family affair

today's post comes courtesy of a barista brat at my old bux:

"I was working with Brittany (a recently re-hired partner) and although I'd heard from other people that she had an attitude she'd always been cool with me. So, during a rush her two sisters show up to give her a ride home. One of Brittany's sisters ordered a tall cappuccino and when I handed it off to her she pulled a face and said "OMG can you just slap that boy at register!"
I responded by saying "I'm sorry, is there something wrong with the order?" and she said "Yea, it's supposed to be a mocha light cappuccino!"
So I was trying to figure out just what she ordered when I asked "Oh, did you mean the mocha light FRAPuccino?"
That's when she got all crazy and starts speaking really slow, as if i'm an idiot. "I...want...a...mocha...light...C-A-P-P-U-C-C-I-N-O."
"So you want mocha in the cappuccino?" I asked her and she nodded her head. "So what do you mean by 'light'?" I asked because there is no such thing as a mocha light cappuccino.
"A mocha light cappuccino is what I mean!" She said again.
Obviously we were having a communication problem so I attempted AGAIN to figure out what exactly she wanted. "Do you mean 'light' as in weight or 'light' as in non-fat milk?"
"OMG what is wrong with you people!" She practically shrieked and then walked away from the hand off counter.
Next thing I know, Brittany walks over to bar and pretty much pushes me out of the way (mind you, she was off the clock and out of uniform). "Brittany, I can make the drink, I just need to know what your sister means by 'light'." I said as nicely as I could, even though I was pretty ticked off.
"She means non-fat." Brittany told me.
"I asked her that and she said no." I said to Brittany. "I'll finish the drink now that I know what she meant by 'light'." When the drink was made I called "tall mocha NON-FAT cappuccino on the bar" and her sister grabbed it and left.
I wish that was the end of the story but there is more! Ten minutes later my manager called me into the backroom to ask me what happened. I told her the whole story and when I'd finished my manager informed me that Brittany's sister had just called the store to complain about me - but instead of saying she was Brittany's sister she acted as if she was a normal customer. She lied and said that not only did I have a bad attitude but I only put an ounce of coffee in her drink, blah, blah, blah and thank goodness there was a helpful co-worker on the floor (Brittany) who actually knew how to make the drink and if it wasn't for "the co-worker" she would never come back to starbucks ever again!
It's bad enough when you have a bitchy customer, but when that bitchy customer is a relative of a fellow partner AND when they call your manager to lie and complain about you, then it's beyond ridiculous.

barista rant: guess what? we don't make our own pastries. we don't hide them and we don't sell them to the highest bidder. please try and remember this when we run out of your favorite muffin, ok? don't tell me to go back and make you another one, don't say that i'm hoarding them for myself and don't accuse me of "black market" selling them to customers who are willing to toss big money into the tip jar.


Writeprocrastinator said...


And I want you to come down off the "diet pills" and tell me what you actually want. Not what the pills, your jacked up pulse and the voices in your head are telling you.

P.S. Brat, just confess and it will go easier. Tell us where you Bux employees hide the double chocolate muffins and I won't have to sic "60 Minutes" on y'all.

Anonymous said...

This sounds all very complicated. I think I'd need to take a Berlitz course just to place an order at a coffee franchise. As for the woman, would you really expect anything different from someone with a sister named Britney?

Coffeypot said...

What's wrong with going to the Waffle House and getting a cup of black coffee (with all the re-fills you want) for a dollar? I’ve visited several of your establishments for a simple cup of coffee, and the product was pretty good. But why do I want to stand in line longer than it takes to build a house, pay the price that could match some third world economies and have to listen to the attitudes of some of the customers whom I would love to feed a knuckle sandwich? My ego just doesn’t need that kind of boost. However, I would love to have a team of people working for me with your commitment and ability to handle difficult people. Personally, I would pour the coffee over their heads and tell them to get the hell out. I have enough friends and family to help pay my bail.

Coffeypot said...

BTW, what is a barista, anyway? I know I'm old and out of the loop on many things, so educate me.

Beth said...


mellowlee said...

Holy crap! What a bitch! Stories like this make me so so glad I don't work in the service industry any more YAY!

slskenyon said...

That's incredible. Some people take their perception of "connections" way too far.

I cannot believe people tell you to "make them" for you when you run out of different baked goods. What the hell is that?

Anonymous said...

i've been reading your blog for a few weeks, and i really like it. i have a random question for you. i was at starbucks tonight and got a cappuccino for the first time (i've had them, just not there). and that drink was at least 25% foam..is that normal? when i picked up the cup the first thing i thought was "damn, that's light." it was non-fat and had sugar free vanilla in it (yeah yeah yeah, i'm watching the calories) if that changes anything. but yeah. just curious. :)

Thy said...

oh god

what a bitchy little brat

Anonymous said...


You are adorable. I heart you :)(but not in a scary stalker way).

pseudostoops said...

Oh man, that's funny. Did she not think the manager was going to realize who it was who was calling to complain?

Kiz said...

The unfortunate thing is that there are managers who will take a rude customer's word over a reliable employee. That's why having an understanding manager is just as important--if not more so--than how much you're getting paid.

On the rare occasions I order 'off the menu' from any place, I'll at least make sure what I want to order -exists-. I thought that was common sense? K

Wide Lawns Subservient Worker said...

Oh my God. I thought I had heard it all at my job, but this girl beats even Wide Lawns. What a gigantic, raging asshole. Even I am shocked.

Also, this behavior just seems all too common lately. I dont know what the hell is going on with people. Is it bad parenting or something?

barista brat said...

writeprocrastinator - hey, i was saving those muffins for you!

anonymous - it's not that hard to order coffee. it's just a pain when the desired item doesn't exist.

coffeypot - "barista" is someone who makes espresso based drinks from an espresso bar. bux is kind of cheating now since our espresso machines are fully automated. honestly, the art is pretty much gone.

beth - you said it!

mellowlee - yeah, i've heard it said before: "my job would be so great if it weren't for the people!"

slskenyon - crazy, isn't it!

rach - yes, a cappuccino is espresso with the cup filled halfway with steamed milk and the other half foam, so they are much lighter than a latte. if you really like foam but don't want the drink too light, you can ask for a "wet cappuccino" which means you'll be getting more milk. if you just like a little bit of foam you're better off asking for a latte.

thy - she was horrible for sure!

anonymous - haha! i heart you too!

pseudostoops - i know, it baffles me what was going on in her head.

kiz - it's true, some managers will take the word of a customer over someone they work with day after day.

wide lawns - haha, this story can't hold a torch to those YOU deal with!

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