RSS Feed

Tag Archives: cafe disaster

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.



‘I want to get you a cup of coffee.’


‘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!


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


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.

‘But I’m a Regular!’

…Yes, but that doesn’t mean you’re not also an Abnormal.


I’ve been off work for a week in preparation for my Honkin’ Big Trip, so I’m actually lacking in the anger. I’m very zen, with the yoga and the green tea. I may actually need to watch an episode of Made In Chelsea in order to get my anger levels up for the necessary terrifying ranting. Because it’s Cafe Disaster time.


So, I present to you, a random selection of our regular customers. Because regular customers LOVE to be known. There are multiple people who I know about the problems in their marriage, change in their career, where they live, where their kids go to school…and still call them ‘double-tall-extra-hot-soya-latte woman’. That’s impersonal.

The reason I mention our regulars is not because they are pains in the arse, for the most part we like them because we know their drink, and they like us because we know their drink. So it’s a nice little co-dependent relationship. But we have a new coffee monkey, a few in fact, and when I think back to my coffee-monkey-baby days, I remember it was the regulars that were the worst of all. Because when you’re new, you have to learn their specific drinks, and you don’t always get it right, and they then have to remember the crazy specifics and tell you them, instead of just having the barista see their face and know to make it. I refer you to my catchphrase: If you can’t say it, don’t order it. 

So generally, regulars are kind of mean to the new baristas. Because they’ve become accustomed to the fact that it’s all about them. We should know who they are, for goodness sake! Well, no.In my early coffee monkey days it was the regulars who made my life difficult. Because I was slowing down their regular routine. Regular. Yes, I said it again. Another word for AVERAGE.

And THEN the problem with regulars is that they occasionally change their mind. And we get irritated with them for changing their minds. Because we’ve put significant effort into remembering their specific orders, and take comfort in the few moments in our day that will always be the same.

There’s also the regulars who then have the same thing every day, but don’t realise that we’ve noticed who they are and what they have. Which in some ways is very sweet, as if they don’t think they’re important enough to be noticed. But then when we automatically call out their drink to them, or have it waiting when we see them walking in, they don’t go ‘aw, how lovely! I’ve been noticed!’ No. That would be too simple. They either a) look at me with a wary suspicion, as if I am possibly a stalker and they can’t remember if they’ve seen me hiding in the bushes outside their house, or b) they freak out about being boring and predictable.

Let me make this clear. We love your predictability. We love playing Magic Coffee Oracle. And when you appear, and we have magicked your exact order out of thin air before you order it, we believe that we are in fact, not just mere coffee monkeys, but we are Coffee Gods. So stick with it, damn it.

There are certain regulars who don’t tell us the names of the coffee anymore, because it’s too complex, so we just call the drink after them. So they effectively feel like they have created a drink, even if it’s something simple, like a medium-chai-tea-latte-no-water-skinny-milk-extra-hot. Yes, that’s simple. It’s also called a Fiona.

One that’s not so simple?

Medium-in-a-large-takeaway-cup-caramel-macchiato-extra-extra-hot-soya-milk-extra-shot-espresso-with-caramel-and-chocolate-drizzle. That has a name. And thank fuck it does, because if more people start ordering it I may shoot myself.

So, this was a short little rant for your reading pleasure. I’ll now be off travelling around places, starting in Oz. I’ve packed my ruby slippers and everything. Either way, I’ll be sporadically updating from my travels about coffee-related things. Maybe I’ll have a chat with an Australian barista, or try and celeb-spot in an LA airport cafe. I’ll be keeping my angry coffee-monkey ears open for things to moan about. So stay tuned! It may be sporadic, but it’ll be updated. And you know how you can figure out when a fresh new post comes in? You can subscribe!  (Look to your right)



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.




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!


I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff, and I’ll be REALLY indignant.

Closing times, and other things I have no control of.


There are many things that, as a barista, I am responsible for; your drink, my attitude, your experience, the constant sense of pointlessness. But things I am not responsible for include: your bladder (it’s not my fault there’s someone in the bathroom) the weather (it’s not my fault you wanted a frappuccino and now it’s too cold) and our opening times.

I have had multiple responses when I say we’re closing. They’re usually indignant, sometimes they’re incredulous. Mostly, they can’t seem to fathom that I and my customers are in fact, human beings with lives. It’s a bit like when you’re a kid, and it’s easier to believe that teachers go into storage and plug in for the night, rather than accept that they have families and aspirations and sex lives. It’s very Cartesian, we only exist when they see us there. We only exist when we’re serving coffee. We don’t have homes to go to, or lives outside the coffee shop.



Customer: What time do you close?

Me: Five thirty.

Customer: But that’s in five minutes!

Me: Yes, that’s why we told you we’re only doing takeaway cups.

Customer: That’s outrageous, I want to speak to the manager!

Me: Why?

Customer: Because you shouldn’t close at five thirty, I have no-where else to go now!

Firstly, your lack of a life is another one of those things that is not my problem. Secondly, the reason you have nowhere else to go is because every other coffee shop closes at the same time. So go bug them about it.



Customer: Why do you open so late on Sundays?

Me: We open at nine am, Sir, and usually no-one even comes in until ten, anyway.

