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Nine things I’ve learned from working at TAP

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A few weeks ago, I started working at The Axe and Palm (TAP). It’s been mostly smooth sailing, but I’ve learned a few things (both good and bad) about students, milkshakes and how to avoid spilling pickle juice on yourself. Here are some highlights!

1. Students steal! This is, maybe, the most surprising thing I learned since starting work, and was one of the first things they told me while training. Employees are all told to keep an eye out for people attempting to steal. If you’re caught, then you will be banned for life or until you’re unrecognizable because you’re so much older. That would suck. Please don’t steal.

2. There is an insubordinate number of Erics and Michaels at this school. There was a night when three Erics were waiting at once. Then two Michaels came in within three minutes of each other and ordered the same thing. I kept up a mental tally one night and left with double digits.

3. When they say regulars, they mean it. The people who are often at TAP don’t only come consistently, they also order the same items each time. It’s impressive and I can appreciate the consistency.

4. People mostly bus their own tables! Nearly everybody cleans up incredibly well after themselves, and this leads me into #5…

5. People are super polite. Incredibly, heartwarmingly so. I was expecting my first few weeks on the job to have at least one angry customer incident, but nothing that even comes close has happened (yet). People are wonderfully kind – smiles and a thank-you can also go a long way. 

6. Customers are less polite while drunk and with large groups of friends. Which is understandable.

7. 1:59 a.m. is the worst time to be at TAP. If it’s 1:59, then you probably knew it would close at 2:00 and you charged on over with your friends to try and get something just as it closes, and it’s just not a great place to be in for anyone.

8. People throw up more often than anyone would like, but less often than you’d expect. Since I’ve started working, no one has thrown up yet! (Knock on wood.) It generally happens about once every few weeks.

9. All of the hidden gems on the menu! My personal favorite is the Mango Snowbubble (a mix of mango syrup and regular milk tea), but there are plenty of other drinks and foods that are woefully neglected.

Contact Miranda Liu at mirliu ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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