Tag Archives: Boggarts

Sigh-mon the Swamp Thing

For those of you still tuning in to this blog, thank you.

And I’m sorry. I missed my post on Wednesday. I mean, it’s not a big deal for you; you missed out on some unnecessary anger, exasperated face-palming, throwing holy water, and laughter.

But still, I am sorry. I found out that a writing project I have been working on for the last eight months (my thesis) is essentially turning me into a terrible writer (in the words of my supervising professor) and I need to, essentially, rewrite it. Yup. Life is fantastic. I’m just kind of in a mental panic. BUT THAT’S OKAY (maybe, hopefully?).

Besides, apologizing to y’all is much better than apologizing to the garbage can I just walked into earlier today.


Today is all about a customer I like to refer to as Swamp Thing. He doesn’t smell or anything, I don’t think. He might, but I tend not to spend a lot of time in his presence. But more because he looks like the character Swamp Thing from the 1997 film, Con Air. If you haven’t seen it yet, and have an hour or so to waste, GO DO IT. It’s hilarious. Nicholas Cage attempts a southern accent (keyword being attempts). John Cusack is in his prime. John Malkovich plays a crazy character.

Annddddd M.C. Gainey plays Swamp Thing. (Here’s an image for reference.)

Sigh-Mon looks like this. Just replace the golden locks for white, add a little bit of a curl to the mustache, and top everything off with an occasional cowboy hat and some weird jackets with fringe.

Now, Sigh-Mon is an asshat. Plain and simple. He’s rude, brusque, and interacting with him is quite similar to experiencing a nightmare.

His go-to drink is a regular drip coffee but in the 30 seconds of interaction you have with him, you’ll wish you never got out of bed that morning.

The First Encounter:

The first time I meet Sigh-Mon, I am working in the middle of another rush. The line is to the door, I am frantically trying to brew coffee, and my co-worker manning the cash register is still new. In shorter words: it was a mini gong show.

She takes Sigh-Mon’s order (the aforementioned drip coffee) and I grab it for her, placing the cup on the counter closest to me. All he has to do is shimmy to his left, grab his coffee, and go.

He doesn’t do that. Instead, Sigh-Mon gets angry at the fact that I have failed served him his coffee – that I have not brought it in front of him. I didn’t realize that signing my contract of employment meant signing a contract of servitude. My bad.

He says: “Hello. I am over here.”
I reply: “Hello. Your coffee is over here waiting for you.”

He rolls his eyes, frowns, and tells me off.

“I’m over here. You need to bring my coffee here. Why would you put it over there?”

He just saw the debacle that happened prior to him ordering. My co-worker backed into me as I was trying to deliver coffee to the customer in front of her. In my attempt to avoid spilling hot coffee on her, I spilled it on myself and on the floor. I put his coffee over on the other counter to avoid the same mistake. It’s not like he saw this entire incident go down or anything.

Oh wait, HE DID.

I bit my lip and just nodded, bringing his coffee over to him.

“Don’t let that happen again,” he says to me just before he leaves.

I turn my back to the customers so I can roll my eyes in peace.

The Second Encounter:

When I see Sigh-Mon next, he’s wearing an oversized cowboy hat and a putrid brown leather jacket with some horrendous fringe.

Though his outfit has changed, he is still ridiculously rude. He slams his money onto the counter and mutters: “Gimme a medium”

Obviously, his mother never told him “Gimme gimme never gets.” If she did, he definitely failed to listen to a rudimentary motto of life.

I restrained myself from rolling my eyes, looked at the amount and knew he was getting a drip coffee. But I did not want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that I knew his drink. Call me petty.

Instead, I looked at him, an expectant expression on my face.

He says it again: “I want a medium.”

I nod and gesture to the coffees. “We have three types sir, which one would you prefer?”

He scoffs at me, and grinds out: “a medium medium.”

There was such derision in his voice, I couldn’t help but laugh about it later.

I retrieved his coffee and watched as he rudely made a mess of the condiment stand. He grabs a handful of sugars, opens some and pours them straight onto the counter. Then opens some more packets and puts them into his own coffee. When he finally leaves, there is a pile of sugar wrappers and a separate pile of granules on the counter – which I have to go clean up.


