I just had the most awful lunch experience. I went to a cafe that I've been to several times before. The staff seemed really disorganised and confused. I waited in line, but when it was my turn the guy serving went off to do something else (take an order out I believe) even though I was standing right in front of the counter. Then another customer came in and placed his order directly with the owner (who was over to the side making coffee) which annoyed me because I was there first (the guy was a regular, so he went straight up to the owner to ask for the "usual"). I waited a bit longer then the owner said "Are you right there luv?" and I replied "I would like to place an order". I ordered a sandwich and an iced chocolate, to takeaway. He said it wouldn't be too long and I sat at a nearby table to wait. It took awhile.
Eventually I overhear the confused staff having a big argument - apparently one of the girls had made the iced chocolate to eat in not takeaway so they were struggling with "fixing" the problem and whether they should just pour it into a takeaway cup. Awhile later a different girl came over and gave me my sandwich. A few minutes later the girl behind the counter started loudly yelling "Iced Chocolate Takeaway! Iced Chocolate Takeaway!" which irritated me again as I was RIGHT in front of her! I didn't think I should have to yell out "HERE!" to get my drink when I was now standing there holding out my hand. She handed it to me and I noticed immediately that it was completely white and creamy, not chocolatey like it usually is. Surprised, I commented "Oh it looks quite creamy! Oh well that's fine" and turned to walk away. To my surprise she started saying very loudly and defensively "That's an iced chocolate, if you want a frappe order a frappe! Those don't have cream!" I replied "I know, I get them all the time. It's fine. This is just on the creamy side don't worry about it", and headed out. I realised that people at the nearby tables were staring because she had been really loud, and I felt angry about that. All in all I was really dissatisfied by the experience and was thinking I'd write a strongly worded letter. Or just never go there again. The iced chocolate was truly awful - I don't think that particular staff member had been trained properly - I was surprised because it was different to *their* usual iced chocolate that I've had several times. If only that was the end of it all.
So I'm sitting at my desk eating my sandwich (which was also par-standard) and mulling angrily over the situation when I stop and think "Wait a second, did I get my change.... wait, did I PAY?!!" I checked my wallet, and the $60 I withdrew from the ATM this morning is all still intact. So not only did I get terrible service and bad food, I also stole it.
I guess I can blame pregnancy brain which I have very badly today due to lack of sleep. Also in my defence, at this place they ALWAYS charge upfront, I've never had them not take my money at the start before. I realise now that the owner guy just never asked for money at all, he skipped that part and put the order in and left instead. All the other staff obviously assumed I'd paid seeing that their procedure is to take the money at the same time as the order. I know it's ultimately my responsibility but truly, surely somebody should have asked for money at some point???
What should I do now? I really don't want to go back and imply I was in the wrong because they did stuff up. But obviously nor do I want to be a thief. Would it be unfair to ask a coworker to go and drop off the money for me, along with a note perhaps?