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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.

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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.

 

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.

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.

A Quick Rundown of Mundanity and Moronity.

(Yes, I know that’s not a word. I’m an English graduate. Yes, sometimes educated people make coffee. Shocking, isn’t it?)

 

So, upon returning to work, I was eager to notice how fucking annoying everyone is. Except sadly, they have for the most part let me down. People have been cordial, polite, happy. Excited about Christmas and happy to compromise. Stupidly happy to pay an extortionate amount of money for a festive-themed drink. Which, obviously, makes my job at the cafe easier, and my job at this blog much more difficult. Hmph.

 

Still, I managed to glean a few moments.

So I present to you:

 

Mrs ‘It’s Not Like This at Harrods!’

She seemed fine, mostly. Her granddaughter’s cuteness made up for her grating voice. And that tells you how cute that baby was. Nails on a freaking blackboard. Especially when deciding to buy a cookie for said granddaughter, and then insisting that the little girl carry the plate over to her granddad. Now generally, this is a pretty sweet but anxiety-ridden moment, watching a four-year-old toddle along holding a china plate with a cookie the size of her head. Except the grandma seems to need to tell her husband that the child is coming over.

‘TREVOR! TREVOR! SHE’S WALKING TO YOU, TREVOR! WATCH OUT, SHE’S WALKING! HOLDING A PLATE! A PLATE!’

Of course she’s holding a fucking plate, you just gave it to her. Also, poor Trevor (who I assume has probably suffered irreparable ear damage, just as I have) was only standing slightly behind her. That’s a lot of unnecessary name-calling. Even if it is his actual name.

She then proceeds to order, change her mind, reorder, forget what she’s ordered and start all over again. This is fine, she’s an old lady, I’m not agist. But here’s the kicker: she asks for a cup of hot water.

Our health and safety does not allow for us to hand out hot water (you can understand why here) so I offer her tea (yes, I realise putting a teabag in the cup does not negate the fact that I would be handing her a cup of hot water). She doesn’t drink tea (what a sad existence). She then requests ‘hot water, with a few thinly cut slices of fresh lemon.’

Um. What?

I guffaw back that we don’t have any fresh fruit available beyond bananas. And I wouldn’t want to put them in hot water.

‘You’ve no lemon?’ She’s aghast! Could it be, a coffee shop that doesn’t serve non-calorie, non-caffeinated, not-really-a-drink, drinks? For shame.

‘Well, okay then.’ She sighs deeply, about to compromise. I tell her our camomile tea is lovely (bleugh). She reinforms me that she doesn’t like tea. I am clearly a cretin.

‘Well, how about hot water with some fresh mint?’

I’m sorry, how is fresh mint a step down from lemon? I know, I’ll go and pick it from the rooftop herb garden that I keep for just such occasions. And also, gross, steamed mint in a cup. I resist pointing out that we have mint tea, which is in fact, mint in hot water.

‘I SUPPOSE I’ll just go without a drink then!’

Oh great, I’m supposed to feel guilty because you’re high maintenance? How is that fair? And all I could think was poor, poor Trevor. He’ll have to hear all about her terrible ordeal with the lack of mint. Probably at close range and high volume.

 

Mrs ‘I KNOW ABOUT THESE THINGS’

Occasionally, we get drinks wrong. Or rather, to defend my barista family, we make drinks the way we’re told, and you like them a specific way that does not always coordinate with our training. You picky bastards.

But for the most part, if you think a cappuccino is a bit too fluffy, or the latte’s not got enough coffee in it, we’ll fix it, with a smile and an apology (even though it’s clearly your fault for being so demanding). However, it’s all in the way you say it. Because when we explain why we’ve made it that way, there’s one thing you can reply with that may be the most infuriating thing in the world. It is a red flag in front of a bull:

 

‘Well, I’ve been having them for years, and I’ve never had one like that. So it’s clearly wrong.’

Oh really? Wow, you’ve been drinking that for years, have you? And have you measured the consistency, caffeine-levels and foaminess of each one? That’s a lot of effort. Wow, you sure are a coffee connoisseur, we should hire you to stand over us and let us know when we’re fucking up a cappuccino.

You’ve been drinking them for years? I’ve been making them for years, who do you think has a better concept of how the fucking drink is made correctly?

 

Speaking of Understanding Your Mouth, there are things like this:

 

‘I hope you make it better today, the last one tasted like water.’

How on earth does it taste like water when it is made from milk, coffee and caramel syrup? Maybe you should stop smoking and you’d be able to taste the fucking thing.

 

‘Where’s the coffee in this?’

