RSS Feed

Tag Archives: angry barista

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!

Advertisements

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.

The Runner’s Tale

Why Fetching the Coffee For Media Big Wigs Does NOT Make You Better than the Person Who Made the Coffee.

 

Yes, yes, I know. It’s so HARD to break into the media. It’s such a tough job where no one thanks you and you have to fetch coffee a hundred times a day.

Oh. Wait. That sounds familiar. The lack of thanks? The people who think you’re a worthless waste of space who has no talent beyond being a fetcher/cleaner/coffee machine combo? And even then, you’re not that talented. The continual degradation? Spending your hours wishing you were doing something creative and exciting? Going home exhausted, sure that you’re never going to get any closer to your dreams?

Hey, Runner. You and me are the same, kid. So WHY THE FUCK are you treating me like shit?

Plus, FYI, I can actually MAKE that double-shot-extra-hot-dry-cappuccino-with-sweetener that you are SO intent on telling me how to get right. You can just about say it. Your very important job is to carry it back correctly, and write everyone’s names on the top. Because that’s what people want in a Runner. Someone who can’t remember the order of three people (the same order you have EVERY day) without referring to a list, and can’t identify which drink is which without putting permanent marker on the lid, which they will then get on their faces. And treats everyone involved like shit in the process.
Yeah, awesome. You’ll be running the Beeb in no time.

 

Look, I know it’s hard. I know you’re on the wrong side of twenty five, and your dreams of being a tiptop marketing exec, important-running-around-with-an-iPhone type person seem to be slipping away from you. But stop being such a fucking tool. You chose to be a media whore. That is not my problem. What IS my problem, is making the drinks you have ordered to the specifications you require. Which is what I do. Just because you’re working on the latest shitty incarnation of a stupid never-ending reality TV series that should have died a death a while ago, but doesn’t because the majority of people don’t know what a book is, DOES NOT make you better than me.

So there. Cheer the fuck up, and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I’ve served your employer, and he certainly does. Even if he does wear sunglasses indoors because he thinks he’s too famous. But what do I know, maybe he’s got that sensitivity thing, like Bono. But don’t start me on Bono.

 

There was another one, horrible fucker, who I won’t give a nickname to, because giving away the name of another shitty reality TV show would give away our location. But this particular arse came in, demanded a discount because he’s so special, and then proceeded to repeat the same nonsensical order until I made an educated guess at the drinks and just said ‘okay’. He then wanted me to write the name of each person on their cup. An order of seven drinks. If there’s anything more insulting than being told that Ian is spelled ‘I-A-N’ when you have a fucking Masters degree, I do not know what it is. Possibly being told how to spell ‘cat’. Or twat. But I feel quite comfortable with that word. Because it’s applicable here.

 

I then apologised for the delay (which was HIS fault, because he was unable to use a pen on each cup and write the dreadfully complex names of his colleagues on himself) and he SCOFFED at me. Not even a ‘don’t worry about it’ or a grunt of derision. He SCOFFED. Someone who was about my age, and addressed me as ‘blad’ thinks he’s better than me because he’s fetching coffee for the design monkeys of what may be the worst television show ever created, that as it will still be going in fifteen years time, will definitely be responsible for the decline in humanity, IQ levels and my own will to live.

I’d like to think of something witty to say at this point, but the only thing I can think of is:

‘FUCK YOU’. So I’ll stick with that. Itz well to tha point, innit blad? Dickhead.

 

If I’m Shouting, You’re Not Listening.

 

Some would say this blog is an extension of the fact that I am an unheard barista. The ignored voice expressing the plight of the everyman. You know, something nice and metaphorical like that.

But quite literally, no-one can hear me. I shout! I do! But you try balancing two milk jugs timing four and a half shots and adjusting the blender whilst screaming (politely) for someone to own up to ordering a fucking panini.

I don’t know about you, but when I go to a coffee shop (which to be fair, outside of work, is now very rare) I have gone for a purpose. I have paid for something I wish to consume. So I’m pretty bothered by whether or not it turns up.

Here is how it should go:

 

I order a heated wrap.

I pay.

I sit down.

I hear a barista announcing said wrap is ready, and I happily claim it so that I might immediately consume it.

 

This makes sense, yes? So why do people insist on ordering things, and then making me walk around the shop wailing the name of their sandwich and making uncomfortable eye contact with people who would much rather leave me alone?

I then return with the unclaimed sandwich, put it on the side, call it out a few more times to no avail. Lo and behold, five minutes later I get a ‘why haven’t you brought my sandwich yet? It’ll be cold now!’ (Assume a whiny, irritating-as-hell voice here)

It happens with drinks, too. People seem to forget that there was a queuing system when they ordered the drink, so there’s probably a queuing system in the making of it.

 

So when I shout:

‘Medium gingerbread latte to go’

and they reply

‘is this a gingerbread latte?’

and I say

yes’

they then take the drink.

 

They open the lid, throw some sugar in, take a sip, then say:

‘I don’t think this is my drink.’

‘It’s a gingerbread latte.’

 ‘I ordered a regular latte.’

Yes, that’s why you shouldn’t have taken that one. Which I now must throw away, and make a new one before I can hand over yours. Because there’s a SYSTEM. One which you’ve just fucked up by the way, thanks. Considering how English people are so good at queuing, it’s amazing that they have such trouble with the concept that they’re not the only person in the world sometimes.

Why don’t you listen? Why? Is it me? Am I actually saying it in my head? In a different language? Is my enunciation lacking? Or perhaps is it that you think anything I put on the hand-off point must be for you, because you are so special?

 

One of my favourites is when I shout out:

‘Medium Latte’

And the eager beaver standing there simply says ‘No!’

Like I’m a moron. No, actually. You’re the moron. I’m not assuming this is yours, you’re just hogging the drinks-retrieval area, and pissing off other customers as well as myself.

A special one this week was the man who made me scream out four times ‘Grande skinny Americano-one-shot-decaf-two-shots-regular’. (You try – it’s not easy!) And then I simply left it on the side.

Then he ambles over and angrily asks ‘Is this my drink then?’

‘It’s a grande-skinny-Americano-one-shot-decaf-two-shots-regular, sir.’

‘Yes, that’s mine.’

‘Well then, feel free to take it, Sir.’

I am making fifteen other drinks, I do not have time to confirm whether or not you know what you ordered. Fuck off.

‘Well you could have TOLD ME you’d made it. GOD.’ Hearing an old man emphasise certain words like a teenage girl is rather disturbing, let me tell you.

Normally I’d let it go and bitch about it here, but I replied with a ‘I called it out MULTIPLE TIMES, SIR!’ 

When really what I wanted to say was the following:

‘I’m very sorry that the volume of my drink-announcements was not to your liking, but seeing as it’s the festive season, maybe you could go fuck yourself?’

 

I have a suspicion that if I did a search on all the times I used the f-word in this blog, my mother would be rather disappointed. Perhaps I’m not quite using the vocabulary instilled in me by an English Literature degree. But perhaps by gaining a literature degree, I should be making coffee for a living. What have you got to say to that, government officials? Because I’ve got some choice words for you, as well.