just say "yes" to saying "no"

so, i encountered my first high maintenance customer at the new bux.

you may remember my rants about bux customers that want us to make drinks that aren't on the menu. i'm not talking about adding a couple pumps of syrup here, or using organic milk there. i'm talking completely made up beverages that are pains to make, just to satisfy some person's bizarre need to feel special.
not only are the drinks annoying to make but the customers watch our every move, squawking if an extra granule of sugar makes its way into the cup or if the milk is at 166 degrees instead of 165.

an oft requested non-menu drink is a frappuccino made with soy milk. there are rumors that bux will actually start making a soy frappuccino, but as of now we don't do them. when customers would ask for a soy blended drink, i would let them know we didn't have any such drink but i could make them a soy drink on the rocks. that usually appeased them, but even if they bitched and moaned, i didn't comply.

so, today when a woman came in requesting a drink that was ice blended and made with soy,i was prepared to give her my usual "we can't do that" speech. unfortunately another partner piped up and asked, "well, what is it you want? i'm sure i could make something for you even though it's not on the menu".
i cringed inwardly knowing that she had set herself up for the nightmare of a lifetime.

sure enough, the lady wanted a soy blended drink, but made with tea instead of coffee or espresso. now, we have three different iced teas every day. one herbal, one green and one black. are you really shocked to learn that none of these teas would do for miss "blended soy"? no, she wanted a MIX of mint tea and chai tea (NOT the sweetened concentrate - just the plain stuff) which meant we had to special brew the combination just for her. that meant waiting four minutes for it to steep. then she wanted sugar free syrup added to the tea and then soy and then blended.

my fellow barista did all this for the lady, and guess what?
"um, this just doesn't taste that good at all. can i just have a caramel frappuccino instead?"

see? that's why i just say no when it comes to freaky specialty drinks.

barista rant: i'm sorry we ran out of plastic forks. i know it's an inconvenience, but really your reaction was pretty pathetic. "can you check?" you whined, and when i informed you that i was positive there were no plastic forks in our store, you got agitated. and when i told you that the sandwich shop next door was sure to have them - you squinted your eyes and sneered, "then why don't you go ask them for some, so the next time a customer wants a fork you will have them?" sure, i'll have plenty of forks on hand next time you come around. the better to stab you with, my pretty.


Benny said...

Brat, you kill me! Forks? Honestly.

People get so upset over the weirdest things. You wanna tell them to get some perspective.

As for the partner piping up- I've worked with these types. They think they're doing a good thing loudly tell the first person at the front of a long line that they can do "whatever you want- just tell me!" And then you go out with these people and they order something and you realize they're just as freaking annoying on the other side of the counter. Eh.


James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James said...

You should carry one of those KFC plastic spork 'n' napkin combos (you know, the ones that are individually wrapped) at all times for such emergencies.

FORKLESS [pounding large hairy fists on the counter]: "Where's the goddam forks? I require a fork with which to eat my coffee."

YOU [half-smile upon your face, eyebrow arched, right hand digging into pocket]: "You mean..."

CUE: golden beams of light from the ceiling onto the floor.

"One of..."

CUE: ethereal chords over the stereo.

YOU: [dropping to a kneel with your arms outstretched and above your head, your hands palms up presenting individually wrapped package containing a plastic spork and napkin] "Whoa-la!"

James said...

Like the live comment editing process?

barista brat said...

b - too true! i'm such a low maintenance customer but some of my fellow baristas are the worst! it's like they feel entitled to give some other bux employee a hard time just because they wear a green apron.

james - haha, i loved it. but i think i would have done the whole "spirit fingers" thing while singing "fork you!"

Beth said...

You need to slip something nasty-tasting in these special requests, just to stop them. Ugh. I can't imagine demanding so much from a barista.

Allan said...

I like beth's idea- but how about something less-detectable, such as a high-fiber laxative powder?

Might help you sort out which repeats have jobs and which don't too..

Natalie said...

Ha ha ha!!! I say that's what she gets for offering to make a custom drink. Do you think she'll learn?

barista brat said...

beth - yeah, that's another story for another time - heehee.

allan - at my other bux a lady specifically came in because a certain drink helped her bowels.

natalie - i'm hoping so, but this new bux is so slow, she might welcome it as a distraction.

Sling said...

So...Is this what these people make for themselves at home?..I mean,If they're so damm particular,how can they survive on a simple cup of Folger's French roast?...Just wonderin'..

Venti Brittany! said...

i found this blog via retail hell underground (thankfully!)...i've had many laughs or "dude! we so have that guy or THAT guy at my store!"

you see...i, too, wear the green apron and having come across a slew of "soy frappuccino" entries, you might be amused to find out that today's the soft launch of the new frappuccino recipe and, you guessed it, the soy frappuccino.

thanks for the blog, even if the doors are closed!