kill da wabbit

i've had customers get mad at me for a variety of reasons. whether it's because we are out of product, because we take too long making drinks or because we pronounce words differently, customers have NO problem giving us an earfull when they are displeased. my many hours at bux have well conditioned me for the barrage of insults and offences hurled my way. tonight, however, i was not prepared to have my intelligence, compassion and humanity questioned by disgruntled customers.

"what did barista brat do to upset these customers so?" you might ask yourselves.
"did she finally snap and tell someone where they could put their stirrer stick?" you might wonder.

if a fellow partner of mine was called "uncultured, unkind and cruel-hearted" by a customer, i too would be curious as to what they might have done to merit such harsh words. believe it or not, i was called all those things because i have never *gasp!* read 'the velveteen rabbit'.

in case you haven't been in for a frappuccino lately, bux is now selling the audiobook of 'the velveteen rabbit'. i'm guessing this book is a classic of sorts because many middle-aged women immediately regress decades when they see the compact version of their childhood favorite.
"this was the best book when i was little!" they squeal in sentimental voices.
"my grammie would read this to me every night!" they recall with misty eyes.
then (and possibly because they feel a little silly reminiscing while ordering their latte) they'll ask me if i've already bought a copy of the audiobook for myself. when i inform them that a) i haven't b) i won't and c) i've never read the book, their dreamy eyes harden into cold stares.

"where did you spend your childhood?" a customer barked at me. "in a barnyard with the farm animals?"
"i can't believe you're not embarrassed to admit you've never read it!" another customer cried out.
when finding out i had no plans to read (or listen to) the book, a woman in glasses and a headscarf glared at me and asked, "have you no soul? what are you - a cold blooded reptile?"

i think i will start lying and just nodding my head "yes" when i'm asked if i've read the book. goodness knows telling the truth didn't help my tips at all tonight.

partner rant: why is it i have to grind decaf coffee on every closing shift? why can't you openers do your duty and grind enough coffee to get me through the night? don't you realize i have enough to do on my shift? not only am i making drinks, i have to break down and clean the entire store for your shift the next day. i have to make sure you have enough prep to carry you through the afternoon. so why the hell can't you grind enough coffee for me? quit being lazy and complete your morning tasks!


Writeprocrastinator said...

Yikes, just because you haven't read a children's classic, that makes you a cave-dwelling troglodyte?

I didn't read Dr. Suess's "Mr. Brown Can Moo" until I had a kid, and I'm sure that everyone has missed a classic here and there. It's not like there's a childhood required reading list nor does it mean that just because you didn't read their favorite book, that you want to spit on their childhood memories.

Steve said...

If someone had said to me check out this blog. It's by someone that works in Starbucks, I probably wouldn't have. I would have expected it would bore me.

Well, followed a link in a couple of weeks ago, and I am not bored at all I have even learnt a new word - barista -honest to God I had to look it up. We don't have too many Starbucks in the UK. Not in my area anyway.

Marni said...

I, too, have never read this particular rabbit story. I'm sure my parents or grandparents did when I was little, but I don't remember. Just doesn't interest me in one bit...

Sorry they were so harsh. Ask them if they have ever made a latte and then give it back to them with both barrels when they say no...

Eye for an eye?!

Beth said...

Never read it, either. Wonder if those b*tches ever read Mr. White's Purple House; now, that was a classic.

Thought about picking up the audio book at my bux -- it has La Streep, by God -- but not if your customers are going to be mean to you.

The Girl with Moxie said...

I don't remember reading The Velveteen Rabbit, either. And I have had people harass me over not seeing certain films (still haven't seen Gone with the Wind or any of the Godfather movies) or reading certain books (never read Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer, among others). I say throw it right back at them: tell them YOUR favorite childhood book and ask them if they read it, then look horrified and hurt when they say no.

pseudostoops said...

You should just say "oh, I think I'm too young for that to have been really popular when I was a kid." Seriously, the kid in the book has scarlet fever or smallpox or something long-since eradicated- no reason you'd have read it.

Just make them feel old- that oughtta stop them.

jpdc said...

Never read The Velveteen Rabbit? Sacrilege! You brazen harpy!

Wait... I was thinking of Winnie the Pooh...

Sling said...

Tell them your favorite childhood book was "Valley of the dolls" and look at them with disbelief when they tell you they've never overdosed on drugs...Beyatches!

Amin said...

You can probably take solace in the knowledge that it's most likely the only book they've ever read themselves and even then, they had to silently mouth each word.

Their own insecurity is the problem.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. LOL! If that's the biggest thing they've got to get upset about, they need to get a life, preferably far away from you because that kind of insanity is probably contagious! ;)

For the record, I have 4 munchkins of my own & have never read the book. Nor do I have any plans to. Blech.

TheDame said...

if telling the truth isnt getting ya shit, and lying is getting on your nerves, just be evasive!!!

