I apologize for posting a Wednesday’s post on a Thursday but hey, what can you do? Here goes another Five of the week. Damn, time’s advancing quickly.
Well, I thought a lot about this week’s topic and, honestly, I didn’t know what to write about until this morning. I was, just like every Wednesday, having breakfast at a bakery that includes a café. Of course you can observe different kinds of people when sitting there eating your roll and drinking your coffee and somehow I subconsciously developed categories for some of them. But it was not until today before I got the feeling to write down my thoughts. Actually, it was an ordinary day but that should soon be different. And it was – as soon as THEY came in.
Suddenly the bakery was flooded by a group of six to eight Dutchwomen. No, I have nothing against Dutch people. It was just fascinating to watch them. Actually, it was them who nudged me to write about the different kinds of customers I encountered whenever I had breakfast in that bakery.
1. The Dutch Bees
Dutch people always come in groups of at least three people, mostly women. Once their inside they gather around the counter like a swarm of bees. When they have made their choices all but two sit down whereby they often claim two tables. The remaining two place the orders. One of those two, let’s call her the “drone”, takes the coffees and rolls to the tables once they are ready and then she goes back repeating the process until all women are well provided for. Then she sits down. This is the time the other one, the “queen bee”, joins them with her own order. Now they are all taken care of and ready to enjoy their breakfast. In case there should be something missing (sugar, milk etc.) there’s the “chosen drone” to take care of this. She stands up and fetches sugar, milk or the coins for using the toilet.
When you’re sitting in the café and observing their bee-like behavior, you’re always waiting for another Dutchwoman to come in and dance the way to the next bakery.
2. The Inquirer
Those are people who come into the bakery without having an idea of what they actually want. So, when the saleswoman wants to take the order the person at first replies: “Oh, I’m just having a look.” After a while, the saleswoman asks again and the person is still unsure of what to take: “Hm, I still don’t know. What is this?” And the answer is: “That’s a pizza with salami.” And now the game begins. The customer keeps asking what is what and the saleswoman, gradually losing her patience, answers. The question is why do people do that? There are little signs in front of everything, naming the good and even showing its price. Do these people not see the signs or do they ignore them just so they can ask questions? Maybe it’s just a trick to find out what the saleswoman knows about the things she sells. Yeah, maybe that’s it. And if she doesn’t know something exactly, for example how much vanilla pudding there is in a bun, maybe these people go home, draw a big red “X” on their calender and think “Yes, I denounced her”. Yes, maybe it’s their own private victory.
3. The Undecided
The third type of customers are those who often change their minds. I think it’s beter to give an example than to lose myself in an explanation. It was one or two weeks ago, when I was having breakfast, that a woman entered the bakery. At first she spotted the pizzas which were arranged in three rows, two of them being the same kind of pizza. The woman asked her way through the different pizzas before she chose the one in the middle, i.e. one of the two veggie pizzas that were the same.
Then the woman wanted a coffee to go because they’re cheaper than drinking them in the café. Ok, I can understand that. However, she spotted another woman whom she knew, said hello to her, went back to the counter and changed her order. Now she wanted a coffee she could drink in the café so the saleswoman could transfer the coffee from a mug to a cup.
Another example is the woman who came into the café and wanted some curd (I’m not sure on this one) with fruits on top. So, she ordered strawberry curd which they didn’t have at the bakery. The saleswoman told her “But we have wild berries” and the woman said “Well, then I’ll have raspberries.”
Writing this post I get the feeling that theses people are what the one’s who ask their way through the displayed good really want to be. This means they not only cut the saleswomen out of their patience but in the end they also want to top it all of by changing their minds and ordering something completely different.
4. Chattering the Quiet away
“I like it quite in the morning” one of the best statements I have ever heard. And it is so true. However, there are people who know perfectly well how to destroy the quiet. Imagine yourself sitting alone at a table, enjoying your coffee and your roll and suddenly there’s a loud “Excuse me” tearing you away from the quiet. If it’s just the “chosen drone” asking for sugar or milk that’s no problem because she won’t bother you anymore once she got what she came for. If it’s not the “chosen drone” you’re about to have a problem because then it’s someone, most likely the person next to you, who wants to start a conversation. Even if you are not interested you’re polite enough to reply and this sets the catastrophe in motion. If you’re really unlucky then this person will tell you the story of her life which, polite as you might be, simply doesn’t interest you. Sometimes it gets even worse and they tell you about their last operation or any bad diseases they suffered from lately. And they can really get into detail with this. So, enjoy your meal 😉
Sometimes those people tell you what they observe right at that moment which means they start talking just for the sake of talking. This is even more annoying than hearing about a divorce or anything because you can see what they observe for yourself, meaning you know what’s to come.
5. Those who throw the Rocks
People come into the bakery, place their order and take it to their seats. So far, so good. Sometimes it happens that the table they chose still has a tray on it with cups and plates. Those people, however, complain about the tray being there and that no one brought it back to the rack. They’re totally right to do so because it’s not always a pleasant sight to see the aftermath of the earlier customer’s breakfast. Consequently, the saleswoman comes, takes the tray away and apologizes a hundred times just so the customer is content and happy.
BUT…after finishing their breakfast this type of customer, the one who complained before, takes his jacket and leaves. Right, without taking his tray back to the rack. Ironic, isn’t it? The best is yet to come though. The rack is emptied regularly and always positioned at the exit. So, leaving the café and taking the tray to the rack would be the same way. Why not take it there?