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Newbie.

I did not recognize the young lady behind the counter at Dunkin’ Donuts today. She appeared to be on her first or second day on the job; she seemed a little disoriented as to where important things like donuts and coffee were located. Because of this, I decided not harass her with a “why isn’t my tea waiting for me?” type of attitude. The prince can be reasonable.

The woman at the customer side of the counter, who was two people ahead of me in line, ordered nearly a dozen cups of coffee, all with differing sidearms. She seemed impatient and conversely very relaxed at the same time as she counted out pennies and nickels on the counter. After the cash portion of the transaction was completed she stood there at the counter. She didn’t head to the “pick up” area that is common in places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Hortons and Starbucks. She planted herself right there in front of the register. Her roots went deep. She was shaped like a potato.

After all the differing cups of coffee were inefficiently assembled and distributed, the potato woman left and the balding woman in front of me (I notice things, what can I say) ordered her coffee and donut. She paid and then planted herself in front of the register. This slows down efficiencies by half, because the person that could be assembling the drinks is constantly reaching around the person that is taking the orders instead of working in her work area over near the pick-up window. The balding woman likes change as well. And since the customer is planted in front of the register, there’s that awkward moment where the cashier asks for the order of the next customer in line whilst screaming around the customer that is planted in front of the register, forcing the very dignified gentleman (that would be me) to yell his order and have his view obscured by a prominent bald spot on the back of the woman’s head.

I don’t mind bald people. I am proudly a bald person. But I do find it disconcerting to see a bald spot surrounded by the remnants of three different dye jobs in a woman’s hair and quite frankly, this type of balding is entirely too prominent in this part of the state. Someone needs a license revoked somewhere.

Now, I knew that when I got to the counter there would be mayhem because I am all wild and crazy and tend to pay for my order with the Dunkin’ Donuts app on my iPhone. When the overpriced iced tea came to $2.86, I showed the screen of my iPhone with the barcode prominently displayed.

The new cashier asked, “do I scan that?”.

Ok, I had a brief moment of “and then there’s Maude” and I was going to say something like, “Why don’t you call President Obama and ask him for the money?”, but that would have been extremely rude, especially to an employee on her first or second day. So instead, I simply said, “Yes, you scan it but after you press the MPAY button in the lower right hand corner of the screen.”

In another life I write cash register programs. In an alternate universe I am a secret spy that can easily memorize computer screens without even thinking twice about it.

She did as ordered and all was well.

“Thank you for your help”, she said sheepishly as I shuffled over to pick-up area, determined to get the precedent back to where it should be.

I like the newbie behind the counter. I hope to get her trained to have my unsweet tea ready and waiting.

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