The Einstein Bros. Bagels shop at Kimberley and Beltway 8 is attractive to me for many reasons. It's literally right across the street from my house; the Sumatra coffee is strong, dark and delicious; and the chopped onion bagel with salmon cream cheese is exactly the savory kick I like to start my day with.
It's also equally unattractive to me for reasons which are best illustrated by the things I witnessed there this morning, things which - sadly - are a fairly routine occurrence.
1) A woman who bought four mudslide cookies for her screaming six-year-old boy. For breakfast.
2) A man who took an entire tray of sample bagel holes off the counter and ate the whole batch, cluelessly munching on them as he waited in line.
3) A woman who had an incredibly difficult time accepting the fact that the "Hate to Wait" bucket of bagels held 13 bagels instead of 12, as she only wanted a dozen. "The extra bagel doesn't cost anything," the staff tried to explain. "It's just in there - 12 bagels or 13 bagels, the price is the same." No dice. The lady wanted 12 bagels and only 12 bagels.
4) Two women sitting at a table with their toddlers, who were tearing off chunks of their bagels and hurling them at the other patrons as their mothers sat blissfully engaged in conversation about the latest gossip at church.
5) Two housewives in line in their tennis outfits, who were holding up the line by yakking loudly about which private school was better - Duchesne or Kinkaid - and utterly ignoring the staff as they repeatedly asked the women if they were ready to order.
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SHOW ME HOW
6) The same two women pitching a pure, hard fit when they realized that the line was beginning to move around them as the staff had started to help other customers. They asked to speak with the manager and told him how they'd been completely ignored and how no one had bothered to wait on them.
7) The same two women quickly engaging in the same conversation again once they'd moved up to the register, ignoring the cashier and once again holding up the entire line.
8) A woman hurriedly rushing in and walking to the front of the line, in front of everyone else already waiting there, grabbing a coffee cup, throwing two dollars on the counter, snottily screaming "Keep the change!" and stalking off to fill her cup at the coffee bar.
People say that customer service is dying in restaurants and other retail establishments across the nation. Is it any wonder, with customers like this?