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Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

It’s been a long time coming folks! The latest post! And it’s extra long and full of vitriol! Enjoy!

 

There’s just something about Sundays that sucks arse. Big time. The clearest and simplest reason is that you’re serving people who are spending time (not quality time, but time nonetheless) with their families and friends. Which just reminds you that you are not.

Or it could be that people are just massive wankers on Sundays.

Examples, you say? Why, of course.

 

The Hungover Arsehole

 

‘Give me a fiveshot black Americano.’

‘You’re welcome’

‘Are you being SNIPPY with me? I have a HANGOVER!’

 

Oh, I’m sorry, did I miss the part where having an overabundance of alcohol in your system means social norms don’t apply to you? And maybe if you’re so fucking hungover you shouldn’t have DRIVEN to the coffee shop. Or maybe you should have had a shower. That would have made you feel better. And the rest of us would really appreciate it.

 

These aren’t really too bad. Usually, you look a bit affronted, then they get all bashful and go ‘sorry, raging hangover’ and together you laugh at why a thirty five year-old man still can’t figure out how to hold his drink. It’s a delightful bonding exercise.

 

Except, there’s The Drunk Arsehole.

 

‘OI LOVE! OI! YOU! YEAH! YOU! DARLIN’! WANNA GO ON A  DATE?’

‘I want to get you a cup of coffee.’

‘THAT’S LIKE A DATE INNIT?’

‘Do you normally pay your dates?’

‘…I’ll have a black coffee. Two sugars.’

 

The worst of these was the bigoted, homophobic, racist moron dancing around with a broom and a traffic cone on his head, shouting insults. The best was the confused tipsy man who walked in after a Christmas party and asked if he was anywhere near Leicester Square. That was the last place he remembered from the night before. Staff parties. Lethal. (Note: He was about 15 miles out of central London).

 

 

Now, none of these compare with the families. Or, more especially:

 

 

The One-Day-a-Week-Dads.

 

The worst thing about this particular specimen of customer is that they’re not always divorced dads who don’t really know how to bond with their kid in the limited time they have. That, maybe, I can understand. They buy the kids everything they could possibly eat or drink in the hopes that providing will make them the world’s best father. That’s fine, good luck to you.

It’s the ones who aren’t separated that drive me nuts. You’re looking after your children for AN HOUR. And you don’t know the dimensions of the buggy so you keep bashing into people, and you wait in a queue, telling the kid to be quiet so you can phone Mummy and ask if dear little Tarquin is allergic to nuts or dairy.

 

THIS IS YOUR KID. Stop treating it like a one day training exercise. Yes, we do babychinos. Yes, it’s just froth. Yes, chocolate has dairy in it. No, your wife doesn’t normally give your kid chocolate cake at eight in the morning. Yes, I can get you a high chair. No, it’s not adjustable. Yes, a chocolate cream has chocolate in it. No, we don’t do sugar-free caramel.

No, I’d rather little Timmy didn’t hold up a queue of fifteen people because you want him to put the card in the machine because your wife said it’s good for his motor functions. Now we have to reset cash register. Thanks. At times like this, I miss your wife. And that’s saying something, because she’s a vindictive spoilt cow who talks to me like I’m a moron. But at least she knows what she wants to fucking drink.

 

And don’t spend fifteen minutes lecturing me on why you don’t want to pay for extra shots of coffee, just to insist on a take away bag for your cake, and EAT IT OFF THE TABLE. What, you’re sitting there on an ipad but you refuse to spend twenty pence so you can have a plate? No, go ahead, please hold up an entire slew of people to ensure your child gets ‘the best possible babychino, in a bigger cup’ (who knew dick-swinging could apply to childcare?) but then sit and ignore the kid by having loud, obnoxious phone conversations with Larry at the office. And then sit waiting desperately for your wife to appear, only to hold up your darling demon child, and show her he’s still breathing and everything.