Erm, in the mug with the remainder of your drink, that is, the tiny droplet of milk you left in the bottom before complaining about it. Which leads me to assume that the coffee left the mug at precisely 3.15pm, where it then travelled in a vertical direction down your oesophagus. I therefore believe your phantom espresso shot is in your stomach. Ah, the powers of deduction.

 

‘This doesn’t feel heavy enough’

It is.

Drink it. Taste it. It’s good. It’s the exact weight a cappuccino should be. I can weigh it for you. If you try judging your drinks with your mouth instead of your hand, it’s a much more pleasing experience.

 

In Other News:

Today included a Pointer, who decided saying ‘Pan Au Raisen’ or even ‘that swirly pastry thing with the raisins’ was too much. So he just jabbed his finger against the glass for five minutes whilst I interjected with ‘this one?’ until he eventually said ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’.

A woman seriously asked me this:

‘Could you stop the automatic door from opening every time someone walks in?’

 

Well, then it would cease to be an automatic door, and become simply a door. Its sense of identity would be lost, as well as its meaning in life, and it would kill itself out of desperation. And we like our door. It confuses customers who can’t figure out how to open it. Here’s a clue: It’s automatic. And there’s a big fucking button.

Short answer:

‘I’m very sorry Madam, we can’t stop the door from being automatic. It’s not its fault it’s different. You could move to sit someone else.’

‘THERE IS NOWHERE ELSE!’

‘Well, that’s a very bleak outlook on life you have Madam.’

 

So, that’s it for now, I promise to be more scathing next time, instead of mildly philosophical and quietly amused. In fact, I can guarantee it. Fucking Eggnog lattes. What the hell is eggnog? Why do we add it to coffee? Why is there no alcohol in it? What kind of disgusting things do the people who enjoy them eat? These and other questions answered next time, on Cafe Disaster.

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.

The Bank Holiday Bitchfest

Or, The Art of Overreaction

 

I know, I know, I’ve been away. I’ve been a bad angry coffee-monkey. And you know the reason, the terrible problem that has caused this lack of ranty-shouty blogging? Work’s been pretty nice. People have been pleasant, drinks have been simple, life has been good.

But luckily, that’s all coming to an end. Because the rich people who fucked off on holiday to exotic places to annoy baristas in expensive resorts in probably very poor countries…have returned. So now they want Vietnamese cold coffee, or Turkish coffee, or Greek coffee. The only thing to remedy this problem is to make my own coffee Irish.

So yeah, the entitled pain-in-the-backsides have returned, and I’m sure we can all shout ‘Hallelujah!’ because now my job sucks again, I can moan to you good people about it.

 

Let’s start with Mrs Overreaction:

Lady: Why are you charging me that amount? I’m not eating in, I’m taking away!

Barista: Oh, I’m very sorry Madam, you’re right. Here’s the correct change.

Lady: This is outrageous! What terrible service! This has happened before! It has! I want your card!

Barista: My card?

Lady: Write your name down for me! I want your name written down! This is ridiculous!

 

No, what’s ridiculous is the fact that you haven’t had a heart attack yet. Or how you manage to deal with actual trauma. Kind of terrified by her response to stubbing her toe, or missing the bus. AAAAAAAAHHHH THE WORLD IS FUCKED! AAAAAAH!

 

Mrs I Could Teach You a Few Things

Woman: I want a cappuccino. A wet cappuccino. That means that there’s more liquid and less foam. Okay? Can you do that?

Hey there Grandma, here’s how you suck eggs. And whilst you’re at it, here’s how you fuck off and let me do my job. You can ask for a wet cappuccino, you can ask for a cappuccino with less foam. But do not try and give me a coffee-based vocab lesson. That’s just dumb.

Little Miss I’m Not Listening

Barista: Are you ordering a frappuccino?

Girl: Nope.

Me: What drink can I get you?

Girl: A chocolate cream frappuccino, please.

 

Gah.

 

Mrs Clearly Do Not Need Caffeine

Me: Hi there, what can I get you?

Her: I’ll-have-a-grande-decaf-skinny-extra-hot-cappuccino-to-take-away-and-a-grande-skinny-wet-extra-hot-latte-please. And-two-babychinos-but-the-larger-size-not-the-small-ones-and-hot-chocolate-that’s-less-hot.

Me: Are they all take-away?

Her: Also-a-granola-bar-on-a-plate-and-a-marshmallow-twizzle-in-a-bag-and-how-much-is-that-altogether?

Me: You want what with a cappuccino?

