The Null Device


Yesterday I met Grant of the Fix and his partner, who were in town, at a café. I ordered a chai, and asked to have some honey to sweeten it, and to have it in a cup rather than a glass (which was what the staff member was getting). I got my drink and sat down.

A few minutes later, another staff member comes over and starts telling me off for requesting a variation in my order, saying (in the patronising tones of a kindergarten teacher telling off a naughty child) that staff members get in trouble if they deviate from the one true way of serving tea. Surely, I replied, it should be no skin off anyone's nose if they do this?

Sometime later, upon running out of honey, I went to the bar to get some more, and was informed by the second waitress (the kindergarten teacher one) that they have decided to ban me from the cafe. I thought she was joking; no sane person would seriously do such a thing, right?

Wrong. A few minutes later, the manager comes down telling me to leave, and informing that I've been banned for life from the establishment for "being rude to the staff"; i.e., my name is now on an unaccountable blacklist of certified troublemakers, because I requested my tea to be served in a cup, with honey on the side (something they have had no problems with in the past). WTF? Have they been taking hospitality lessons from the Department of Homeland Security or something?

Colour me unamused. I'm now thinking of taking action. Any advice?