So you both toddle out, happy that you have proven your interest in your mini-me, and I am left with the destruction you have caused. The bits of tissue dear little Joel has shredded, the crumbs of carrot cake he decided to press into the sofas. The stickers on the floor, the chocolate milk sprayed across the windows, and in general, enough mess to warrant three cleaners and a forensics team.

 

Now I’m not saying all our dads are like this. We have a few stay-at-homes who come in every day, collect their coffee, allow their very polite children to ask for some water, and then quietly entertain them for an hour or so. These people are lovely. But they do not come in on Sundays. Because they, in their infinite wisdom, know that arseholes are about.

 

Oh, and a special shout out to the Sunday Dad who came in ten minutes before closing, ordered a drink, dithered about making me change said drink and then said I looked tired. When I pointed out I’d just worked a ten hour shift, he said ‘Oh yes, that would make you tired. I’ve spent all day watching TV.’

Did I go off about how I have two degrees, and am now going off to my second of three jobs after I finish that shift? Nope. Instead, I decided to pity someone who wastes a Sunday in such a manner.

So go forth readers, enjoy good coffee, make good children. And for fuck’s sake, don’t waste a Sunday!

You Can Do it Too! (No, you can’t. Arsehole.)

Warning: This post is severely angry and has very little merit, artistic or otherwise.

 

I don’t know if this has actually ever occurred to you, but just because you are capable of watching someone else do something, it doesn’t mean you can do it. You know how birds fly? Yeah? Well flap your fucking arms and try it. Preferably from the top of a ten storey building.

 

If I have one more customer this week imply that they could do my job, I am going to hand them my mocha-stained apron and tell them to get the fuck on with it. Okay, steaming milk is not difficult. Getting it perfect, however, is an art. Getting it to 90 FUCKING DEGREES without spilling it everywhere, scalding your own face, watching as the chemical bonds fall apart and trying not to gag on the smell of burnt milk, well, that’s not just art, that’s science. And skill. And a variety of other pointless things that I have, and you do not.

If you realised just how irritating it is to have to make two shots extra strong, one normal, with the milk steamed so that it sits on top of the coffee, and then have you desecrate the ridiculous coffee concoction you made me create with FIVE PACKETS OF SUGAR, you would cry. And then you would slap the ridiculous human who wanted the stupid drink in the first place (that’s you, FYI).

You know other times you would cry? When people make you redo their drink THREE TIMES. And then there’s a queue. And then you want the ice ‘crushed’ instead of cubed. And then you want me to brew three green teabags for exactly 90 seconds before pouring it over ice and making sure the ice doesn’t melt. You could do my job? Fuck you. No, really. We should do a Barista for The Day Challenge, where every uppety, super specific, ‘I’m so fucking important and so is my drink’ customer has to serve other uppety bastards. Oh really, you can count change, take the next order, ask about someone’s day and pretend not to care when they treat you like crap? Fine, do it.

 

Oh yes, sure, you’re a Head of Industry, doing the job of ‘the little people’ is so easy. You think because you’ve stood there chatting for thirty seconds every day whilst we make your extra hot mocha, you understand the logistics? You think because you put the sugar in before the espresso hits the cup, or because you stir the sauce before we pour the milk in, you think you’re a coffee expert, do you? Well, you’re WRONG.

You know what else is wrong with you, whilst we’re on the topic? Just because skimmed milk is called ‘skinny’ does NOT mean it’s a magical fat-burning potion. Just because I’m required to ask your name does not mean I personally want to know your name, and you’re allowed to look at me like a stalker. I don’t care about your name, age, where you live, what you do or what you think about when you’re not ordering coffee. (Sometimes, I care. But that’s only if you’re pretty or nice. Or preferably ordering something that doesn’t make me want to slap both of us in the face for taking part in this charade). Replying to my request for a name with ‘If you really want it’ is not acceptable. I do not want anything. All I want is to get through my abysmal day with no-one telling me I can’t do my job, calling me a ‘good girl’, handing me a package of what I thought was merely rubbish, but turns out to be a soiled nappy, or calling me ‘incapable’. That is all I want. Preferably a ‘thank you’ at the end of a transaction, or a smile, if I’m going to start asking for miracles.

