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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Noah's Bagels - We don't just like 'em stupid, we like 'em rude, too.

This morning I had to go to an off-site meeting in Napa.

On the way there I stopped at the Noah's Bagels by my house.
I stopped there for three reasons --
1- I forgot to make coffee last night so wasn't able to just press play before I hopped in the shower so I could have a hot cuppa joe ready for me after my shower
2 - I didn't have any cash on had so I couldn't stop at The Sea Biscuit Cafe
3 - Noah's coffee is generally pretty good and I've often made trips there for just coffee

A little background - The Noah's Bagels by my house has never been known to have the smartest employees. They've never been particularly quick-witted, but they've never ever been rude. There was one older lady that was a little terse, but she was fair, efficient and not stupid so she was OK. I don't think she's there anymore. Most of the time my order was slightly wrong but there was never, ever anything wrong with the coffee. It seems like they are now hiring both rude and stupid people, who don't know anything about coffee.

This morning I went into my local Noah's. I was the only one in there.

Lady: "good morning ma'am"
Me: "Hi, can I have a large cup of coffee and a pumpernickel bagel toasted with cream cheese, tomato and onion?"
Lady: "sure, large coffee and pumpernickel bagel w/ 2 veg"
Then she walks over to an order machine - something that she puts the order into so it'll show up on a screen not 2 feet behind her. She looks at me.
Lady: "so you have what kind of bagel?"
Me: "pumpernickel"
Lady "what did you have on it?
Me "toasted w/ cream cheese, tomato and onion"
Lady: "ok, anything else"
Me: "yes, a large coffee"
Then she walks 2 feet to her right and re-enters the order into the cash register. I pay. A few seconds pass.
Me: "can I have my coffee cup?"
Lady: "what size was that?"

I go to pour myself some Midtown coffee. It's translucent. I decide to try the Soho. It's translucent. I go back to the register and tell the lady the coffee is wrong. She asks the lady making my bagel to go check out the coffee. The lady making my bagel gets a cup, fills the cup half way, looks at it, shows it to me and says "what's wrong with it?" I look at her and say "it's translucent". She looks at me with a puzzled look. I tell her I'm not supposed to be able to see through the coffee to the bottom of the cup. The lady at the register asks her if there is anything wrong with the coffee. She answers with "I don't know. I don't drink coffee."
Then, with a very loud "harrumph" she takes the coffee pot from its cradle and brings it to the back and tells someone to start a new pot. He starts it a few minutes later.
A few minutes after that, the first lady comes up to me and tells me she can fill my coffee. I tell her it's not done brewing yet. She said that there's enough to fill my cup. I tell her that while that may be so, what she'll be giving me is a super-duper strong cup of coffee and then the rest of her customers who got coffee would get a sub-standard weak cup of coffee. I tell her I'm OK to wait so all of us could have the coffee experience the higher-powers at Noah's would like for us to have. Her response was "but there's enough to fill your cup." I gave up trying to explain this to her and just decided to drink the super strong coffee and let the rest of her customers suffer by offering them compromised coffee.

After I got my coffee I tried to explain it to her again. She grabbed a pen, started doodling scribbles on a napkin, looked up at me and said "thanks ma'am, have a nice day".

I won't be going back for a while. The retention rate of this particular Noah's seems pretty low, however. I'll start going back in a few months when the next crop of short-term employees show up.

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