one of the best things about working at bux is getting to know our regular customers. it's really great knowing they come into my store, not just for the caffeine but for the service. i've been invited to birthday parties, graduations and house warmings. i've been given christmas presents, books and freshly baked cookies. it makes my day to know i've made someone else's day.
sometimes though, we baristas get unwanted attention from customers. two of my fellow baristas were stalked by enamored coffee drinkers and a barista buddy had to talk to the cops because he was being harassed. most of the time, however, it's just a matter of baristas being adopted by lonely customers.
today was such a day for me. a woman came in asking for a regular coffee. she was unstable on her feet and slurred heavily. i figured she was either drunk or disabled. as if she'd read my mind she blurted out "i'm not a drinker!".
"ok," i answered back.
"everbody thinksh i'm drunk becaush i shlur. but i talk like thish when i'm tired." she informed me.
"ok," i said again, not really sure of what else i should say.
"yesh, thatsh why i wear thish." she pointed to an AA pin on her lapel. "but people shtill think i'm drunk."
"oh wow." i still had no idea what to say.
"jusht the other day two women called me a drunken shlob!" she continued, "but i jusht ignored them, 'caush you know what?"
"what?" i asked out of politeness.
"becaush they were..." she leaned over the counter and whispered, "becaush they were foreignersh."
at this point i started to slowly back away. i really didn't want to get into a conversation about "foreignersh" or "immigrantsh".
still leaning over the counter she continued, "you know how theshe foreignersh can be, right? they act ash if they own thish country!"
"oh," i said and continued to walk away from her. it was obvious she was going to talk my ear off until i was out of sight.
"whatsh your name?" she asked me while still practically climbing over the counter.
"brat." i responded and took another step towards the backroom.
"your really nishe, brat. where are you from? do you work every day? you're sho eashy to talk to!"
"oh...thanks. have a great day!" i was hoping she's say "shee ya later" but she still wanted to talk to me.
"what makesh your coffee sho good? it tashtes better than sheven-eleven."
luckily my barista buddy helped me out.
"hey brat, they need you in the backroom." he lied so that i could escape.
"it looksh like your busy, brat. i'll shee you nexsht time! we can talk shome more." she called out before leaving my bux.
"brat has a new best friend!" barista buddy teased me. "and she doesn't take too kindly to foreigners!"
customer rant: i know how much it sucks when someone spills a drink and you're busy on bar. but throwing them some towels and telling them to clean it up themselves is unacceptable. and when they'd finished mopping up the mess you gave them attitude and called out "hello! are you just going to leave the towels there?". guess what? cleaning up messes and spills is YOUR job. EVERY barista has had to clean up a customer's mess, so suck it up and start mopping.