 

Oh, whilst we’re at it, a QUARTER shot of coffee in a large size, is actually just flavoured milk. Complaining to me that our coffee is too strong, when you clearly have an intolerance to anything that tastes good, is out of order. Price? Not my problem. You think, as a VERY IMPORTANT customer, you could arrange our prices? Fine, I’ll still be getting minimum wage, as I assume the poor monkeys who work for you are also doing. Send them over to get your coffee next time, will you? That way we can bitch about you. And they never assume they could make your coffee. You know why? Because they know that you’re a control freak, and they congratulate me on being able to make your coffee five times a day without stabbing someone. DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING? DO YOU?

 

Just in case this whole thing was a bit subtle for you, I’ll reiterate: You are not a special or unique snowflake. Just because you designed your coffee order based on a desperate need to feel important, does not mean you can actually make it happen. You might be able to wax lyrical about Van Gogh, or talk about the ballet. Doesn’t make you a black swan. In fact, I think you should work on the idea that you’re not very special at all. And that if you’re the type of person who shouts at a minimum wage coffee monkey that your ‘almost dry’ (honestly, what the fuck does that even mean?) cappuccino isn’t ‘almost dry enough’ then you should consider that you’re not only unimportant, persnickety and average, but you’re also a bastard, and a raving lunatic.

 

Just some food for thought. Why don’t you snack on that, with your small half-caf, half shot, two pumps sugar free vanilla, soya, extra hot, almost wet latte? Fucker.

The Terrifying Tale of…the Oblivimums

 

 

(Assume Laurence Fishburne is narrating)

 

 

Once, before their reign of terror started, the Oblivimums were normal people. They walked amongst us, blending in. They fit the system. They did ordinary things, like watched television, and enjoyed music. They had jobs. They had hopes and dreams and a bigger purpose. They could converse on a multitude of subjects. People may have even liked their company.

 

But one by one, they get converted, as is the way of this universe. It starts with a ring. It does not matter what material this ring is made of, it may be silver, gold or platinum. What is important, is that there is a big fucking diamond in the middle of it. This then leads to a wedding.

 

First Level Transformation: Crazy Bitch

The wedding is the first level of transformation. Women go from being rational humans to caffeine dependent narcissists. Flowers, linens and cutlery take on an unholy importance. When the bride has thrown a hissyfit and declared that no-one understands the importance of her wedding and that everyone who thinks daisies are acceptable wedding flowers can go fuck themselves, Level One is complete.

 

There are various minimal changes in between Level One and Complete Transformation. Home improvements shall be made, boring dinner parties full of idle gossip and prepared statements on politics shall be held. All enjoyable substances will be removed from the diet. There is also, we assume, a lot of sex.

 

The Dominant Race

It is once the woman is with child that the Oblivimum transformation is complete. She shall wonder about at leisure during her pregnancy, alternately glowing with hormones, or looking like shit. It is at this time that it is easiest to connect with the Oblivimum. She has no idea she has been infected, of course. She believes she will be like any other animal mother- protect and love her child above all else. She does not realise this first child will signal her undoing. She shall, on occasion, seem rational and hopeful. This is her subconscious fighting the transformation. It will make no difference. As we all know, the only way to pause Oblivimum transformation is to show them film footage of children in Third World countries. And this can only pause the transformation minimally. By the time the footage ends, a true Oblivimum can convince herself those children in the Third World will be improved if her baby has a golden rattle shaking in it’s fat little hand. Irrationality is another symptom.

