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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.

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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.

The Terrifying Tale of…The Shredders

Once, not at all long ago and not far away (in fact, really really near) there was a civilisation that functioned on the ingestion of caffeine. For the most part, these creatures got along well with each other, stopped to refuel and then went along their merry way.

But one by one, a new race started infiltrating these caffeine-consumers (known as ‘humans’) and the effects were astronomical. These dreaded demons were called…The Shredders.

No, not this type of Shredder

 

You ever peel the label off a juice bottle, until it was all sticky and scratchy and falling apart? Anyone make some sort of snide remark about being sexually frustrated? If that’s what you get for a juice bottle, then consider the creatures who shred up sugar packs (full or empty), snap stirrers into little tiny splinters, rip up napkins until they’re celebration streamers. These people are the equivalent of a collection of nuns who had never left the convent, never eaten chocolate and just discovered Michael Fassbender.

What IS it with Shredders? Do they enjoy knowing that someone is going to clear up their mess? Do they look at me on the till and think ‘ha ha, that bitch is going to get some serious splinters. Maybe even a papercut! Ooh! Fun!’

Are they one half of a terminally ill marriage in which neither of them has talked to each other in social situations for fifteen years, and the only thing to make it through the agonising torture of silence over coffee is to rip the shit out of everything within reach? I hope so.

 

..and if you get to do that whilst enjoying a mocha, why not?

Sometimes, it’s children. That kind of makes sense, children like to destroy stuff. It’s pretty much what they were put on this earth to do. Destroy walls, your sex life, your bank balance, your hopes and dreams. All that good stuff. But adults? Why are fully functioning members of society sitting there, breaking stirring sticks into the tiniest pieces possible?

 

Completely irrelevant. But cute.

I suppose, in the face of abusive customers, it’s not so bad. But at least with the abusive customers, you know which ones are going to make an almighty mess and leave chocolate trodden into the sofas and milk all over the floor. You can see it coming. These ones…they come in all shapes and sizes, all heights and ages and professions. You can never predict who they will be. No-one knows why they do the things they do. We only know two things: they hang out in coffee shops, and they need to get laid.

 

Prepare yourself, humans. The Shredders are coming.

 

Some humans are more scary than whatever intelligent life is out there. Intelligent being the operative word.

The ‘Hot Lid’ Fiasco

This was a problem quite a lot in my old store, where customers had so much money that they were not accustomed to following instructions. A bit like buying IKEA furniture, and deciding you could put it together yourself. It all looks very pretty at the end, but there’s a screw missing. And then it collapses, and you curse the manufacturer, because it couldn’t possibly be your shoddy handiwork. Because you’re important.

In fact, that analogy fails, simply because this customer is not the kind of woman who does anything for herself. She has her nails done for her, her legs waxed for her, her coffee made for her. She probably had a caesarean because pushing out her spawn was too much trouble.

She has appeared in this blog before, and we commonly know her as ‘medium-mocha-frap-in-a-large-cup-extra-cream’. I have moaned about her trying to rip us off by essentially stealing whipped cream, and then causing such an earache when we try to explain that she should pay for half a cup of whipped cream, that we let it go. Because my hearing is fairly precious to me. As is my sanity.

 

Now, we don’t know her as ‘the annoying mocha frap woman/whipped cream bitch’. Now we know her as ‘that evil hag.’

If you type 'evil coffee hag' into google, this is what you get.

The following occurred, unusually not to me, but to a fellow barista, who handled it with flair. I instead cranked the ‘Cheerful Barista’ reader ALL THE WAY TO 11. Mainly to prove to customers who came after her that we’re really nice people, and she’s a douchebag.

She orders a caramel macchiato and a small hot chocolate. She normally gets this caramel macchiato ‘to stay but in a takeaway cup’ (sidenote: I don’t care where you’re having your drink. I just want to know in which type of receptacle you require it. I do not need a whole story about how ‘the paper ones keep them warmer’. We’ll all have to deal with our recycling demons one day. Your day will come.) but she didn’t say it this time. And she saw me writing it down and placing the note on one of our new shiny china mugs. So I assumed she, like many others, is interested in novelty value. Because she’s that kind of vapid bitch.

She then does that thing that drives me CRAZY. Waits quietly whilst the whole order has gone through and has started being made before she goes: ‘Oh that should be skinny.’

