Tales from the Café: Commonly Heard Phrases

Time: Every day I come into work

Every job has its own set of phrases that make you feel like you’re a broken record. Mocha Time has quite a few. Between what I hear the customers say, and what I say on a regular basis…

“Thank you for calling Mocha Time City Center, this is Hunter. How can I help you?”

“Uh hi Hunter. I was just wondering, what are your soups today?”

I closed my eyes, biting back the sigh. Third time in the past hour. “We have a french onion, a loaded baked potato, and a tomato parmesan bisque.”

“Oh okay, thank you.”

“Sure thing.”

“I’d like…I’ll do the half and half, and get half of the chicken salad sandwich, and then a cup of the tomato bisque.”

“Sure thing. Anything to drink for you?”

“Just an iced tea.”

“Sounds good. That’ll be ten dollars even.”

“Hah! I wonder how it works out that way. That’s useful.”

Yes, because it couldn’t possibly be on purpose… I smiled. “Nice, isn’t it?”

I leaned against the counter, polishing some forks so that I could roll new silverware. We’d been busy, so we were short on white-rolled sets and I was the one with a free moment. I didn’t mind. I liked the moments of downtime I got.

“Excuse me.” I looked up at the customer who’d spoken, standing in front of me with cups and napkins in their hands. “Is there a garbage around here somewhere?”

I set down my polishing cloth and pointed toward the tea canisters. “There’s a hole in the counter over there, and that’s where the garbage is.”

They looked over and sighed. “Of course, right in front of my face. Thank you.”

“No problem.”

Walking back with a handful of plates, I saw a man wandering around near the door to the office looking lost. “Something wrong, sir?”

He looked over at me. “Where are your restrooms?”

I turned and nodded toward our specials board. “Just behind the whiteboard.” Under the sign we put up that no one sees. We’d tried so hard to make the entrance to the bathrooms more noticeable and yet nothing we did worked. I kept telling James we just needed to get some neon on it. I think he was starting to agree with me.

“Oh. Thank you.” He wandered off and I turned back toward the kitchen, seeing Zöe behind me grinning.

“I’m telling you. Let’s just put a sign on the office that says ‘Not Bathroom.’ That will solve all our issues.”

She shook her head. “Little too passive aggressive I think. Won’t argue that it’s a good idea, though.”


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