 

It is here, in the coffee shop, where Oblivimums gather to make their evil plans. They travel in groups, of course, and one cannot approach as a loner, especially one without a child. The group forcefield created when they move all the fucking chairs and sofas into a circle keeps out anyone who either does not own, or has not made proper use of, a uterus.

Their prams are double sized for absolute power, able to cripple a man or knock over a shelf of coffee beans with minimum effort. They talk in hushed tones, glaring with laser death beams at any human in the vicinity who talks at a normal level to another adult. Coffee shops are for talking to babies who cannot understand you. And to other mothers. This is the rule of the Oblivimum.

 

Other signifiers include:

-Blocking any available pathway or exit route with a hoard of prams

  • Putting a baby on unexpected surfaces, such as the coffee counter, or at the cash register (these babies often have huge eyes, large heads and small faces, giving you the impression that they already recognise you are the enemy)
  • They tend to order skimmed milk or soya with a half shot of something decaf. This leads us to gather intelligence that Oblivimums really want warm milk, but feel obligated to drink coffee in a coffee shop.
  • A lot of cooing, crying and whining, not always from the infant.
  • Ordering a beverage, spending a long time paying for it, and then insisting that it be brought to them, because they have to feed their child at a specific time. Independence is not a trait attributed to Oblivimums.

 

You can often tell when an Oblivimum gathering has occurred. Low fat muffin crumbs shall be liberally spread everywhere, trampled into every surface. Spillages, scuffs and an empty gathered circle of chairs THAT DO NOT BELONG THERE shall be left as a testament.

Also, sometimes, they leave a gift to their baristas. It is custom amongst the Oblivimum people to leave a paper napkin soiled by their child as a gesture of thanks to their hosts. The baristas bray with joy at having to clean up an infant’s shit that has been left on a coffee table.

 

In the later stages, Oblivimums dress their younglings in strange garments to make them look like other baby animals

Oblivimums perhaps get a lot of criticism from other cultures throughout the galaxy, mostly because almost all of them have some regard for other lifeforms. However, we cannot judge them too harshly, for they always offer amusement. For example, they name their children things like Paisley, Byron, Bennedict (Cumberbatch excluded) and Barnabus (We assume this is in reverence to the highly esteemed Great Purple Dinosaur in their culture).

Oblivimums are not dangerous unless provoked, or unless you work in the customer service industry. When in doubt, serve decaf and ask for the child’s name.

 

We hope this fact sheet will allow you to identify and avoid Oblivimums. Please be aware that it is not their fault. They are merely products of their environment, having too much time and money, and not enough empathy. If you fear you are in danger of becoming an Oblivimum, donate all your worldly possessions to charity, and read Simone De Beauvoir.

Staring, Stalking and other Shite.

Hey, here’s a question: Do you ever find yourself inexplicably staring into the cold, dead eyes of a caffeine addict? No? Then you must not be a barista. I don’t know if it’s the demand for attention, or the fact that they should probably switch to decaf, but people stare.

My...precioussssss

Not even like ‘Oh, that crazy woman has mocha sauce on her neck and is begging the espresso machine to hurry up’ type staring. More like ‘If I kidnapped you and stole your clothes I could probably wring them out and get a hit by drinking that’ kinda staring.

That's what I'm talking about. Gah.

Please stop, it’s creepy. If I am making eye-contact with you, it is because I am LISTENING TO WHAT YOU ARE TELLING ME. It is not because I want your babies. When this is the case, you’ll never know.

Similarly, if you have been into the store every week for the last year, and if you have been an ARSEHOLE, I am going to remember your drink. Even if you haven’t been in for three weeks. Because THAT’S MY JOB. You don’t need to blink at me and go ‘Oh. Creepy’. Also, if it’s that easy for someone who neither knows nor likes you to figure out your schedule, maybe you should shake it up with a little spontaneity. Not that ‘go to work-get coffee-go to the gym- get coffee’ isn’t massively exciting. Every day. But…well, if you were in a movie where you got mixed up with the mob, you’d be really easy to find and kill. That’s all I’m saying. Luckily, you don’t do anything interesting enough to get involved with the mob. You know how I know this? Because you’re ALWAYS HERE, looking at me like I’m nuts because I can remember you’re that rude guy who always throws his money at me and demands a double espresso.