Customer: Well, we were banging on the door for you to open, and you didn’t! We have to work in the MEDIA, we NEED you to be open for us! Plus, it’s really expensive, even with the discount you give us, so you should at least be open on time.

Me:We are open ON TIME, just the time that is dictated to us by our superiors.

Him: Well, I’m going to phone your head office about this!

Firstly, this is a lie. Unless he was banging on the door at seven in the morning before any of the staff were even there, in which case, I must reiterate: Get a life. Get a sense of adventure, invest in a caffetiere. Get a dog or something that can be forced to love you, regardless of what a horrible and simply stuck up media whore type person you are.

Why should we open earlier for you, when you are one person? One little person who occasionally comes in here, moans about the price, abuses the staff and generally treats everyone like they’re below you, just because you’re working on the latest series of Big Brother. Which, by the way, is now on Channel Five. So it’s basically gone to die, as I hope you do.

Other examples of opening time fuckwittery?

Me: Sorry, we’re closing now, I really need you guys to drink up.

Customers: Well, if we leave, you won’t have any customers.


Yes. That’s the point. Fuck off.


Me: Sorry, we close in a few minutes.

Customers: That’s bloody outrageous. Screw you. *storms off*


Okay. Sure. Thanks for that customer input.


Me: Hi guys! Just to let you know, we’re closing in five minutes.

Customer: Well, we’re meeting someone here in twenty minutes.

Me: Well, I’m afraid you’ll have to meet them outside.

Customer: It’s not appropriate to meet people on the street. You can just stay open.


Oh, I’m so glad that forcing a company to stay open just for you is within accepted limits of propriety.

People suck. Here endeth the rant.

Bad Grandma

‘Oh, Grandma, Look How Big Your Mouth Is!’


Now, in general, I’m not a granny-basher. Grandmas are nice to have around, you know, when they wear cardigans and bake cakes. Not so much when they’re ordering around staff and treating people like crap. That’s not what Grandmas are for.

So this particular Granny (and I must paint the picture before you accuse me of being too mean. She didn’t look like a Granny. She looked like a faintly older woman. She just happened to have grandchildren. So give me a break, I’m not picking on an enfeebled OAP) brought in her whole brood. Two daughters, three grandchildren. Three loud grandchildren.

But whatever, family outings to a coffee shop, good for you. And when there’s a whole bunch of people trying to order, and she’s telling me that the cappuccino HAS to be skinny, and ignoring every question I ask so she can constantly refer to her kids across the store. Loudly. And then the grandkids pick things up, put their sticky fingers on my pretty glass counter. It’s generally a bit hectic.

This is not a Wolf. But it is something that probably got what was coming to it

She then asks for babychinos. For those of you who are not accustomed to strange made-up words for milk products, babychinos are teeny cups of warm foam for kids. Ours are free, and come in espresso cups. She then insists that we make her the larger size. I point out that if she wants three large ones, I’m meant to charge her, but I’ll only charge for one. I smile, I’m polite. I’m doing her a favour. She then complains loudly about how I’m taking her money, she’s spending enough as it is, and forget the babychinos. She then instead takes three small cups, flounces off and fills them up with milk from the condiment bar.

There is only one response to this: Cheapskate.

So time passes by, they speak loudly, the children scream, but, you know what, it’s fine. Really. Until she calls loudly and waves me over to her table, whilst I’m in the middle of serving a customer. She clicks her fingers at me. Yes. Yes she did. I know, I can’t believe it either.

‘Oh you, excuse me, you! Yes! My granddaughter’s spilled her milk. Can you come over and sort it out?’

Erm, well, sure. The majority of lovely people come over and get some napkins, or ask for some paper towel, or apologise. A few wonderful people even ask for the mop. But yes, that is my job, that’s fine.

So I go over to clean up the liberally spilled STOLEN milk- except that they won’t move out of the way. So I’m on my knees cleaning up around their feet whilst the kids are kicking each other and the adults are talking over my head. Granny Dearest says ‘Oh, I suppose we should move out of your way! Haw Haw!’ and then continues talking.

So really, my response, after getting kicked in the head by kiddy Converse, is screw this for a laugh. I wiped up as well as I could, and got out of there sharpish. Until five minutes later, when she’s signalling for me again, an imperious twitch of the wrist inherited only by the filthy rich.

‘Excuse me! Young Lady! Come back here! You didn’t do a proper job! It’s still wet over here! Is it too much to ask that you come back over here and actually finish the job correctly?’

Now, this sent me into a rage so blinding that I vibrated as I fetched the mop and took very little care about whose shoes got touched with the dirty mop head. And I usually show great respect for designer heels.

She then, of course, complained that I was not doing it right.


This kind of customer can ruin your day. But luckily, once I rage and whine a bit, I forget about these horrible creatures and get on with my day. And I was quite sad that I forget about her, because I wanted to mock her on the interwebs. And then she returned! Again, with grandchildren! Again, quibbling about price! Again, stealing milk, and then letting her descendants spill it. Again calling me over to clear it up.

And this time, I calmly took over a pile of napkins, plastered on a smile, said ‘There you go!’ and ran away. When I returned, the table was empty, and the napkins unused. Watch out Grandma, this Big Bad Wolf’s got teeth. And a blog.