News not confirmed


aka: this entire blog post might be half-full of shit

I walked into work on Friday afternoon to a sight that (almost literally) took my breath away: The store was nearly out of Allen’s Coffee Brandy. The next delivery isn’t until Thursday.

Naturally, I asked my boss, “What the hell?” I mean, he couldn’t honestly expect me to work two busy weekend shifts without any Allen’s in the store. It’s like punching the clock at Burger King and being told by your manager that, unfortunately, your customers will have to do without their Whoppers. Or, to use a better analogy, it’s like being a nurse in the pysch ward and being told by the attending physician that, unfortunately, your patients will have to do without their meds. Until Thursday.

“It’s not my fault!” he said. Then he proceeded to tell me the following story, the facts of which I cannot confirm. I’m going to tell you his story anyway.

It seems the founder (or inventor, or something) of Allen’s Coffee Brandy died recently. He was pretty old, and his daughter had long since taken over the business, but she was understandably broken up about the passing of her father. To pay tribute to him, she commanded the troops to cease production of the Champagne of Maine until after his funeral. Since Mainers buy the crap by the bucketful every day, it didn’t take long for distributors to run low. And that means it didn’t take long for stores, including the one I work at, to run out.

I’ll admit it: the story sounded a little hinky to me. Like something a short-sighted distributor might tell the manager of a convenience store to excuse the lack of Allen’s Coffee Brandy in their recent liquor order. I did a google search when I got home from work on Friday night and found nothing remotely resembling the events described by my boss in the news. It still didn’t stop me from repeating it to irrate addicts – I mean customers – on Friday and Saturday night. I even managed a tear or two and a lilt in my voice at the retelling. It did nothing to tug at the hardened heartstrings of would-be Allen’s consumers, though. Never in all my years of working shitty customer service jobs have I been exposed to  the kind of verbal abuse I withstood this weekend. I even had to call the cops on one occasion.

Next time we run out of Allen’s, I want hazzard pay. Or a can of pepper spray.

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

14 responses to “News not confirmed

  • Kit Courteney

    That made me laugh – which made me cough.

    Please don’t be funny again. (Well, not until my cough disappears.)

  • Jen O

    I’ve got half a bottle in my cupboard! I’ll sell it to the highest bidder! 🙂

  • bunnygirl

    I wonder what really caused the shortage? If it’s a local product, it’s not likely to be a shipping issue.

    One of the things I hated most about the restaurant/bar business was when people did just what you describe–take out their frustration on management and suppliers on the flunkie minding the shop. I don’t know what’s wrong with people, since that kind of behavior only spreads negativity and doesn’t lead to the desired changes anyway.

  • robinaltman

    That’s very funny. Next time people are mean to you, fall down on the floor and pretend to have a seizure. It’s very distracting.

  • rjkeller

    KC…I promise. No more funny. Ever.

  • rjkeller

    Jen…Do it! You will be a rich woman.

  • rjkeller

    BG…I think most people who’ve worked in customer service in any capacity knows how it works. It’s the imbeciles who haven’t who think it’s smart to, for example, take it out on the cashier when there’s no more Allen’s, or on the waitress when the kitchen burns their hamburger.

  • rjkeller

    Robin…I will certainly add “drop on the floor in a faux seizure” to my repertoire, right next to “keep the top button of my uniform shirt unbuttoned.”

  • robinaltman

    Kel, now you’re thinkin’! Also, a very viable strategy. And don’t forget the drool out of the side of your mouth and speak in tongues strategy. I’ve never been yelled at once when I do that.

  • joeglasgow

    I wonder if it’s the coffee flavouring that appeals to people or if it’s the fact that it’s brandy with coffee flavouring?

    If the latter is the case, when in lack of supply, recommend to your customers a bottle malt whisky to mix into their coffee. Then, it’s the best of both worlds, actual coffee and whisky.

    Again, pepper spray is a good idea. (Just don’t use it on Mexican food.)

  • ScreenwritingforHollywood

    You sure sold me on the Allen Coffee Brandy. Never heard of that before. Sounds yummy.

  • Chad Sayban

    I am so glad I don’t work in retail. I’m with you – that story sure wouldn’t sell to a publisher, that’s for certain.

  • Ing

    Ha! This post made me laugh, and the comments made me laugh more.

  • spyscribbler

    Wow! That’s something. I’m going to have to try the stuff!

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