Hi. Smile. Thank.

I saw these three words taped to all of the cash registers in my local supermarket, as a reminder to the cashiers. And, it made me feel weird. I didn't really know what it made me feel at first, but it definitely shocked me, initially, for a couple reasons.

1) Why do people need to be reminded to say 'hi' and 'thank you' to customers?

 Shove it.

Shove it.

2) SMILE? Really? I cannot stand it. I absolutely loathe being told to smile. When I worked for a supermarket in high school, in the 90s, I was never told I had to smile. I was told I had to be polite. Period. Good customer service. Period. When I worked for hospitals and medical practices, I was often told by older male patients whose surgery I was scheduling that I "should smile more." I'd be like, I'm sorry. I'm busy focusing on scheduling your cardiac clearance and making sure you understand you cannot take aspirin/ibufprofen within two weeks of your surgery date and YES THAT INCLUDES ALEVE COME ON but hold on let me pause and give you a smile like I'm trying to sell you a new suit. *eyeroll*

Back to the signs.

I have to be honest and tell you I couldn't care less if the cashier at a supermarket is smiling at me. I appreciate a 'hello, how are you?' but I truly care more that they don't squish my bread/eggs if I'm not bagging myself. I don't think you have to be smiling in order to provide good, efficient customer service. AND - I also know that if I worked there and found those annoying, degrading reminders staring me in the face during my shift, I'd smile a helluva lot less.

In fact, I'm thinking of reaching out to the store to let them know that as a customer, I find those signs ridiculous. Thoughts?

Decaf is not difficult


"Is this decaf" I asked, as the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru employee handed me my iced coffee.

"No...did you want decaf?"

*silent sigh* "Yes, I ordered decaf."

She checks the order slip and verifies that I indeed ordered decaf. About a minute later, and with some grumbling between employees behind the drive-thru window, I'm handed my correct coffee order...and made to feel like I'm 'that annoying customer' again.

As I drive away, I shake my head thinking about how often this happens -- whether it's at a drive-thru or the counter. I also think about how many times I haven't double-checked, only to drink my coffee and start to feel sick and shaky, realizing it was, in fact, not decaf.

Yes, I realize there is some small amount of caffeine in decaf, something like 3%. I don't drink decaf to be difficult, or because I want to. I've told you about this before, but ever since having Owen, I've had a very low tolerance to caffeine IF I drink it on an empty stomach/first thing in the morning. The afternoon seems to be OK - in which I often opt for an iced dirty chai latte from Starbucks if I'm in the mood.

Why can’t DD and other coffee shops/diners/whatever get this right? If you offer decaf, and if a customer orders it, it's not an option if you want to give it to them or not. Would they give a customer a chicken sandwich if they ordered a hamburger?

Fun fact: When I worked weddings at a country club, we would always serve decaf to the guests during cake time because...time for you to get tired and go home. Suckers!

Anyway, let me explain what happens if I am mistakenly given regular coffee when I order decaf. This recently happened when I was in Albany visiting my mom, and we stopped at a DD before heading to a home decor store with Owen. I noticed my cup wasn't marked decaf, but the employee assured me it was. OK, cool, I thought. We got to the store and I started to feel shaky, sweaty and dizzy. I felt nauseated, and my head started to ache. I immediately knew it wasn't decaf. So, I threw the rest (about half) of the coffee out, pounded a water I had with me, and just powered through it until it was out of my system, thanks to multiple trips to the restroom in the store. Is it life-threatening? No. Is it annoying? Yes.

Am I insane for continuing to go back and trusting that they'll give me my correct order? Maybe. And, you may be thinking that I'm not "getting anything out of" drinking decaf. But, that's not true. It's refreshing, I like the taste and it does offer the perfect amount of pick-me-up. And, when I'm out and about in the morning/mid-morning, it's often a welcome stop, especially if Owen passes out in the car.

So, I'll continue my fight for the right to decaf. Besides, if they're taking my money, I should get what I want, amiright or amiright?

(I'm right.)

Quickie: Babies in bars?

 via mommyish.com

via mommyish.com

I came across a friend tweeting about people who bring their baby to a bar. It brought up a topic I've gotten pretty passionate about over the years, and my stance has changed only somewhat since I've become a mom.

I believe there are kid-friendly places, kid-acceptable places...and then there are some places where kids should not be allowed. Bars are one of them, I think -- but only at night. I don't see anything wrong with a tot hangin' out with mom and dad during brunch/lunch/a festival/whatever.

But, at night, it just feels like a different crowd. Because, people go to bars to let loose, have fun and be a little careless -- perhaps even leaving their responsibilities out of mind for a bit. When there's a baby strapped to a beer-drinking mom or dad, it's hard to forget about your own kids back at home/with the sitter.


OR -- maybe it makes some people drink more when they see a baby, who knows?! And then maybe they forget their birth control and BAM -- more babies/future customers.

Mm-hmm. These baby bars are onto something, aren't they.

Also - this post on Mommyish.com nails it. While some bars enforce a "last call for babies" -- no babies after 8 p.m. -- bars are just so dirty. Not to mention, people can get pretty rowdy and accidentally throw an elbow now and then.

So, I think if you're absolutely dying for an adult night out for some drinks at a bar but don't have a babysitter...stay home. *shrug* Welcome to parenting!