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An outpour of anecdotes from student service workers

WHEN I WAS growing up in the sprawling suburb of Barrhaven, getting a job at Tim Hortons was actually kind of cool. You got free Timbits and soda, and on a slow night your friends could take over the inside of the store and amuse you between drive-through orders. One morning, while I was working at the aforementioned Timmy Hoes, I took two consecutive orders for two extra large coffees. When the first car pulled up, I grabbed the first order of coffees and handed it out the window to the driver. Turning away to count out the man’s change, I heard a knocking at the window. I stuck my head out the sliding glass and was met with the scalding hot splash of not one, but two, extra large coffees being thrown in my face. Apparently the customer was upset he had accidentally been handed black coffees instead of the double-doubles he ordered. To this day, I still can’t fathom why he didn’t just inform me of the mistake instead of giving me second-degree burns all over my 15-year-old face and arms.

—Jaclyn Lytle

TODAY, YESTERDAY, AND every single damn day that I have opened the coffee shop where I work, I have had to deal with customers wailing on the door, banging on the windows, and peering in through the blinds at me for the five minutes it takes me to open up the cashes and unlock the door. What kind of coffee shop would open at 5:55 a.m.? Hold your damn horses, you caffeine-crazed lunatics!

—Mark Needlemun

WHEN I LIVED back home, I worked at the only clothing store for miles. One night, while I was stuck on fitting room duty, a bunch of kids I went to school with came into the store in a big group. They split up, wandered around a bit, and one girl that I had math class with came into the back to try on a pair of jeans. Once she left the fitting rooms, she and the rest of her entourage ran for the doors, giggling their heads off. Turns out the group was part of a car rally team that night, and the girl from my math class was assigned the task of peeing on an item of clothing and leaving it for an employee to clean up. Needless to say, I stopped sharing my answers with her after that day.

—Shanna Tweeg

A CUSTOMER ONCE punched me square in the face because their food hadn’t come yet. I wasn’t even their waitress.

—Andria Gilberty