Also, whilst we’re on this subject, please do not ‘congratulate’ me on being able to remember your drink/name/the topic of conversation the last time we talked. If you’re pleased you can say ‘Oh it’s so nice that you remembered!’ That’ll do fine. Do NOT call me a ‘good girl’ (try and pat me on the head and I will go fucking apeshit. I am not a dog. I do not work for treats or respond to reinforcing good behaviour. Fuck you.) tell me ‘Oh look, you have a memory!’ (Yes, I am, as we have established, a HUMAN BEING. When you’ve got a robotic barista asking how your kid is doing at uni, maybe THEN is the time to freak out).

I am providing a service. I am providing a personalised beverage and/or food whilst letting you know that you are a special little snowflake, just as individual as every other fucking moron that comes in here and pretends I’m a stalker. I’m NOT. I’m just fairly OKAY at my job, which requires REMEMBERING things.

Please do not stalk your barista

But back to uncomfortable eye-contact. Sometimes it happens accidentally. You’re making a latte, milk gets in your eye, you squint, and Robby McRandom thinks you’re hitting on him. You ask how someone’s day is, and they ask you what time you get off work. You ask if they want whipped cream on their hot chocolate and they look at you like you just pulled a leather whip out of your apron pocket. What the fuck is wrong with everyone?

Eye-contact is a necessary part of human interaction. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem like we’re listening to you. So then you SHOUT IN MY FACE. Or, alternately, your eye-contact is so dead-and-creepy that I look away, and then you think I’m being coy. Read back this post. Do I seem at ALL like a person who is capable of acting coy? If so, then you’re still not using your eyes the way they need to be used. Which is to SEE when you are making minimum wage coffee monkeys uncomfortable.

This is the CORRECT way to write a love letter to a barista. Jus' sayin'

If you don’t want me to remember who you are, consider this list of people we DO remember:

-The arsehole customers who are always rude

-The arsehole customers who always make you remake their drink at least twice

-The arsehole customers who have ridiculously complicated drinks orders

-The nice customers who come in every day and have a slightly unique drink (read: ridiculously complicated but we don’t mind)

-The nice customers who have had a distinct conversation with you about something you’re interested in (travel/ interesting job/festivals/local news/coffee)

-The nice customers with hilarious/cute children

-The nice customers who have previously bought us a gift at Christmas (I know, right?!)

-Anyone with a specific signifier (the Raspy Voice Lady, the South African Music Teacher, The GingerBread Family, That Woman Who Keeps Trying to Get Free Stuff etc)

-Anyone who at first seemed cute, and then turned out to be an arsehole customer

-Anyone who at first looked like an arsehole customer, but then turned out to be a sweetheart.

-Anyone who comes in more than once a day.

The rest of you: Be more interesting.

Also, perhaps consider drinking something other than a latte, and changing your name to something with more than one syllable. Or possibly cultivate an accent, or a hobby that you’re comfortable talking about in public. Trying to convince your wife to sleep with you, and asking for pointers does NOT count as ‘Acceptable waiting-for-coffee conversation’ FYI.

No, my latte art is not a subconscious way of expressing my feelings. I just can't make good leaves.

You remember how people interact in the Real World? They remember people who have shown interest in them. You know, like conversation? If you ask me how I am, I’m not automatically going to assume you’re chatting me up. I’m going to assume that, like a decent human being, it makes more sense to have an asinine conversation about the weather for thirty seconds, than to stand there in silence. But, whatevs.

That's the creepy stare. Right there. Yup.

