10.27.2006

a barista in need...

newbies can be annoying in the beginning, and some partners are just plain mad at the world, but for the most part bux baristas are a pretty tight group. we may not all be best mates, but we do look out and care for each other. so when something bad happens to one of our own, we rally around to help.

sometimes it's as simple as giving a fellow barista rides to and from work when their car is in the shop. sometimes tragedy befalls someone and you'll find yourself volunteering to cover shifts for a partner who has suffered a miscarriage. no matter how big or small one's issue might be, we baristas do our best to help.

at my old bux we had a partner who had one foot out of the cafe but after a serious sit down talk with the manager he did a full 180. he'd turned into a near model barista but after a full month of dress code compliance, no cash overages/shortages and a couple MUG awards this partner pulled a no-show.
concerned, we called his cell phone numerous times. three hours after he was supposed to clock in he finally called us. turns out his house had burned to the ground just before dawn and he'd spent the morning talking to the fire chief, settling his family into a hotel and calling the insurance company (his parents spoke only broken english). my bux felt terrible and immediately pulled together to help him. some of us donated our tips or bought gift cards. others donated work clothes and groceries. we baristas cheerfully helped him out in any way possible.

this partner lasted only about another two months at bux. although very appreciative of our help he soon returned to his old ways of showing up late, messing up his till and forgetting to bring his hat and apron. he ended up being a no call/no show for a full week - sealing his status as a "terminated partner".
we later learned there was no fire. his family wasn't racking up hotel bills, nor were they clothesless or possessionless. he made the whole thing up because he'd overslept and he didn't want to get a third strike.

did it suck to find out he'd been lying?
it sure did.
did it change our attitudes about helping our fellow baristas when they are in need?
not a chance.

barista rant: you ordered ONE venti frappuccino. you asked me to split it into FOUR tall cups. so why did you complain that all four cups weren't filled to the top? why did you accuse me of "shorting" you? even after i did the math for you and explained that ONE twenty-four ounce drink is not equal to FOUR twelve ounce drinks, you still insisted i give you what you "paid for". guess what? your bullying won't get you free frappuccinos. know why? because i insist you get what you pay for.

15 comments:

Citymouse said...

Great post.

Marni said...

I hate people like that... own up to your mistakes!

There is a lady that I work with that has claimed to have a brain tumor and other such maladies to get out of work. She's nuts but knows how to play the "game" to keep her job. Makes me sick.

-k said...

Hello! I figured better own up to my lurker status and greet you right and proper.

I love your posts. I work as a barista (occasionally) and honestly, almost everything you rant about I'm feeling them too. You're bloody awesome, Brat! Consider me a fan.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm a barista as well, and I agree with the feelings of camraderie. What that guy did was pretty awful, but I'm glad it didn't change your ideas about helping others out! I love your rants, I find myself saying the same things oftentimes. Misery loves company I suppose :D

Always a fan.

Rav said...

Interesting situation. I've been doing a fair amount of work with acts of kindness and this same type of question comes up so often. For my friend's wedding a whole busload of us took a trip about 1.5 hrs north of here (San Francisco) and had to cross a bridge. As we approached the bridge everyone started collecting money (not just a few dollars, but 10s and 20s). The money was passed up and a thick wad of it was given to the toll booth operator. We asked the operator to pay for as many cars behind us as possible. Did they do it? I don't know. I hope so. Does it matter? Not really. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. You have a good heart, Brat.

Amy said...

Just started reading your blog and it's very entertaining. I don't go the bux often but this morning I stopped in one and ordered a large coffee. The barista asked me, "Is that all?" in sort of an incredulous tone. It made me laugh and I thought of you.

Beth said...

Damn. That's just messing with karma. Boy'd better watch it ...

jp said...

And he actually accepted your tip donations? I would be less forgiving than you. I would have gone to his house and burned it down for real.

The Barmaid Blog said...

It's really remarkable the extent to which some people will go to take advantage of others to their own benefit.

One of your readers sent me a link to today's post because she also read my own post about karma, on my own blog. (And I wrote my own post in repsonse to WaiterRant's. Seems like it's a day for thinking about karma.)

Anyway, have a good weekend - and I think you're absolutely right to hold onto your attitude about helping fellow baristas. At the very least, you can go home at the end of the day knowing you didn't turn down someone who might actually have needed the help.

mellowlee said...

Oh man! I can't believe that guy! You would think the guilt of lying and having everyone chip in and help him would've made him straighten up. What a dork!

As for the rant, cheap ass people piss me off. Grrrrrr If you don't have enough money, don't drink "treat" coffees gawwwd.

Kiz said...

It's the same as knowing that the occasional homeless person will spend money you give them on alcohol or drugs, but still giving with that right intent. If you ask me, that's the right thing to do--so long as you have no reason to doubt someone's honesty, then generosity is still good. Even though he pulled a scam on you folks, it was still good of you. Let the wrongness of what he did fall on him.

By the way, is there some alternate universe where four-times-twelve equals 24? Or do some folks just have a hard time making it through, you know, third grade...? K

slskenyon said...

Wow--I can't believe that guy made a claim like that. I mean, you'll see people making up stories now and again, but that his house burned down? That's nuts.

barista brat said...

citymouse - thank you!

marni - wow, a brain tumor. that's unreal that she'd use that!

-k - thanks for your comment!

anonymous - i'm sure you have quite a few rants of your own! thanks for stopping by.

rav - that was an awesome show of kindness on your part! i bet it made the day of the people in the cars behing you.

amy - haha, that's the kind of barista that should never get a tip!

beth - i totally agree.

jpdc - haha, but then karma would bite you on the but and have betty follow you to your new residence!

the barmaid blog - thanks for stopping by! it was a day for karma posts!

mellowlee - exactly! if i don't have enough money - then i go without!

kiz - haha, apparently there is an alternate reality where math is different, and all the people from that planet wind up in my bux!

slskenyon - yeah, i've heard the "my grandma died" and the "my car wouldn't start" but the "my house burned down" was a new one for me.

00goddess said...

I wish there had been a sense of camaraderie like that when I worked at bux.

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