(What you are about to read are true confessions from various former, and occasionally current employees in the industrial giant known as the hospitality industry. All names have been changed, as have most locations. What remains true are the stories of employees; the good, bad, ugly, heartwarming, heartbreaking, scary, action-packed and unique stories that only that industry could bring.)

 

I worked at one of the many locations of a nationally well-known coffee shop. We had plenty of regular visitors with plenty of original stories. But one truly creeped me out beyond anything else. Honestly, he was an incredibly weird dude and gave off the vibe that every gross guy in my life has given me. That creepy, anti-social vibe and if they are social, it usually isn’t a positive encounter. Someone else ends up feeling a bit violated or otherwise disturbed.

 

(Gawker)

I’m not sure if I’m just a magnet for them or not so I’ve become well attuned to sensing a diagnosing a creeper. He just made me feel uneasy from the moment he walked through the automatic doors and smiled at me. I remember he wore a black shirt, black basketball shorts, and high white socks with dirty white New Balance sneakers every time he came to the store.



He was very intrusive as well and let himself behind the counter of the store almost as if he owned the store. Arguably, the creepiest part of him wasn’t his clothing or his intrusiveness but instead his orders as a customer.  After I told him that I couldn’t just “pour whipped cream” for him unless he ordered a drink, he ordered something. He then took a sip, threw it away, and then asked for his whipped cream. I was uncomfortable, but I did it hoping he would just leave afterward.



He didn’t end up leaving, though. He came over to the barn door entrance to the galley and essentially cornered me while he started talking to me about how “time goes on and on when you’re alone”. I was 16 at the time and working at a location inside a larger store at this point, mind you. So fortunately, a segway security cop came and told him to leave. He wandered off into the store and ended up buying a bag of clementines and a basket full of toilet paper. No, I didn’t ask any other questions about this guy’s purchases. The security guard didn’t leave the cafe area until the guy drove off in the parking lot about an hour and a half later.



But after a few weeks of him coming in and me disappearing, most of which were spent with him asking my co-workers where I went to school, if I had a boyfriend, and so forth, he just started camping out in the parking lot within a clear shot of the circular window which gave him an open view of the barista counter. He would park his car out there until it was time for me to get off. It got to a point where the security guards had to walk me to my truck at night.

 

One night, there were no guards, and my old truck wouldn’t start because it was too cold to turn over. My parents just so happened to be getting Chinese food a few streets over, so when I called them, they raced over. I’m not sure what my dad said to the guy, but I assume it was pretty rough because I never saw the guy for the rest of my time as an employee there. We told the store manager about the incident and they finally filed a police report, the man was banned from the parking lot. Later on, I heard from a friend who still worked there that he tried to come in and was escorted out.

 

Do you have your own story of working in the hospitality industry? If so, message me on Twitter at @CaptainKasoff because I’d love to hear it.