And if you’ve never been caught in an awkward situation with a Starer, then it’s entirely likely that YOU are the one causing these awkward situations. Stop. Staring. And drink decaf.

Extra Shot:

Here is a hilarious video about being a Starbucks Barista. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m a Starbucks Barista. It just means that all of us deal with the same shit, day in, day out. Big love to all the baristas out there, whether you’re Starsmucks, Bosta, Mero, Met a Pranger or any other coffee shop in the UK, the USA or indeed, the world. Because, for the most part, what we do is necessary (if not actually important) but it could be worse. I can think of a bunch of jobs that involve customer service, and a lot of them also involve chicken grease and burger flipping. I’ll take smelling like whipped cream any day.

Regardless, this video is awesome, and I think I should marry this man. We would have outraged, indignant babies. With caffeine addictions. Not that I’m being a stalker or anything.

Mr ‘This Song is ALL About Me!’

You know those people, the ones who think the world revolves around them? Yeah, well guess what? They’re WRONG. Don’t get me wrong, if you decide half-way through a gargantuan order of fifteen items that actually, no, you didn’t want the lemon muffin, you want a granola bar, but you only want it if there’s no nuts and extra raisins in it, and by the way, that latte you ordered about an hour ago was skinny, right…then I’m going to do my best to oblige. Before committing a very public suicide and naming you in the note as a cause of death. But I will do my best to serve you. Because that is what I’m here to do.

 

From runt-of-the-web.com

I know we’ve been through this before, but I’ll give you a brief list of the things I’m not legally required to do:

-flirt with you

-make you feel better about the fact that your football team didn’t win

-agree with you that my life and job are shit and wasn’t university a waste of time

-write a letter to head office asking them to bring back the old sandwich bags

-be outraged about the lack of variety of gluten-free food in the UK

-agree that you clearly know more about coffee than the people who design the consistency of our lattes

There was a certain little man over the Easter weekend who decided he was very important. This was not the case. Because if you are a very important person, you a) usually have someone to fetch your coffee for you, and b) understand the importance of things running smoothly.

This man could not have made life more difficult.

You want to order two very simplistic drinks? Okay. 

You want to talk reaaalllly slloooowllly enunciating everything because you think I’m a braindead coffee automaton? Not okay. 

You want to reload your loyalty card? Okay.

You want to do this in the middle of ordering five things and talking on the phone and counting out ten pounds in change? Not okay.

You want to be a painfully ridiculous arse who takes twenty-five minutes to order two coffees and a cookie? Okay.

You want to yell at me for the fact that your coffees have been sitting, beautifully made, for twenty of those minutes, because we are very efficient and you are a massive tool? Not. Oh. Kay. Not at all okay.

I shall also neither confirm nor deny that he was clearly meeting his imported Thai bride. Good luck with that, future Mrs Pernickety. Sign a pre-nup, okay? Otherwise, you’ll be counting out that settlement in twenty pence pieces.

Oh, and he decided to inform me, with his coffee wizard knowledge, that they way we make drinks is incorrect, as when they have one shot of espresso, the milk is creamier and fluffier. Erm, I’m sorry, who taught you physics? Chemical bonding? Heat, expansion, convection and all that other crap? Also, where did you train as a barista? Or are we taking this superior knowledge from a man who has ordered TWICE THE AMOUNT OF WHIPPED CREAM on his caramel macchiato? Now, I know I am merely a coffee pleb, here to serve, but do you think it could be, oh, I don’t know, THE CREAM that makes it SO FUCKING CREAMY? Yes? So do you think maybe you could shut the hell up about how the coffee to milk ratio alters the texture of milk? Only because, you know, YOU KNOW NOTHING.

