Excuse me! Can you please tell the person in the ladies' room to hurry up?! This is an emergency!"

"Oh," I said, concerned for this woman, concerned for what might happen if she were not allowed immediate access to a toilet, yet also reticent to hasten the person already using it, "You can just use the men's room if you don't mind. It's exactly the same."

The woman made no objection and pounded on the door to the gents'. Regrettably, there was already someone in there, too.

So the woman stationed herself in the hallway and bawled, loudly enough for every single person in the store to hear, "Can whoever's in the bathroom, please hurry up?! This is an emergency! Hurry UP! It's an emergency!"

My fellow baristas and I were torn as to whether to laugh or panic. There are certain tasks which they really do not pay us enough to do.

At last the woman in the ladies' room emerged, and the elderly lady entered. The woman who had been hurried along looked very put out, and I could sympathise. Until she said, with disgust and ire, to the coffee shop at large, "Did you hear that woman yelling at me to hurry up? How rude! I was on my cell phone!"

The elderly woman came out a little while later. She never did buy anything.

I'm still puzzled as to who I should have been routing for.


jasdye said...

you wanted to rout someone? that sounds dangerous.

i'm a bit more keen to the elderly lady's frustration (although she was rude). during the middle-through-late stages of my wife's pregnancy, we had a family we love very much stay with us. not including my bladder-pressured life-partner, that included 6 people, half of them women.

it got a bit frustrating. i felt bad that anyone and everyone needed to rush out of the bathroom in any given moment, but my wife sure wasn't feeling any better.

and besides, what the heck was she doing on her cell in the bathroom?

dave grosser said...

Oh, man, that story is awesome!

Llama Momma said...

There is nothing quite like working with the *ahem* public.

I'll never forget the time a man screamed at me, at the top of his lungs, "NOW YOU HAVE MADE ME LATE FOR MY EGG MCMUFFIN! YOU CAN'T GET THEM AFTER 11 AND IT IS NOW 11:03!"

Never mind that I was putting myself through college working two jobs and couldn't even afford an egg mcmuffin. In his world, this was obviously a big deal.

Heather said...

That's funny. The ER woman probably needed to call a friend to gossip or something.
If the egg mcmuff was so important, why didn't he go to McD's first?

Craver Vii said...

I felt sorry for the ousted potty-goer until the cell-phone bit.

A Musing Mom said...

Too funny. I'm not sure which to laugh harder at, the lady waiting or the one being hurried. Or maybe the fact that they actually deserve each other.

GreekGeek said...

I'm still laughing, second-day-second-read-through! =]

Jenn said...



LM--yikes. And: why am I not surprised. Someday I should tell you my cousin's story from the Christmas Starbucks as a company ran out of peppermint syrup . . .

Heather--that lady was probably on her phone saying to her friend, "You'll never believe this woman screaming at me outside of the bathroom here."

Craver--irony has a way of doing that . . .

AMM--so well put.

GG--you read my posts TWICE? Wow. I feel so honoured.

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