Iced Coffee

Tracy Brighten
Mar 27, 2016 · 2 min read

Well stuff you, Kerri said under her breath as she strode back to the coffee machine.

Would you believe it? Kerri pushed hard on the lever of the coffee grinder. I stick her Iced Coffee on the table and she goes ‘Where’s my straw?’ No bloody manners. Rude as hell. Duh, open your eyes, it’s in your drink, I wanted to say. But I didn’t. The boss’ll go crazy if I speak my mind.

“It’s in your drink madam.”

“Where’s the cream?” she snaps and she’s poking the blob of ice cream with the straw now. I want to say, You’re fat enough as it is. I’m doing you a favor. But I bite my lip. I’m doing really well with my anger management. My boss had a go at me about customer service, so I’ve been working on it.

“We don’t make it with cream according to our recipe, but you can pay for cream if you like.”

She’s staring at me with eagle eyes. “You charge for cream? That’s outrageous. I don’t charge for cream in my cafe.”

I’m keeping my cool. “I’ll give you some cream and I won’t charge you, but we do usually charge.”

The boss is gonna be real pleased with me. I’m pretty proud of how I’m handling this. I take the Iced Coffee away and I squirt a bit of cream on top — not much coz she hasn’t paid — and I take it back. “Enjoy your drink madam.”

I’m just clearing a table nearby, grabbing soggy wet wipes and sugar sticks that’ve been ripped open by some shit-bag, when she yells out, “This is disgusting,” at the top of her voice, so other customers can hear — that’s what really gets me. I go over to see what the hell’s wrong this time. I’m feeling like she’s just come in for a moan. We get them sometimes. Whatever turns them on, it sure does piss me off.

I smile. “Sorry madam. What’s wrong?” She fixes me with those eyes again and I don’t feel so confident.

“This isn’t real cream,” she says.

“Can I get the manager for you?” I ask, but she waves me away with her craggy claw saying she’s never coming here again.

I raise a finger as she leaves. “Good riddance! Go feast on some other sucker.”

Image credit: Iced Coffee by David Brighten

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Tracy Brighten

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Healthy nature, healthy people advocate. Thrives on words, birds and enthusiasm. Freelance writer, copywriter and copy-editor at

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