 

You know how I know that you know nothing? Beyond your ridiculous texture comments? Because you pronounce espresso ‘EXpreZZo’. Well done you, you’ve had a pointless twenty-five minute interaction about something you don’t know about. I’m now not only worried about being two different people; an enraged coffee monkey, and a chilled out normal-type person, but now I’m also worried I have a drinking problem. And if you tell me that an extra shot of vodka will make my orange juice more silky, I may have to bludgeon you to death with the EXpreZZo machine. Doofus.

Could you do me a favour, please, and the next time you get huffy about your triple-shot-extra-hot latte not being ninety fucking degrees, could you take a breath and get some fucking perspective? You could think about kids in third world countries, or the fact that you still have your health. Or, if it helps, you could think of a barista, who once had dreams and ambitions, slowly losing all faith in humanity because of your ridiculous fucking drink needs. Get a clue. Drink decaf. Maybe invest in an espresso machine. Because, guess what? This song is NOT about you.

Mr Stingy (Or…How Refusing to Waste a Twenty Five Pence Discount Makes You the Least Appealing Human Ever)

 

I’ll start with the fact that I am so very good at my job (the projecting an image of a sane and friendly human being part, not just the making coffee part) that this man thinks I like him. Not even just ‘like him as a customer’ like him. He thinks I’m giddy as a child when he walks through the door. Which means he’s as bad at interpreting a grimace as he is at spending money.

 

Well, you'd be smiling too if you were shagging Nathan Fillion. And eating pie all the time.

He comes in every weekend to moan about the same thing. We used to do a promotion. Buy some coffee beans, get a free drink. That promotion is now over. It has been over for a while. And whilst other customers may have been a little sad that their freebie was gone, no-one was as bothered as this guy. Which is why EVERY week we heard the SAME argument. ‘But why? Why is it gone? I deserve to have it! Why should I no longer get a free drink just because you’ve removed the promotion?’

 

'i'm watching you'

Firstly, nothing happens because WE do anything. You want to bitch about making nationwide-changes to a promotion that happens in hundreds of stores across the UK, you call head office. You don’t bitch at someone who makes minimum wage and pretty much just exists to do the bidding of both bosses and customers. That makes no sense. Yes, democracy means we can all make a difference, but whilst coffee monkeys can vote, attend demonstrations and have their own opinions, they aren’t really qualified to argue about why something that’s costing a company money should exist, just so a snooty little man from East-Jesus-Nowhere-Town can get his free drink.

 

No-one like a scrooge. Or a stingy duck

We’re BORED of this now, ya hear? We don’t give a flying fuck. You’re in here buying your coffee anyway. You’re ALWAYS in here, despite the lack of free drink. You know how we know this? Because you’re ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT THIS. If it was up to me I’d give you a free drink just so you’d stop talking about how the shop in Dagenham gave you a free drink, or the one in Newham, or Milton Keynes. They probably gave you the drinks because they wanted you to go away. Also, if you are going to these places on a regular basis, you probably have bigger problems than missing out on free coffee, because it’s very likely your life sucks. Everything else in Milton Keynes does.

 

He then comes in for a ‘business meeting’, which as far as I can tell is two overly pompous men drinking pretentious coffees and looking at graphs on an iPad, whilst looking up every thirty seconds to check if people can see how important they are. But what do I know, I’m not a business person. Mr Stingy offers to buy his colleague’s drink, which allowed him to raise a few notches from ‘very annoying person’ to ‘very annoying person who hasn’t mentioned his free drink in two days’.

 

I should mention that whilst he’s been moaning about this, he has been ‘arranging’ his drink order in such a way that he thinks he’s getting one over on us. Ordering espresso shots with hot water, instead of a black Americano, which saves about a pound. Then he brings in his own cup. That saves him 25p. The man is clearly saving for retirement.

 

He orders his friend’s drink in a mug, then sadly sighs. ‘I’d quite like to have my drink in a mug as well, today.’

‘Well, we can absolutely do that for you, sir!’ I chirp with very well hidden self-loathing.

‘No! No, I couldn’t do that! I couldn’t waste twenty five pence!’