"i'm a writer myself, what do you think?" -they'll just assume you're answering in the affirmative and leave it go.

that or just mess with their heads... "no, we must not be in the same tax-bracket. I read The Polyester Rabbit when I was younger"

or completey ruin it for them... "I think the mouse is a great symbol for marxist communism myself, and the rabbit is a wonderful allegory regarding the dangers of unpasteurized milk to the children of lesbian couples.." Go in to a long diatribe about whatever you can think about that sounds pseudo-intellectual. I promise you a good deal of people will go home telling themselves that they must have forgotten so much of the story, and that they're silly and shallow for never noticing all the intellectual and analytical details that you found that they didn't...

Is there a mouse in that book?

Thy said...

heh i love that book
but you're no reptile..

i mean, it's not like they've read mr popper's penguins. that was THE greatest book of all time.

if they ask you if you're insane, just say yes. that might make for an interesting entry.

Anonymous said...

pseudostoops - The child in the book had scarlet fever, which is not an "eradicated" disease. It is still around these days, there are just better drugs for it.
Brat - While it is a good book, how uncouth of all those customers. The public is so shameful these days.

Film Aficionado said...

There is a point at which insults become so preposterous and rude that you just have to laugh and write them off.

JTN said...

I'd probably look back at them and deadpan: "I was more of an Edward Gorey fan as a child." I bet most of them wouldn't even get the reference, and the ones who did would likely be creeped out enough to leave you alone.

Benny said...

I was on the receiving end of that book when I was five-ish. The illustrations bored the shit out of me, and I remember being upset because every other kindergartener got Eric Carle.

Brat, you're hardly uncultured. I would question someone else's sense of culture if some dumb bunny was their reference point. Hmph.

That Blancmange song is so cool, by the way! I just put it in a new mix:

It's My Life- Talk Talk

Life In A Northern Town- The Dream Academy

Hazy Shade Of Winter- The Bangles

Roam- The B-52's

I Know What Boys Like- The Waitresses

Miss America- Brian Eno/David Byrne

Burning Down The House- Talking Heads

Beds Are Burning- Midnight Oil

Need You Tonight- INXS

Living On The Ceiling- Blancmange

Once In A Lifetime- Talking Heads

At barely 45 minutes, I'm still perfecting it, but mille grazie for the inspiration! :-)

barista brat said...

writeprocrastinator - imagine if there was a required reading list for childhood! no one hits puberty until all books have been read!

marni - i think i WILL do that next time, haha.

beth - if YOU'VE never read it then i know i'm not missing much.

girl with moxie - seriously! i think it's the least they deserve.

pseudostoops - haha, believe me - with the vain trophy wives in my area that stragety will definately work.

jpdc - does watching the movie count?

sling - haha, but with a vast majority of my customers 'valley of the dolls' could have been their biographies!

amin - haha, that's probably why they're buying the audiobook!

anonymous - unfortunately, that kind of insanity is VERY contagious.

thedame - haha, those are perfect! i especially love the 'polyester rabbit' remark.

thy v. - i'm almost too afraid to tell you i've never read that one, either.

anonymous #2 - the public is indeed shameful, demanding, rude, etc., etc.

bbakon - very true. i'm working on the whole laughing in their faces thing!

jtn - how's this? "A is for the Annoying Customer with the streak of very bad luck. B is for Barista Brat who put arsenic in their cup."

b - i knew you wouldn't consider me a philistine! i love that song as well. i've never heard the 'miss america' song. perhaps on my next prezzie cd?

Benny said...

Hell ya! It's funny stuff. Did you listen to the Duran Duran/Doors?

Allan said...

You should have gone all teary-eyed and whimpered something like:

" I just c-c-can't talk about it...i-i-it's too painful...excuse me..."

slskenyon said...

Oh, that's great--here they are, standing there and telling you, just because you haven't had the same childhood they did, then you're a jerk in some way, and all because of one book? Brilliant ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Hello Brat! I found your blog through "Naked Women and Beer" (not like it sounds! It's a waitressing blog!) and I love it. Reading this I feel compelled to comment--who are these people who say things like that?!?!?! That book is a classic, yes, but not reading it is hardly the end of the world. It's not my favorite, but if I heard that someone had never read, say, "The Runaway Bunny," I would get a little misty and say it reminds me of my mom and it's a nice story. And that's it! Whenever people throw out oddly innapropriate comments like that to me (I'm a travel agent), I give 'em the ol' raised eyebrow and they realize they've said something idiot and then splutter, embarrassed. Can you raise one eyebrow? It's very effective. ;:)

glassmeow said...

I went to school 'round the same years as Beth and I never read it either!

Maurice Sendak was my main man as a little kid. I used to sit in gloomy corners with Where The Wild Things Are and scare myself silly.

illiniamy said...

imagine their reactions if you told them your parents never read you a bedtime story or tucked you in! which is the case for me, it just wasn't in our culture.

jehara said...

i think someone read that book to me when i was a kid and i hated it. i don't understand the appeal and whenever i hear mention of the velveteen rabbit i just have negative associations with it.

to each his own i guess.

really horrible of your customers to be so rude about it.