Cue the barista throwing away a jug full of perfectly good milk. Not at all passive aggressively.

Then she comes back. ‘Oh, those should be take away cups!’

Cue barista throwing the ready made drinks out of the mugs and into the sink. Not at all passive aggressively.

I’m also trying to serve a few OTHER PEOPLE WHO EXIST IN THE WORLD, so she’s kinda stopping me from doing that.

‘Oh, and I want cream on the hot chocolate.’

‘NOT a problem Madam!’ gritted teeth.

The barista puts the caramel macchiato down without incurring any sort of wrath. Then he puts the lid on the hot chocolate. AND THIS SHIT GETS REAL.

‘WHAT are you DOING? I don’t WANT a lid!’

Wow, the drama quote in your life must be super-low right now, if this gets you riled.

‘I’m afraid it’s store policy, we have to put lids on hot drinks.’

‘BUT THAT’S RIDICULOUS!’

Is it, is it really? You handing a hot drink to a young child and then suing the shit out of us when he burns himself….sound at all like the manipulative work of a middle-class bitch like yourself?

‘That may be so, madam, but those are the rules.’

‘Maybe they’re just YOUR rules.’

Yes, baristas love their work so much they spend time making up pointless rules for individual customers to follow. If that was the case, the rule here would be ‘Under no circumstances serve this dumb bitch.’ But no, we have no rules.

‘LOOK, YOU’VE SQUISHED THE WHIPPED CREAM DOWN!’

If you liked it then you shoulda put a lid on it.

Sweet, merciful coffee god, in the name of all that is caffeinated, please remove this woman from my immediate vicinity, before I lose my shit. My voice gets an octave higher and infinitely more cheerful (think Minnie Mouse) as I greet the next customer, who looks rather frightened by my enthusiasm.

‘I’m sorry, those are the rules. I’m not going lose my job over a….lid.’

Anyone else sure the end of that sentence was going to be ‘whipped cream bitch’?

‘WELL, put it in a regular mug! Did you HEAR ME? A REGULAR MUG!’

I’ll show you a fucking regular mug…when you look in the mirror. That’s right, I went there. Ooh, burn.

The loud cow then obstinately walks over, dumps the poor kid with this mountainously creamy hot chocolate (which she proceeds to eat- that skinny macchiato working out well for you there?) and then actively encourages her son to play loud music from her iPhone. Is there anything ruder than playing music on a phone in public places? Isn’t that reserved for chavs on the back of the bus? The worst part? She only had THREE songs, so he kept repeating them. Two of those three songs were Michael Buble.

 

She then kept shooting weird death glances over to us to see if the music was annoying. Erm, duh. Yes. Yes it was. She then left, and we knew there was going to be carnage left in her wake. It was like a coffee death scene. Ripped sugar packets, crumbled cookie, shredded lids and spoons sticking to the table with left over whipped cream and spilt milk.

So there’s another customer we’ll be running away from next week. Because, you know, we make up the rules about that.

Mrs ‘Can’t Abide’ AKA The Sorry Tale of the Big-Mouthed Bitch

Some days are just bad days. Or rather, bad shifts. When you get the Friday afternoon, usually you don’t mind because your brain goes ‘ooh, Friday! It’s almost the weekend!’ Except when you actually get to the Friday afternoon, you realise that you were once again duped by your own excitement.

Friday afternoons suck. Mostly because the local school gets out early and we have pre-teens demanding frappuccinos and paying for them in ten pence pieces, but sometimes purely because people are dickheads.

An example of such dickheadery in the Friday rush is below:

 

Nice Old Gent: Hello, lads and ladies, I would like a medium Americano with a dash of milk, and the lady would like a cup of hot water, please.

Barista: Really, really sorry but we can’t serve hot water.

Nice Old Gent: Really? (We expect a sudden meltdown)

Barista: I know it seems stupid, but it’s company policy now.

Nice Old Gent: (long, terrifying pause)…Okay! No problem, I’ll just go see what else she wants.

 

He dashes off and we breathe a sigh of relief. An easy, understanding customer who is willing to compromise despite our pretty silly but justified policy? (The same as last week, you can see why we have this policy here.)
Except a lady suddenly bustles in and starts screaming drink orders left, right and centre, so my colleague starts writing them down on cups for me to make. Then the Nice Old Gent comes back, so my colleague asks if the lady could wait one moment whilst he finishes this other transaction. Holy shit did we not expect this.

