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Category Archives: Soya Anything

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.

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Mrs ‘Half-a-Fucking-Panini’

Some people are dicks. We know this. And some people are physically repulsive. We are not allowed to comment on this. Because sometimes, physically repulsive people are nice, and therefore do not repulse us. Or sometimes they BECOME repulsive simply because they’re douche bags.

Just thought I’d enlighten you there. Because this woman was a cowbag. She rocks up with her posse of screaming children, obsessive mother and what I can only assume is a suicidal nanny and does the typical ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT, MUM?’ scream from the pastry case to the sofas. Then one kid comes up, then another, then she changes her order. Then she gets aggy with a barista for serving someone else first because she hadn’t decided anything yet.

She picks a porridge, a panini and a cookie for herself. The others have nothing.

She demolishes the porridge (after sending back her drink twice. Once because it wasn’t hot enough, and once because it tasted ‘bleh’. Because that’s an adjective) then the cookie and is halfway through the panini when she notices the supervisor restocking the sandwiches. So she marches over and demands that she get a new one, because she wanted one of those, but we didn’t have any.

Meh is descriptive. Bleh isn't. Apparently.

She then tells what can only be called a baldfaced lie, and says she asked the barista at the till and he said we didn’t have any. I was there, and she didn’t ask him, because if she did, it would have been my job to run to the back to check. And I didn’t.

Her defence for the fact that we should give her an entire sandwich for free when she’d already eaten most of the other one? ‘You MADE me eat a sandwich I didn’t like!’ Oh, we MADE you? We opened your wide trap and stuck it down there? After the porridge you abhorred and cookie you despised? Well, of course, you poor dear. You’re a regular suffragette, aren’t you?

This is forcefeeding. Or death by cat food.

Now, I don’t make comments on people’s sizes, mainly because I think it’s cheap, and also because I would hate for anyone to say something similar about me. I will say this: She didn’t need another fucking sandwich. She probably also could have done without the second helping of whipped cream she demanded was free because we’d screwed her over so badly. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Honest.

At least Miss Piggy's NICE.

If there’s nothing there you want to eat, don’t eat it. If you don’t like our coffee, don’t drink it. There are multiple other coffee shops, and losing your custom means nothing to us. Actually that’s a lie, it means a lot to us. It means lower blood pressure, a dwindling sense of anxiety, both my eardrums being intact, and having much less of a desire to punch a wall. Especially considering this is all happening twenty minutes from closing time.

So fuck off and have a nice day elsewhere, where they won’t force you to buy and eat things you don’t like as much as other things.

Mr ‘I Fucking Love the Brand, Man’

He starts off with these immortal words:

‘Do you have a Burnt-Cinnamon-Dark-Spiced-Caramel-Nutted latte?’

Erm, does anyone have one of those? Should anyone have one of those? It has the word ‘burnt’ in it. Is this the drink for people who can’t make a decision but want a drink equivalent of a cake?

‘I’m…afraid we don’t, sir.’

His eyes boggle out of his face, and he shakes his head sadly, emitting a little sigh.

‘They have them in America. I was in the LA branch. They’ve got some amazing things in America.’

(These are some of them)

I’m pretty sure they have other amazing things in LA, like superstars and Hollywood and stuff. Maybe you’d have noticed them if you weren’t making googoo eyes at a caffeinated beverage.

He settles for a latte with an extra shot, soya milk (ah, yes. You have been in America, I see. Did you come back with a no-carb diet and the desire to dress a little dog in pink clothes?) which is absolutely nothing like the monstrosity he wanted to order.

He then sits down opposite the bar, and shouts across to us about all the amazing things in the American version of our store. There’s a difference in the store cards, and the beverages, and the ordering system. You know what else is different? The American baristas might actually care about this. And I’m betting you sat there and told them all about how our system works. What do you do? Why are you here? All the time? Who loves a brand that much? Corporate schmuck.

So then his parents come in. They seem very polite and order a tea and a black coffee. Both small. He then comes barging over with his ridiculously loud voice and says:

‘Noo! Mum, Dad, you just don’t understand how it works here! You’re doing it all wrong. This isn’t the way things are done.’