Waste? WASTE? How are you wasting a discount? You’re not spending an extra twenty five pence…I…uh…you have an IPAD. Unless you paid for it over three years saving up the ‘own cup’ discount I can’t see the fucking point.

This is the sad, sad story of a man who couldn’t bear to waste twenty five pence. Which, to be fair, is the only legitimate discount he should be getting. He then explained what his job is. One that earns approximately eight times my yearly salary. So, if anything, Mr Stingy, you should be giving ME free coffee. Yeah. How’d you like that rationale? Because it makes entirely as much sense as yours. No-one likes a cheapskate. Especially a cheapskate rich person.

 

But...this is super cute. Look! Look how cute it is!

Mr ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend’

 

Mr ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend’

Every now and then, there’s a certain customer at a certain time of day who just emotionally kicks the shit out of you. And I usually expect it, when it comes to extra shots of coffee, or busy businessmen, or sleep-deprived mothers. I do NOT expect it from average old men who could probably be my grandfather. I also don’t expect their emotional shit-kicking to come in the shape of etiquette lessons.

No, YOU have a great day, cute winking dog!

Take note:

Seemingly Nice Old Man: I want a double espresso for here.

Me: Okay, that’s £1.80. How’s your day going?

Seemingly Nice Old Man: Look, you were friendly enough when you smiled as you took my order. I don’t need you to ask how my day is. I don’t want to share the details of my day with you.

Me: (without changing from cheery chipmunk voice) Not a problem at all Sir, here’s your coffee.

 

Now, okay, if he doesn’t want to share, he doesn’t have to. I’m not asking him to come to couples therapy and get his Kumba-Yah-Yahs out. I’m being polite. As defined by the terms of my contract. Because it’s my job to ask how his day is. And when people say shit like that, it doesn’t actually make me want to spit blood, it just makes me want to curl up in a ball, burst into tears and ask whatever deity exists WHY people are SO SHIT.

 

Does he think actually give a flying fuck about his day? I don’t know him. He’s ordering an espresso. He’s wearing average clothes, and I can’t even recall his face. All I can recall is the derision in his voice. And really, Mr Average, just fuck you. Because your meaningless little life is just that- meaningless.

You will live as a grumpy old man, and eventually no-one will ask you how you are, because all the people who are paid to do so will have topped themselves or run away screaming. And the people who aren’t paid to do so PROBABLY DON’T CARE.

 

See,if it was HIM ordering, I wouldn't have asked, because I know he's a badass.

And yes, you have to strain to remember all the lovely people throughout the day who make work worth it. The smiles and the jokes and the regular customers who not only are pleased that you’ve asked about their day, but ask about yours. Because they recognise, oh, what’s that, that I’m HUMAN BEING. And just as you deserve the right to shrug or go ‘okay’ if I ask how your day is, I deserve the right to not be treated like a fucking insurance scammer just by enquiring as to your general well being.

Let’s be clear: I am not trying to steal your identity. I am not trying to seduce you. I am not trying to weasel my way into your life so that you sign over your worldly possessions to me and then I’ll poison you. I am not looking for a father figure. I am not looking for spiritual enlightenment. I am not particularly interested in you.

 

I AM JUST (Say it with me!) DOING MY FUCKING JOB.

This whole ‘friendly’ thing seems to be attracting a lot of people. People who think I want to shag them. At least 90% of the time, this is not the case. If I ask how your day is, it does not start some sort of caffeinated power struggle. Let me outline the situation here: You want coffee. I provide you with the coffee. I do this in a polite way, hoping that you’re having a nice day. This is, mostly, because the terms of my job insist that I do so, by ultimately because standing in silence whilst the card machine loads is unnecessarily awkward.

 

So, the next time you think that someone is butting into your life when they’d rather fuck off, please consider that it’s entirely possible they would quite like you to fuck off as well.

 

Have a nice fucking day.