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Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

It’s been a long time coming folks! The latest post! And it’s extra long and full of vitriol! Enjoy!

 

There’s just something about Sundays that sucks arse. Big time. The clearest and simplest reason is that you’re serving people who are spending time (not quality time, but time nonetheless) with their families and friends. Which just reminds you that you are not.

Or it could be that people are just massive wankers on Sundays.

Examples, you say? Why, of course.

 

The Hungover Arsehole

 

‘Give me a fiveshot black Americano.’

‘You’re welcome’

‘Are you being SNIPPY with me? I have a HANGOVER!’

 

Oh, I’m sorry, did I miss the part where having an overabundance of alcohol in your system means social norms don’t apply to you? And maybe if you’re so fucking hungover you shouldn’t have DRIVEN to the coffee shop. Or maybe you should have had a shower. That would have made you feel better. And the rest of us would really appreciate it.

 

These aren’t really too bad. Usually, you look a bit affronted, then they get all bashful and go ‘sorry, raging hangover’ and together you laugh at why a thirty five year-old man still can’t figure out how to hold his drink. It’s a delightful bonding exercise.

 

Except, there’s The Drunk Arsehole.

 

‘OI LOVE! OI! YOU! YEAH! YOU! DARLIN’! WANNA GO ON A  DATE?’

‘I want to get you a cup of coffee.’

‘THAT’S LIKE A DATE INNIT?’

‘Do you normally pay your dates?’

‘…I’ll have a black coffee. Two sugars.’

 

The worst of these was the bigoted, homophobic, racist moron dancing around with a broom and a traffic cone on his head, shouting insults. The best was the confused tipsy man who walked in after a Christmas party and asked if he was anywhere near Leicester Square. That was the last place he remembered from the night before. Staff parties. Lethal. (Note: He was about 15 miles out of central London).

 

 

Now, none of these compare with the families. Or, more especially:

 

 

The One-Day-a-Week-Dads.

 

The worst thing about this particular specimen of customer is that they’re not always divorced dads who don’t really know how to bond with their kid in the limited time they have. That, maybe, I can understand. They buy the kids everything they could possibly eat or drink in the hopes that providing will make them the world’s best father. That’s fine, good luck to you.

It’s the ones who aren’t separated that drive me nuts. You’re looking after your children for AN HOUR. And you don’t know the dimensions of the buggy so you keep bashing into people, and you wait in a queue, telling the kid to be quiet so you can phone Mummy and ask if dear little Tarquin is allergic to nuts or dairy.

 

THIS IS YOUR KID. Stop treating it like a one day training exercise. Yes, we do babychinos. Yes, it’s just froth. Yes, chocolate has dairy in it. No, your wife doesn’t normally give your kid chocolate cake at eight in the morning. Yes, I can get you a high chair. No, it’s not adjustable. Yes, a chocolate cream has chocolate in it. No, we don’t do sugar-free caramel.

No, I’d rather little Timmy didn’t hold up a queue of fifteen people because you want him to put the card in the machine because your wife said it’s good for his motor functions. Now we have to reset cash register. Thanks. At times like this, I miss your wife. And that’s saying something, because she’s a vindictive spoilt cow who talks to me like I’m a moron. But at least she knows what she wants to fucking drink.

 

And don’t spend fifteen minutes lecturing me on why you don’t want to pay for extra shots of coffee, just to insist on a take away bag for your cake, and EAT IT OFF THE TABLE. What, you’re sitting there on an ipad but you refuse to spend twenty pence so you can have a plate? No, go ahead, please hold up an entire slew of people to ensure your child gets ‘the best possible babychino, in a bigger cup’ (who knew dick-swinging could apply to childcare?) but then sit and ignore the kid by having loud, obnoxious phone conversations with Larry at the office. And then sit waiting desperately for your wife to appear, only to hold up your darling demon child, and show her he’s still breathing and everything.

So you both toddle out, happy that you have proven your interest in your mini-me, and I am left with the destruction you have caused. The bits of tissue dear little Joel has shredded, the crumbs of carrot cake he decided to press into the sofas. The stickers on the floor, the chocolate milk sprayed across the windows, and in general, enough mess to warrant three cleaners and a forensics team.

 

Now I’m not saying all our dads are like this. We have a few stay-at-homes who come in every day, collect their coffee, allow their very polite children to ask for some water, and then quietly entertain them for an hour or so. These people are lovely. But they do not come in on Sundays. Because they, in their infinite wisdom, know that arseholes are about.

 

Oh, and a special shout out to the Sunday Dad who came in ten minutes before closing, ordered a drink, dithered about making me change said drink and then said I looked tired. When I pointed out I’d just worked a ten hour shift, he said ‘Oh yes, that would make you tired. I’ve spent all day watching TV.’

Did I go off about how I have two degrees, and am now going off to my second of three jobs after I finish that shift? Nope. Instead, I decided to pity someone who wastes a Sunday in such a manner.

So go forth readers, enjoy good coffee, make good children. And for fuck’s sake, don’t waste a Sunday!

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‘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.