He then turns to me and says ‘I’m so sorry about them. They meant they want tall drinks. For here. But in takeaway cups.’

Firstly, I’m outraged on behalf of the parents for the way the little git is talking to them, and then I’m outraged at the parents for creating such an abhorrent being. Is he a brands whore? Is that what it is? Will he complain at his friends for wearing their Nike socks ‘the wrong way’, or that Adidas jackets can’t be zipped up? Plus, I bet he shops in Hollister. That is cause enough to judge him. It’s all about the brand, man. I want the things I wear to say where I got them- I want the name PLASTERED all over!

Ugh. He then sits and explains the whole ordering process and ‘ethos of the company’ to his parents, occasionally looking over to the barista to make sure they’re hearing just how knowledgable he is about such things. Maybe he just really wanted a job with us. I think after that, his parents probably just wanted to go somewhere with weak tea and rubbish coffee, purely so that he couldn’t talk about it anymore.

At least they get acknowledgement that they're smart

And as baristas, we kind of agreed. Sure, our job is okay. It may not seem it here, where all the coffee-drinking detritus of humanity reside in my stories, but our job isn’t bad. It’s a sight higher than a McJob and we don’t have to wear baseball caps. (Although I recently realised our ‘Would you like whipped cream?’ is the equivalent of ‘Would you like fries with that?’ Urgh) But no-one, and I mean NO-ONE is that obsessed with the brand they work for. Unless you work for Apple, maybe. And no amount of free coffee is going to make us choose to sit and chat with someone who is a FAN. It’s just…repulsive. Urgh. Go join a club, or volunteer for a charity or something. Just stop talking about this as if it’s interesting. Jeez.

Mrs ‘I’ll Do That Then, Shall I?’

or The Role Of The Passive-Aggressive Helper.

 

There are occasionally people who try to be helpful. They will choose to place their plates on the side, or put used cups out of the way. Some of them will even get a few napkins and tidy up before they leave. These people are a blessing. They are the cream in coffee, the sweetener in my bitter little coffee-monkey day. Because they not only save me seconds, but they, in their little moment of complete selflessness, make me feel a little bit loved. Someone has taken the time, without knowing me, to make my life easier. Now whether that’s due to upbringing or an obsessive compulsive disorder, I don’t care. That, to me, is love.

Now, funnily enough, I know that you guys don’t tune in to have me say nice things about nice people. Even when it’s true, it’s not particularly entertaining. So, let the ranting commence about the OTHERS. People who take this very sweet moment, this unnecessary, but completely appreciate kindness…and shit all over it.  These are the passive-aggressive helpers.

They tend to flock in packs, usually lead by an over-coiffed, loud middle-aged woman who sighs deeply at everyone else’s incompetence.

She leads her little pack to a table, circling around it to ensure it is exactly the table she wants. Of course, she has obviously chosen the only table that has rubbish on it. She will, therefore, not even wait and ask politely if we could tidy the table. Oh no, that would be too…what’s the word…normal? Obvious? No, she has to have a fucking heart attack over it, and let us know exactly what failures we are as human beings that the table she wants to sit at has previously been used by others.

Not this type of Coffee Monkey

So she walks to the front of the queue, interrupts the customer ordering and throws down the plates, cups and tissues down on the counter. ‘Thought I’d do that for you, seeing as you’re so terribly busy. Wouldn’t want you to put yourself out, would we?’ And stalks off.

Most of the time when people do this, I say ‘thank you’, because you never know if they’re doing it to be kind, or because they can see we actually are busy. Most times they shrug, sometimes they smile. Or, sometimes they freak out and say things like ‘Well, someone needs to do your job for you, don’t they?’

I don’t know why, but these women (and they are usually women) need to speak in hypotheticals. Everything’s a question, like they’re speaking to a child. Which, considering their dinosaur-like ages, I probably am in comparison. Why aren’t I attending to their every whim? Why am I letting them wait in a queue? Why, when they’ve interrupted their own order fifteen times, changing their mind, shouting across the store and generally talking down to me as if I am a caffeine-charged pleb, do they still ask me ‘Why haven’t you cleaned our table yet? I’ve already done all the hard work for you. It’s not too much effort to wipe it down with a wet cloth, is it?’

