friday night spites

tonight was very busy. the private school down the street was having a function, so not only did we get the after school frappuccino rush - we had both parents and students steadily walking through our doors right up until closing.
that's the worst kind of busy there is. we baristas actually prefer an insane rush of an hour or so as long as it's followed by a decent period of down time so that we can prep and clean. when we have people ordering drinks non-stop, even if its only two or three customers at a time, it's really difficult to make sure the lobby is clean, the drip coffee is always fresh and the pastry case stocked.

tonight was one of those shifts were the list of things that needed to be done kept getting longer and longer. being stuck behind bar for nearly five hours without a break (i'm not exaggerating here) is bad enough without customers whining and complaining:
"you're out of half & half!"
"i wanted nonfat milk in that!"
"this was supposed to 180 degrees but it tastes more like 175!"

the only thing worse is the customers who ask their barista for random things once their drinks are made:
"can i have a venti cup filled with whipped cream?"
"i need an extra straw and two forks."
"give me a cup of water and an extra cup of ice."
"can you tell me the name of the song that's playing right now?"
"how many calories are in a venti soy toffee nut latte if i skip the whipped cream but get three extra pumps of toffee nut?"

and guess what? i get to do it all again tomorrow!

partner rant: what do you do all day long? i'm asking because i very much aware of what you DON'T do. you don't grind coffee, you don't prep frappuccino, you don't take out the trash, you don't fill milk carafes, you don't sanitize dishes and you don't stock cups and lids. you know how i know? i know because i was the one who did them as soon as i started my shift. listen - there's no reason why the first two hours of my shift should be spent doing things you had eight hours to take care of!


lighterate said...

You know what? I'm starting to get a bit scared.

Tracy said...

You know, I can totally feel your partner rant. I remember those days. Those people SUCK.

SkippyMom said...

Bless your heart...sounds like a long day - I swear I would burn someone [accidently, of course!] if they asked me inane questions regarding calories - oh skip the whip, but add 3 shots of toffee nut?!!!
Hang in there - it gets better!

Anonymous said...

The straggling, steady line IS the worst. Just when you think you can break away and get something done, another person comes in, and then just one more person right behind them. You take a deep breath, knock out their orders, and just when you think you can get something done, another person comes in, and then just one more person right behind them... and so on.

"This is the song that never ends!"

Benny said...

PS- I'm anonymous. I have no idea why I moved that thing away from "Benny." Heh.

Kiz said...

Regarding insanely-specific calorie questions, have you ever been tempted to answer with "Too damn much?"

Come on, if they're worried about their health, then what the hell are they doing ordering a fancified drink like that? Stick to teas, those Tazo bottles, or hot apple cider or something. (Though I'm well aware I'm likely preaching to the choir here.) K

James said...

"it tastes more like 175." wow.

anyways, so i've updated. i did it earlier, but blogger ate it. had to rewrite. ARG.

mellowlee said...

Man, people can be so annoying! I bring empty cream pitchers up to the counter for refilling instead of standing there like an idiot. They always look very relieved to not have to run out from behind the counter in the middle of a rush. As for the asking about the song playing, I've asked which CD is playing so I could buy it, but would never do that if it was busy. lmao about the Venti cup full of whipped cream. oink oink haha!

Thy said...

holy cow.

people are picky.

i hope tomorrow's artery-clogging fun at Starbucks is less hectic.

Beth said...

Ugh, Brat. I feel your pain.

Kagen Watch said...

I was in Starbucks today, and I thought about your blog. I tried my hardest not to piss off the barista, I knew what I wanted to order before I got to the register, and I had my money ready. I was going to order a Frap, but didn't and got a Tazo Chai instead.

Your blog is making a difference. Just thought you'd want to know.
But if you could do one teensey favor: could you set your blog up with FeedBurner? It takes like 2 minutes and is INSANELY useful for people who like to read blogs.


Anonymous said...

Hey Brat, I have been a fan now of your blog since June (I am a new barista (or is it baristo since I am a male?). At our store it has a CRAZY newbie barista turnover. I am official the 3rd longest at the store barrista (the other two were there a month before me! Woo HOO!!!). So many of your blogs have hit home (and help me laugh off some of my baristra frustration). I have used all of the Starbucks educational tips in your blogs. I totally feel your pain on the last post, it happened to us tonight AND we had 7 people walk in at 10:58PM with 13 different drinks(we close at eleven). >-I Ahh well, I have to quit work for health reasons (loooong story). I am going to go dream about "The Maria" (someone who is trying to make us memorize her "official" starbucks drink), as well as the questions I had tonight. HOw many carbs are there in a syrup mocha, carmel, and toffee nut cream frap with 4 (2 decaf, 2 regular) shots and whip cream blended in (none on top) with carmel drizzle on top? OR HOw many calories are there in a quad venti, 6 pumps of hazelnut, breve latte with 8 splendas? (Answer in my best starbucks persona airhead voice) I am sorry, I haven't had a chance to memorize all of my starbucks facts. I'm, like, pretty new at this. Here is our nutrition information guide which should, like, be able to help you. (Cheesy smile ;-) Long Live the one and only BARISTA BRAT!

lighterate said...

Jan's post made me smile, human nature can be so gentle and caring sometimes. I feel like I have been sharpening the other end of the stick for the past week or so, and it is good to unwind and remember that being nice is free and makes everyone feel good.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"this was supposed to 180 degrees but it tastes more like 175!"

Yes, comments like these are why Starbucks refuses to let their baristas carry stun guns while on duty.

Sling said...

Your blog should be required reading for anyone considering a job in the food and beverage industry.

barista brat said...

lighterate - i understand why! and what's with the whole reverse 'crying game' "i'm a woman!" disclosure?!?

tracy - they certainly do! i'm sure you have a few stories of your own :)

skippymom - you're right. last night was a million times better than the night before.

benny - so i'm guessing you don't miss life as a barista, haha.

kiz - i am ALWAYS tempted to say that. really, if your choice of beverage is decided between 20 or so calories, then you're drinking the wrong thing in my opinion.

james - i'm heading over to see the update!

mellowlee - you're the kind of customer we love! yes, in a rush it is EXTREMELY helpful when you hand us the empty carafe. i know it sucks for the customer when the milk runs out but sometimes we are too busy to check on how much milk is left. bless you for being a good customer!

thy v. - it was! thanks!

beth - does luke, your favorite barista, ever look like he's going to kill someone?

jan - i went ahead and did the feedburner thing. thanks so much for your comments - i appreciate it!

anonymous - sorry to hear about your health problems. thank you so much for your kind words. it really made my day!

lighterate - very true!

writeprocrastinator - haha. but if i circulate a petition to be allowed to carry stun guns, would you sign it?

sling - haha, thanks so much. btw - i'm still reading your blog. i just can't comment on it!

Writeprocrastinator said...

"writeprocrastinator - haha. but if i circulate a petition to be allowed to carry stun guns, would you sign it?"

Absolutely. As long as there is a provision that Bux employees can't come between the patrons and the door? Sure. It would in theory, give the patrons an even chance ; )

Anonymous said...

flat white or espresso is all i will have. Not going to make your day more annoying by asking dumb assed questions. Real Baristas (with a captial B) work hard enough so people, People!!! ... lend our good Barista lady a hand and shut up!!

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