 

Big Mouthed Cow: Why didn’t you TELL me there was someone in front of me? YOU PEOPLE always do this! I can’t ABIDE bad service, I just can’t abide it. That’s just me, you know? That’s something that just gets to me. You could have told me to wait, and then served him, and now you’ve made HIM uncomfortable. I just can’t DEAL with this TERRIBLE SERVICE. ALL THE TIME. I just CAN’T ABIDE IT. I CAN’T.

 

Wow, well someone has a word of the day calendar, don’t they? Or they just saw The Big Lebowski for the first time. In which case, they should be more relaxed. The Dude abides.

Whilst I begin loudly humming Christmas carols and saying THANK YOU SO MUCH to every customer who walks by, just to release the aggression, the Nice Old Gent comes around.

Nice Old Gent: So you really can’t serve hot water?

Me: No, I know it’s really stupid because we can serve tea, but it’s a new policy. Someone ordered hot water and then threw it in a barista’s face. She was scalded so we can’t give it out anymore.

Nice Old Gent: That’s so terrible! I completely understand! (How fucking NICE is this guy?!)

Nice Old Gent then leans in and whispers: I’d be bloody careful if I were you, love. That harpy behind me looks like the water-throwing type!

I then hand him his drink, he thanks me, then looks a bit scared.

Nice Old Gent: It’s definitely mine, isn’t it love? I’d hate to have taken hers, pretty sure she’d tackle me to the ground!

 

Oh sweet lord, you lovely, lovely man! You’re a wonderful human being who has transported me from that bitter sick feeling in my stomach to the understanding that all is right with the world! Merry Bloody Christmas, everyone!

So Can’t Abide comes around (and although I know it’s petty, she looked like what my favourite movie reviewer calls ‘A Big-Lipped Alligator Moment) and starts on at me. She’s also ordered a fucking Eggnog Latte, one of the most annoying drinks in the world, due to the fact that it’s chemical structure is heavier, and therefore is difficult to aerate, and thus makes A FUCKING LOUD NOISE. Much like the woman who wants to drink it. She then asks for it to be half soya. If I didn’t know she was a tool before, I do now. Mixing egg and bean milk with extra-hot decaf espresso. Fuck right off.

 

To truly understand the Big Lipped Alligator Moment check out this site.

Me and my colleague then just stared in awe, unable to even find the words beyond sounds like ‘garble garble what the fuck?’

 

We then have about sixty-seconds of pure, beautiful peace, in which we find the innermost strength, deep down in the depths of our souls, fuelled by beauty, love and caffeine, to forgive the rude bitch. It’s Friday, it’s close to Christmas. She’s probably one day soon going to be found dead in her flat, slowly being eaten by her underfed chihuahua. And that, my friends, is what we call JUSTICE.

 

But she breaks this ‘goodwill to all coffee-drinkers’ thing we had going by walking up, pausing in the middle of the store and pointing at me.

‘YOU! We’ve spilled some apple juice on the floor. Come and clean it up.’

You think this dog is too cute to eat anyone. But he knows a bitch when he sees one.

Of course madam. Of course. Of fucking course, you pretentious arsehole with an inability to think of anything but yourself. I would LOVE to get down on my hands and knees whilst your children kick me in the face and call me ‘cleany lady’ whilst you suggest that perhaps I should get a mop. I suggest you get a personality transplant, toot suite.

 

(I know, I know. Cleaning up after clumsy children and lazy adults is my job. I do it willingly. But most people, especially mothers, tend to at least apologise, or try and wipe up a bit of the mess themselves. But if you told her that she would clearly reply: ‘Well, she’s getting PAID for it, ISN’T SHE?’ Which is a fair enough point for the Dragon Lady to make.)

So what can I say about all this except that it’s a standard Friday in December? Well, if I was smart I would have said the exact perfect thing in response:

Her: I can’t ABIDE bad service.

Me: Well, I can’t ABIDE people who treat those in the service industry like shit just to make themselves feel better about their empty, meaningless and ultimately lonely little lives…And adding soya to your Eggnog adds just as much fat, so enjoy wobbling around the sales, MADAM!

 

...Ehem, Happy Holidays....? Everyone! (Well, almost everyone. You know who you are.)

‘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)

 

 

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!