Working at tea chain presents interesting experiences

October 31, 2018 — by Amy Tang

It’s 10:08 p.m. on a Friday. As I finish closing the cup sealing machine, a woman walks into the store, blatantly ignoring the “closed” sign outside, and makes a beeline to the counter asking for a honey peach green tea. When I politely inform her that we’re closed, she responds with, “You can’t just make one more drink?”

T4, located on Pollard Road in Los Gatos, closes at 10 p.m.  on Fridays. I happen to work closing shifts often, because after-school activities like dance take up a lot of time.

Customers don’t always understand how the closing process works. At 10 p.m. sharp, we wash the shakers, clean the measuring cups, refill the syrups and powders, then seal the containers with honey and the cream powder that’s used to make milk teas.

We then proceed to pour out the tea because we make fresh tea every morning before opening. By 10:05 p.m., depending on how fast the employees work, there is about a 0.2 percent chance that we still have any tea left. So if it’s 10:08 p.m. and I say we can’t make tea, it doesn’t mean that I’m too lazy to make another drink. I mean that we would have to wait 30 minutes for the tea machine to brew a new batch of tea, then we would have to turn the sugar machine back on, pour syrup, shake the drink, then reclean the shaker and refill the syrup.

After school shifts aren’t any better. Some of these middle school kids are so rude. If you’re going to be loud, can you at least be polite?

When a 10-year-old customer asked for an order of Asian popcorn chicken, I asked him if he meant “basil popcorn chicken” because there’s no Asian chicken on the menu. He then proceeded to tell me that we did in fact have Asian chicken, and when I told him no once again, he giggled and said, “Well, you should then, because you’re Asian.”

Also, some people have the audacity to order a cup of only boba. That’s it. No drink. Just a full cup of pure boba. If you do that, I will charge you for 10 boba add ons, which is $5 instead of the $3.50 it costs for a normal drink.

What actually might be worse are people who order water with toppings. Honestly, what possessed you to come over to T4 and order a cup of water with boba? I thought this absurdity only came from Rolling Hills Middle School students, but no; one time a Saratoga student who will not be named came in and ordered a cup of water with lychee jelly.

Working part time at T4 has exposed me to an entirely new world, where rude customers and interesting concoctions will never stop. Despite the downfalls, I love working part time because of people I’ve met who have become my close friends.