While working as the maven of early Monday mornings, you learn a think or two about people while working as a coffee barista.
Sure in your downtime on the clock, when you’re not cleaning or restocking food, you tend to participate in a plethora, let’s just say, ‘creative’ activities”. Of course it’s acceptable to channel your inner wizard, brewing bizarre beverages…
Honestly though, the crown jewel of procrastination: people watching.
Talking to the regulars, complaining about long hours, and of course who could forget being nagged by customers that for some reason, no matter what you do, are just NEVER satisfied.
These astronomically complicated unhappy (often times elderly) assholes; often times didn’t even know anything about coffee to begin with! Living in a vacation town, during the rush hour from say 6 am – 9 am, on any given morning, I could always count on there being at least a handful of these goons.
Their tactics were simple enough; they would just stand at the register staring at the menu for, I kid you not 20 minutes. Trying to quiz me about the differences between black coffees, Americanos, cappuccinos, you name it. Asking about whether we used fresh shots of espresso or not, asking me to fucking diagram a latte, and of course always curious as to whether our smoothies used fresh fruit. Critics of the coffee community, listen, we’re honest workers and it’s not my goal in life to try to jip you out of a good cup of Joe! Now, FINALLY after asking a million questions about what type of beverage they’ve selected, they’re ready to order.
When honestly you feel like just saying….
But no, you have to listen to this annoying customer who apparently can’t understand life. They go on to ask,
“How fattening is this? Can you make that Lo-Cal, one Splenda, stirred into it and then funnel the milk slowly, No that’s wrong you definitely did that wrong”
First of all, fat and flavor go to together; just swing for the whole milk, I PROMISE it won’t kill you. Secondly, I don’t even know what funneling means, this isn’t alchemy, this is a freaking cup of morning coffee and you’re ruining my day! And finally, above all else after this ordeal, my fake smiling and sometimes forced laughed, guess who would conveniently forgets to tip.
Among these terrible people, my employees and I could always sort them into categories. Which after awhile, became somewhat of a game between us.
A terrible combination of boredom and caffeine fueled minds.
Of these categories, my perhaps favorite two were the always reliable 1. America’s Obesity Epidemic 2. The Excessively Deep and Insightful Customer
The Obese Crew – I’m really not a mean person I promise. I’m sarcastic sure, critical sometimes, but not mean. I don’t care what sort of drink you get! It doesn’t define you or your underlying purpose in life. BUT I don’t get the rational behind this group of people. You’ve heard the saying, “super size me, but then add a diet coke, because I’m trying to watch my figure”. Yes, THOSE people.
Of this group, these by far aren’t the worst customers; they’re more interesting than anything else! I’m just saying, that you do realize when you order a Non-Fat Frappuccino With Extra Whipped Cream And Chocolate Sauce, you do realize you’re basically just getting a chocolate milkshake will all those calories that you keep telling me that you’re trying to “lose”. It’s more ironic than anything else! I get that you’re happy about watching you’re figure, and trust me I’m proud too! But hey, when we’re out of skim milk and when you walk 5 minutes before closing, please don’t yell at me. Trust me, if I could I would walk out to a barn, milk a cow for you, and bring you your low-fat milk shake in a golden cup.
NOW: If you don’t understand by now, I really don’t like people that order complicated drinks. It’s not even complicated drink with substitutes, that’s fine! It’s the drinks that literally make zero sense, that blow my mind. I understand food allergies, trust me, I get it. I’m lactose intolerant and my roommate is a deathly allergic nut, so I would LOVE to put in your drink soymilk or seriously washing a blender so that you won’t go into anaphylactic shock on the spot.
But when you walk into my store, wearing a stupid fedora, or a beanie, with tight jeans in 90-degree heat, in addition to a pompous attitude then yes, I’m going to judge you.
I had one girl come in this summer and ask me for a Grande non-fat Venti cappuccino with 8 sugars layered between each spot of foam.
Um Excuse me? But little miss, “I’m trying to watch my figure, plus they taste crunchy?” I’m sorry but do you do realize you are probably consuming more sugars in your singular drink than there are in an entire bottle of mountain due. How do you even figure out that you like such a beverage? If your motto going into a Starbucks is, I’m complicated and deep so let my coffee choices reflect that. Do you really think people are going to like you MORE based upon your beverage choices? The answer is no, I encourage, rather beg you to be normal and get a typical cup of coffee.
So, If you ever find yourself ordering a Caramel Macchiato, Venti, Skim, with Extra Shot, Extra-Hot, with Extra-Whip, and Sugar-Free syrup or an iced coffee with no ice. I want you to just step away from the register and please take a moment to re-evaluate your life decisions. Because you might as well just ask for an extra shot of “I’m super high maintenance” while you’re at it. Just remember, that if your beverage is more than 6 syllables long, to preserve both of our sanities, you may want to start to re-evaluate your life decisions.