 

I’ll reiterate here, perhaps we should put up a sign. I can’t type any of this into the till until I know if you’re eating or taking away. I also can’t put any of the weirdly specific stuff into the till until you stop talking at one hundred freaking miles an hour. I also have to mark up the cups, pass it onto the other barista, fetch your food and possibly heat it whilst doing mental arithmetic and being polite? Fuck off, I’m a coffee monkey, not a trained-by-scientists-to-do-amazing-things-monkey. Talk slow, and wait for confirmation of what’s been said, that’s generally how conversation works. You know, like when you’re talking about your life, you expect your friends to ‘hmm’ or ‘right’ at the correct intervals. If they haven’t, you know you’re talking too much. Get a clue.

Mrs Bar-red

This woman is a pain in the arse anyway. Just the way she talks to you, like you’re a moron. I think she may be a head teacher. Plus, she’s posh and rich and says ‘yah’ so I have to hate her. She came in, sighed loudly when I confirmed her order, said ‘yes, I just told you that’ rolled her eyes at her daughter, and sat down to make a massive mess.

She then returns, two hours later to inform me that she left her granola bar on the table and wants it back…seriously, wouldn’t you just be a bit embarrassed and go home? I know I would. Or maybe I’d go buy a new one. I wouldn’t stroll to the head of a massive queue to let some poor bedraggled barista know I forgot to take my granola bar from the table, and as such I want a new one. If you can’t remember your property thirty minutes after you left the store, you don’t deserve it back, I don’t care if it’s a granola bar, an umbrella, or a baby. Just, no.

(Actually, you can take the baby. We really don’t need those.)

 

Randomly Irritating:

Stupid Woman: You know, when you opened your mouth, I really didn’t think you’d speak English! People don’t speak English in coffee shops, you know?

 

Erm, have you been hanging out in coffee shops in other countries? Because that might explain that. Also, I have to let you know, I think you might be a racist. And I’m assuming you want your coffee white, right?

 

Stupid Man: You know, they have silver spoons in Cafe Nero. Not these little plastic things.

Well, fuck off to Nero then!

 

Most Indecisive Woman in World: What do I want? What do I want? Hmm, what? What could I have today? I could have a panini, or a coffee, or a donut, or a hot chocolate. Hmm. Hmm, we could share a hot chocolate…hmm, do we want to do that?

 

I don’t know, but I’m very clear about what I want. I want you to choose something before I bash my brains out with a caffetiere. That is what I want. But I can’t have what I want. So I’ll settle for second best- have the internal monologue INTERNALLY. That’s just good manners, even Hamlet did that. And he was plotting to kill his uncle. You’re plotting to have a sandwich. And you’re not even that committed to the plot.

…And now I’ve lost the plot.

Irritating Lady didn’t say anything interesting, but waited for me to put money in the till before she changed it, then gave me weird change that made no sense and therefore made me look like I couldn’t do basic arithmetic. The thing that sucks is I can’t, really. I’m a literature graduate. You wanna quiz me on medieval poetry, go ahead, but I have a feeling that isn’t something you value in your coffee monkeys. Which is fair enough, really.

 

And the man that irritated me the most? Even though he was basically very nice?

 

Man: I want a double espresso. Extra hot.

Me: Uh…gah..uh? I can’t…espresso comes out of the machine…I can’t. Extra hot? Ah…not possible. (also relates to people who ask for their tea extra hot. How can I get hotter than boiling water?)

Man: (very gently, like talking to a spooked gazelle, or mentally challenged rabbit) Well, you can warm the cup, can’t you? Yes you can…all you do is fill it with some hot water, okay? Okay.

Me: GAH. INDIGNANT. I MAKE THE COFFEE! MY RULES….*scuttles away to fill cup with hot water*

Man: There’s a good girl.

 

Oh hey there, Mad Men, I know you made the fifties look cool, but you could you please remind men I don’t know (and those I do) that PATTING SOMEONE ON THE HEAD is not appropriate. I may be a bitch but I am not a dog. Yeah. Thanks. ‘Good girl’. Grumble, mumble. Fucking-anti-feminist-macho-thinks-he’s-so-tough-with-hot-teeny-cup-of-coffee-he’ll-now-make-last-two-hours. This is a political point. Don’t trust men with espresso. They’ll just try and customise it, like they do with their cars and bikes. Hmmpf.

At least my latte matches my handbag. Yeah. That’s feminism for you. (By matches, I mean I spilled latte on my handbag and now they’re the same colour. Do I sound like I puropsefully colour code my coffee to you?)

 

Okay, hope that was enough vitriol to last another week, and make up for my radio silence.

 

Have a nice day from Cafe Disaster, we’re not secretly hoping for your demise! Not at all!