The Third Encounter:

Sigh-Mon comes in one morning and decides to begrudgingly provide me with his order.

“Medium medium,” he says to me.

I nod, turn around the fetch his coffee, place it on the counter in front of him, and then tell him that it costs $2.55.

He looks at me, furrowed brows and mad frown on his face.

“It’s $2.57. Get it right.”

Guess how much he paid in cash y’all. $2.55.

The Fourth Encounter:

My brilliant co-worker Miranda, who you’ve met in the Kristophur saga, also had to deal with this asshat.

Sigh-Mon does his usual grumpy ordering of coffee, and slams down his money on the counter.

Miranda eyes the money, noting that the nickel has been placed on top, and places the money into the cash register.

Sigh-Mon, suddenly enraged, demands that she give him back his change. He paid exactly $2.55.

He placed the nickel on top. AND he always pays in exact change. Why would he think he paid differently?

Though Miranda informed him that he had not paid $2.75, he refused to listen. Instead, he moves off to the condiment stand and proceeds to make a mess in retaliation.

Great. An asshat child disguised as a cowboy. Wonderful.

man grabs head with two hands - holds temples out of sheer exasperation

The Fifth Encounter:

At this point, Swamp Thing doesn’t have the greatest reputation at our store. He’s just absolutely awful to deal with. But his interaction with my also-phenomenal co-worker Nakia really takes the cake.

Nakia is a stone-cold bad-ass. She handles pressure with so much grace and composure, takes no shit from rude customers, and her eye-rolls give me life. She’s fantastic. Anyway, love-fest aside, Nakia had to recently suffer the indignity of dealing with Sigh-Mon.

After Sigh-Mon receives his coffee, he stomps off to the condiment stand to throw in his daily dose of sugar. Unfortunately for us, he comes back, anger in his eyes, and displeasure written across his face.

“Where’s the white sugar? There’s no white sugar!” he yells at Nakia.

Nakia informs him that we didn’t have any.

“Fine,” he states. “I want a refund. I can’t drink it without sugar – I’m not getting my money’s worth.”

Let’s just stop there for a second. WE’RE A COFFEE SHOP. NOT A SUGAR SHOP.

We also have 4 other types of sugar and honey available for use.

Does anyone go to a restaurant, grab some fries and demand a refund because there isn’t any ketchup? I think not. You might be mildly disappointed, but you make do. Also, if you actually do go and demand a refund, shame on you.

Anyway, my point is, sugar is a privilege, not a right.

After he was through yelling at Nakia, another one of my co-workers luckily found him some packets of sugar hiding away at the bar. He grabbed them and stormed off.

I wish I could say it was the last time he came into the store. It would be nice, to simply say to him that we’re happy to never see him again. It would also be nice if he met the same fate as Gainey’s character in the Con Air movie or stepped on some legos barefoot.

Unfortunately for us, it looks like Swamp Thing is here to stay.


The Drama with Sellmah

In the words of Professor Remus J. Lupin:

Nobody knows what a boggart looks like when he is alone, but when I let him out, he will immediately become whatever each of us most fears.

If a boggart summed up is your worst nightmare, then a freaky clown would probably be the form the boggart takes if I ever encounter one. If you’re laughing, see Bill Skarsgård playing Pennywise the Clown in the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s It (no seriously, go see that movie, because it’s absolutely fantastic). Actually, it might be a spider – or a bee (see also: insects, great heights, zombies, moldy cheese, conservative Republicans).

But one of the other forms it could take would be that of the formidable Sellmah. With beady eyes, a rather buxom figure, chipped teeth, grey spaghetti-string hair, and clothing that seems to have missed washing by just several months ago, Sellmah is a sight to behold. But what’s even better is the sound of her voice: like nails on chalk, metal knives on porcelain, the screeches of the Nazgul…  Needless to say, seeing and interacting with Sellmah is not a very pleasant encounter.