You know what is too much effort, madam? Not scalding you with a pint of hot coffee. Well, that’s what you get when you make me re-heat the soya three times because it’s too foamy. Scalded. That’s not too difficult to comprehend, is it? And yes, that was rhetorical, bitch.

Miss ‘Uh, I’m like, here all the time’

 (I assume that as today is a momentous occasion what with the death of a terrorist and all, that maybe moaning about coffee-drinking customers is perhaps not as relevant…that said, when is it ever relevant or useful to secretly bitch about people on the internet? I’m looking at you, Perez Hilton. Still, here’s a post for you all.)


It’s easy to spot a gobby customer. In fact, it’s easier to hear them. But this one was misleading, she was quiet, fairly polite, and nothing about her really gave away the fact that she was about to bug me.

And then she ordered soya hot chocolate.

Not the worst of crimes, I’ll admit, although personally, the idea makes me gag.

So I tell her how much it costs.

‘Erm, it’s usually less than that.’ She pops her chewing gum.

‘Well, that’s soya milk, we charge for that.’ I shrug apologetically. If you want it cheap, order dairy like the rest of the population. That’s like complaining that having kids costs a lot, when it’s your decision. Or that Versace’s bags cost more than Primark. You’ve chosen the more expensive choice, don’t start on me.

‘What, so it’s, like, a pound more?’

‘Well, no, it was originally two pounds, so it’s-’

‘Okay, yeah fifty pence more, whatever.’

No, you numerically-challenged moron. It’s thirty pence. I’m a literature student, and even I can work that out.

‘No, it’s less-’ I try.

‘Yeah, well, they never charge me for that, and I’m always in here.’

‘Actually, we’ve always charged for soya.’

She pauses, hand on hip and sizes me up. ‘Well I come in here every day, and they never charged me that much. Well, whatever. Doesn’t matter.’

She walks off.

A word to the wise, dear readers. Never try the ‘But I always come in here!’ line. I’ve done it myself, and you know what, if you need to say it, it means you’re annoying enough that we’d remember you. If you were in every day, we’d remember you anyway.

And this madam had never been in. So she was trying to goad me into giving her free stuff.

Well bollocks to that. I’ve said it before. If you want free stuff, be nice. It’s really fucking simple.

Here endeth the rant.

UnderCover Coffee Snobs


I am not going to mock you if you don’t know about coffee. I am, however, going to mock you if you lead me to believe you don’t know about coffee, and then decide to blow my brains out with specifics.

Today’s example includes another visit to The Caramel Macchiato, where a woman wanted to know what one was. I explained it was rather sweet.

‘Sweeter than a caramel latte?’ she asks.

A reasonable question. It’s all subjective, but I would say yes, mostly because I find caramel macs to be disgusting, and more annoying to make.

‘Okay, I think I’ll just have my old boring drink then,’ she shrugs and smiles, and we think, ah, someone who drinks a latte, that’s just fine. We won’t judge you for a latte. Lattes are easy to make. They’re quick. We appreciate lattes and those who order them.

‘I guess I’ll just have a double-tall decaf soya latte, semi-dry.’

FIEND! VILE BETRAYER! You tricked me into believing you were one of the normal ones because you didn’t know about a complex drink. Then you order something twice as complex.

There are rules! You’re either the average coffee drinker, or you’re a coffee snob. Occasionally, there’s a middle ground, where you’re an obsessive compulsive, (or, as you consider it, ‘I just like things the way I like them’). Occasionally, there’s the ‘Well, I’m paying for a service, I should get exactly what I want.’ For these arseholes, see previous posts concerning the entitled masses.

Oh, but they come in all guises, these coffee snobs. I think they’re actually just people addicted to polysyllabic sentences. They’re poets, not coffee drinkers.

A woman today, a lovely woman who was polite and friendly, floored me by asking for a cappuccino. Not just a cappuccino, oh no. A cappuccino ‘somewhere in between semi-dry and normal’.

