short term newbie

we have a rash of newbies in our store. normally one or two newbies at a time is manageable but we have four and that means unhappy customers and stressed out partners.
two of the newbies are typically overwhelmed, one of them is surprisingly adept (especially considering she is still in high school) and the other is on his way out.
this guy has been in our store for only two weeks and already has rubbed almost all of us the wrong way.

the very first day i worked with him it was clear he was not a keeper. when he was supposed to be in the backroom finishing up the register training module, he was instead talking on his cell phone.
"are you on a break or something?" i asked.
"uh, no - just doing this boring register training thing." he answered without hanging up his phone.
"really? how far have you gotten?" i asked, still eyeing the phone against his head.
"i don't know, i can't really tell."
"hang up the phone," i told him, dumbfounded that he wasn't picking up on my not so subtle hints before. "you're not being paid to chat with your friends, ok?"
"well, no one was back here with me so i figured it was all right." was his sad attempt at an explanation.

not two days later he was caught text messaging when he should have been prepping coffee grounds and yesterday he was caught giving free drinks away to his friends. not only that he was a no show to one of his shifts last week and he still has no idea how to make a latte.

i'm sure he'll be fired soon if he doesn't quit on his own. i won't be sad to see him go, but it sucks that he's wasted our time.

barista rant: is it really necessary to spill sugar and milk all over the condiment bar when you customize your coffee? and if so, is it really so difficult to clean your mess afterwards? was the condiment bar filthy when you got there? no! so why do you feel entitled to "leave your mark" for the rest of the customers? don't be a piggie!


SkippyMom said...

Don't you just love these kids BB? I swear we had one kid (22) who went out on a job and the client caught him peeing in the bushes on her front porch...and when I he got in trouble [by yours truly] he was angry and asked "What? Why, what did I do wrong?" Like YOU don't know? OMG! It's one of my favorite stories about our employees, he was such a doofus.

Beth said...

God, I remember that type from my bookstore days. And they're the ones who never understand why they're being "picked on." A**sholes.

Benny said...

Okay, between your midnight English lesson and the Sophocles tragedy I just finished reading, I think I'm all set for nightmares for the next six hours.

"Thanks" indeed, you little Brat!

Benny ;-)

lighterate said...

Barista, please make another wish - that idiot is back trying to throw dirt in my face.

Ben said...

To save wasting your time, why don't you just text to him ?

"U R Fired"

Benny said...

Heracles in Lycra sputtering, "I... was... atTACKed... by TWO... MEEEEN."

Eeeeewwwww... :-)

Now I have to spend the whole afternoon trying to find something to out-YouTube you.

Film Aficionado said...

How did he get hired in the first place? I applied to Starbucks at least 8 times and none of the stores hired me, let alone even respond to my application and follow-ups.

Sling said...

Two questions:
1)Will Calamine lotion help with a newbie rash?...and
2)Are male partners called Baristas?...'Cause that would be creepy.
love yer blog!

Benny said...

I wondered about the hiring, too, Brat. I applied at different times up in Indiana and never even got a call back. Granted, I had wonky availability, but at one point I even TALKED to the manager (hounded her down, more like, and refused to let go of her ankle till she met me) and she was all, "Oh, we SO need a person like you back here." Nada. I went in all the time to get drinks and they continued to struggle and be understaffed, so I didn't get it.

Not that any of that is YOUR fault.

I couldn't find anything on YouTube. Yet. Heh.

I have an old skool question- one I'm too lazy to go through the archives to answer. There's a girl at the Indigo I go to here in Tampa. She's all urban-hippie and spread-the-love with her little tip cup right out front. Yet when she makes my drinks, she's always talking on the damn phone or sorting through something before she actually gets around to making it. I never tip her. She's not exactly providing tip-worthy customer service beyond a smile when I walk in and a frown when I walk out (for not having tipped, see)- she doesn't say anything to me and doesn't even bother to put her phone call on hold when I ask questions, etc. I'm not supposed to tip, am I? Even though she's a struggling urban-hippie college student? I mean, I'm not tipping just because I feel her pain, or whatever. She's getting hourly for that pain.

What's your take? Should I tip just because she's not a jerk? Or should I continue to not tip because she doesn't exactly DO anything BUT make my drink?

PS- you should totally start a weekly Q&A advice column on here. I'm sure we've all got enough questions to get you through the New Year!

Grazie! :-)

barista brat said...

skippymom - haha! that is insane! how does someone get to be 22 without ever learning that peeing on a client's front porch is a no-no?

beth - exactly! they like to play the victim but really they just terrorize everyone else with their stupidity.

lighterate - he just can't leave it alone, can he?

ben - that's perfect! i think bux should adopt that method.

bbakon - i have NO idea. i think most managers just pick people with the availability that suits them best. at least that's how it seems to be done at this bux.

sling - 1. unfortunately no, haha and 2. yep, men are baristas too! and i love your blog as well, i just can't comment on it! it always acts as if it's saved my comment but it never does. grrr!

benny - how could i not share that gem with you?!? i think you, me and beth should get matching lycra and re-enact the whole thing!

and on the application thing - yeah, i just don't know what goes through these managers heads when they interview. i've seen them pass over perfectly intelligent people because "i need only openers" or "they're over-qualified and i don't want them to leave in a few months when they find another job".

and i think miss moody who talks on the phone is so very underserving of tips. i love it when my customers tip, but you know what? i earn every red cent! don't feel guilted by her into tipping when she isn't doing anything tip worthy.

and perhaps a q&a would be fun!

Benny said...

Okay, Brat. Now I feel better. And when she frowns at me again, I will refer her to your blog because you are the Queen B(arista) and she is clearly a wannabe.

I would stick CDs in your tip jar. Hehe.

And I would do the Lycra, but only if I could stand in the very back of the diagonal line. And only if you wore your green apron, too. Haha!

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