One day, in the middle of an insane rush, Sellmah orders a blended mocha, and (angrily) asks if the wait will be long. Given that the store was full of people, the line out the door and circling around the block corner, I’d say she didn’t really need an answer to that pointless question. YES. The wait would be more than 5 bloody minutes. My co-worker rang in her order on the POS and then handed off the drink to be made. As I was starting on her drink, Sellmah had pushed her way to the bar area, and was glaring intently at me as I gathered ingredients. Milk. Chocolate. Coffee. Ice…

It was the moment I was scooping the ice into her drink that Sellmah cried out: “YOU MADE IT WRONG. IT’S TOO WATERY. DON’T YOU DARE MAKE MY DRINK WATERY. YOU BETTER PUT THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ICE IN THERE!”

Swallowing a retort and an frustrated sigh, I turned around, put on the best possible smile I could manage, and told her I understood. I put more ice in the scoop and moved to put it into the blender, until the Sellmah’s awful voice screeched out again: “That’s not enough ice! You’re trying to give me water. This is unbelievable!”

woman asks if she can mute someone. Points tv remote towards this person and presses button.

I could feel my anger boiling up to the surface, a geyser of unhappiness that could no longer be contained. I hate backseat-baristas with a passion. They’re the worst. No seriously. It’s grating and humiliating. Besides, if you have such a passion to “teach” baristas how to make drinks, GO AND WORK IN A COFFEE SHOP. Or better yet, make them at home, so nobody else has to live through an insufferable encounter with you.

I have to admit that I lost my temper. I threw the ice scoop in my hand violently into the sink, grabbed the biggest one I could find, filled it, and then aggressively chucked the contents into the blender. Afterwards, I turned around, held up the pitcher and asked her with gritted teeth if what I had was the correct amount of ice. She assented, and I blended her concoction, eager to relieve myself of her presence. Alas, it was not to be. After she got her drink, she took a singular sip and announced to the world that I was “incompetent” and had put too much water in the drink. Which I found really surprising, since the drink was so thick she couldn’t even suck anything up through the straw. Yeah. I paid that much attention to her.

Ice is frozen water. Let’s all just take a moment and remember that. Ice is frozen water.

Because this is a customer-driven business, I swallowed my pride and anger, and took her drink back, apologizing and promising to make her drink properly this time. After reaching the ice stage again, Sellmah yells out that she wants me to put in a middle-sized scoop of ice. THE. ORIGINAL. SIZED. SCOOP. OF. ICE. I. HAD. GRABBED. 

Yeah. I was angry. So angry I had to physically bite my tongue to keep from saying anything to her. I finished her drink and she left the store without another incident – for that day at least.

It was a week after this backseat-barista moment that Sellmah returned to our store, ordered another blended mocha and began another nightmare-inducing interaction.

This time round, Sellmah orders and receives her drink without any problems. However, after drinking everything BUT a tiny bit of whip cream, she returns to the cash register to tell us that her drink was “disgusting” and “undrinkable.”

Let’s stop there. If her drink was so “undrinkable,” why on earth did she DRINK THE WHOLE THING???!??

man grabs head with two hands - holds temples out of sheer exasperation

Because we couldn’t really deny her, (see the awful maxim: “The customer is always right”) she got another drink. For free.

Two days later, Sellmah entered the store to request a (free) iced water. As I headed over to the bar to get the ice and cold water, she yells a singular: “are you serious?” I turn to her, absolutely taken aback. There was no way I could have managed to screw up an ice water. Except I did.

Sellmah scoffed at me, rolled her beady little eyes and said to me: “I can’t believe you don’t know how to make an iced water. You’re supposed to put the ice in first!”

She crossed her arms smugly. As if she had just taught me the most important lesson in the universe.

Just so you know, there’s no actual correct way to “make” an iced water. There was never a moment where I wished I was a powerful witch more than that one. Can you imagine the satisfaction of waving a wand, saying the incantation Ridduklus, and watching this awful creature turn into a joke of itself?  

To add insult to injury, the next time I saw Sellmah, which was a couple days after the iced water debacle, my manager whispered these words to me: “Oh, I love Sellmah. She’s one of my favourites because just so sweet!”

Just nope. Nope.