I’m not going to return again to the fact that semi-dry is a MADE UP term. Not by the company, or coffee people in general, but by people who want to be a pain in my arse. BETWEEN a non-existent middle-ground of foaminess, and NORMAL? We don’t have a moving scale of foam to milk ratio. We make cappuccinos the way we’re taught, and we pour them so that the foamed milk looks damn pretty. Occasionally, we can hold back some milk, or put some extra froth on. But we do NOT have some sort of measuring system for an imaginary descriptor.

What you’re basically saying is ‘I like my coffee at a foam-to-milk ratio that is completely indescribable to anyone else, so I’m going to say this, and you can take a guess, like trying not to offend someone when the only words you know in their language are swearwords.’ Needle in a fucking haystack. Bullseye on the other side of the freaking ocean. Take a guess honey, have a go. But if you get it wrong, you’re getting the firing squad, obviously.

Don't treat me like a mug

Soya? Soya! SOYA!!!

It all started with soy milk.
Too much of my day revolves around soy milk, to be perfectly honest, and whilst I am sympathetic to those of a lactose-intolerant nature, I am fucking tired of those lactose-ambivalent types. Soya is not cool. It is not a fashion statement. It is fake milk, made from beans. And it is extra annoying to steam, and smells pretty damn bad. It’s only advantage is that if you buy it whilst living in a student house, you can guarantee it will still be in the fridge by the end of the day, even when you live with rampant tea-drinkers.
So, as you can tell, I have pretty certain feelings about milk substitutes.

The man ambles up to the counter, old and knarled like a house elf, or one of those trees that come to life from Lord of the Rings. His sour expression made him look more ugly, his skin like leather. I smiled my brightest, coffee-monkey smile, and asked how he was.

‘Do you charge for Soya?’ American. Southern drawl. A bit like when Bill Hicks did impersonations of people he thought were stupid.
‘Yes, Sir, I’m afraid we do, but it’s only thirty pence.’ I smile apologetically. Yes, it’s free if you have a loyalty card, but I’m not even going there. This guy scares me.
‘Well! Fuck y’all!’
His hobbling exit rather detracts from his statement, but I’m shocked all the same. Laugh it off, move on.

Except that he comes back two days later.

‘Do you charge for soya milk?’ he wrinkles his face in anticipation of the answer.
However many times you ask me, I am not going to change the answer.
‘I’m afraid we do, Sir.’ I don’t even bother smiling this time, waste of fake-cheeriness.
‘Even for an Americano?’
I pause, because this would mean just a splash of soya, and surely even a money-grabbing corporation like mine would charge for a splash?
‘I’ll just check for you,’ and I look down the queue of people to my Manager, who is restocking, ‘do we?’
‘Not Americanos.’ She shakes her head, raising an eyebrow at the customer for my benefit.
‘Would you like one then Sir?’
Then, he growls at me. ‘Yes. You know, you people are just ridiculous, money-grabbing fascists. You’re like those economists in history textbooks, you’re after everything you can get…trying to take my money, take my savings…’
I don’t even know what to say to this. So I say nothing. I have had experience with paranoid old people before, but like hell is this in my job description. Well, the abolishment of self-esteem and general confidence battering, yes. But crazy old people? No.
I hold my hand out for his pitiful twenty-pence pieces, which he throws onto the counter and shuffles off. Grumble grumble. Deep breath, and….smile. Next customer.
I am tempted to call over to the girl on the coffee machine, and tell her to put normal milk in. I could pray that he’s lactose intolerant, instead of barista-intolerant. Instead I just get on with serving the next customer, who seems to be trying to be extra agreeable to make up for the grouchy house elf who preceded her.
And then he comes back, cup grasped in gnarled hand. He looks at me, walks straight up to my manager, and says ‘Thank God you were here. She would have stolen my money.’
Sadly, I do let the smile slip and say ‘I checked it for you SIR.’
I will always regret that moment, because what I should have said was ‘Yes, that extra thirty pence goes straight into my pocket. In fact, I could have paid my rent for the month with my stealing ways. That’s actually how I get by here. They don’t pay me, I abuse those with dairy issues.’

On second thoughts, that would have been stupid too. Still, I blame Soya.