"Thou shalt not steal"
People are funny, sometimes.
The coffee shop I work at is part of a church. We're Cathedral Coffee, and until last Sunday, we had our plain coffee pots up on the counter against the back wall. They sat on their racks between a microwave, napkin dispensers, various creams and little buckets full of sugars/splendas/sweet 'n lows/etc. People would come up to the counter, pay for a coffee, we'd give them their cup, and they'd go to the back wall to make their coffee as they pleased. One of us workers would periodically go back and check the pots, replacing or marrying them as needed.
Last Sunday, we had a meeting. Our boss bought us pizza, we took a test to see how well we knew prices and protocol and things. Then we discussed the shop.
One of the topics that came up was the placement of the coffees in back. We knew people were stealing coffee. it was a given. We put it back there where we couldn't really keep track of it, and people just came in either with their own cups, or maybe getting free refills when we actually charge for refills. Sometimes, when they were really ballsy, they actually stole the cups next to the reg when we're busy, or send their little kids to steal cups for them 'cause they think we wouldn't try to stop a five year old.
So it was agreed that, with some maneuvering of the pastry trays and a little less elbow room for ourselves, we'd move the big rack onto the counter, so the back of it was facing the customers, and the front of it was facing us. Now, we would not only give people their cups, but we'd fill them with the coffee of their choice, too.
Wednesday night was the first night in action. Wednesdays are always slower than Sundays, and only one guy complained- loudly. He said he would talk to our boss and complain, and then then proceeded to spend the rest of the night telling everyone who came in to do the same so She'd change it back. He's one of the people that would sneak refills, so we didn't really care what he had to say, and eventually he left on his own. Other than that, it was fine.
Then Sunday happened.
Now, I come it in the second half of the day,as the first is spent volunteering, so I missed most of the bitching, but everyone there was happy to tell me how a small but vocal group of people bawled them out for moving the coffee. How they complained how much they liked it before. How they were sure that the church was somehow cheating them, and what kind of moronic reason sis we have for DARING to move THEIR coffee in the first place?
To which Fran would say, "We had to stop. People kept stealing coffee."
To which they would either get really defensive, "What, you'd think I'd steal?", or really upset, "People would really steal from a church? I mean, OUR church?". Finally, she just started telling people that we moved it back there to provide better service. Half of them bought it and then got happy and tipped us generously, the other half were on to us and were all like, 'Mmmhmm, yeah, riiiiight."
Us workers unanimously agreed that the ones who were raising a big stink were probably the ones who'd been getting freebies, as the majority of people were okay with the change, and had no problem telling us their favorite brew to give them.
I laughed and took up the reg for a bit, giving Ray a break.
Guy, paying for coffee: I'll take a small coffee.
Zeph, getting the cup: Sure thing. What kind-
Guy: *takes the cup from my hand and turns around, towards where the coffees used to be*
Zeph: Sir? The coffees are back here now.I have to give it to you. What kind would you like?
Guy: Oh. Peets. How come they're back there now?
Zeph, pouring the coffee: Because people kept stealing it. They'd come in with their own cups 'n stuff and would just take it. Here you go.
Guy: Thanks. Does this mean there are no more free refills?
Zeph, thinking: FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-
Zeph, speaking: No, sir. there were never free refills. We've always charged for refills.
Guy: Oh. *sips coffee* Okay then. *Leaves*
At the end of the day, we sold the same amount of coffee as usual, but we had several premade pots leftover, and nobody had to grind more coffee to brew, which we usually have to do twice on Sundays.
Fuckin' people, man.
Funny story: We used to have a 'no free refills' sign. But it was stolen.