see you on the other side

a barista spend most their time behind the counter. whether we're on register, on bar, turning over the pastry case or prepping frappuccinos, there's normally a barrier between us baristas and the customers. when we do venture out from behind the counter it's usually to restock the condiment bar and clean the lobby.

it's at these times customers believe we baristas are "fair game". as long as you're in the lobby, you belong to them. it doesn't matter if you're mopping up a spill or if you have a toilet brush in your hand. customers will want your help and will stay glued to your side until they are satisfied.

and it starts so innocently:
you'll be filling the sugar containers and a customer will ask you for help finding a particular roast.
no problem.
you walk them over to the bean display and hand them the desired pound of coffee. you think you can go back to the sugar containers but the customer has you in her clutches and she's not letting go. she wants you to design a gift package for her niece/co-worker/hairdresser. it doesn't matter that there's a line out the door and only two partners on the floor. it doesn't matter that bux does not employ personal shoppers. it only matters that she wants a particular mug with a matching gift card and tough luck if your bux doesn't carry that mug - she'll demand you call every store in your district looking for one.

you can be on a ladder changing light bulbs and a customer will ask you to climb down so he can spend ten minutes complaining about the service he got at a different bux five years prior and how he'd had sworn off bux until one day he woke up with a craving for an orange mocha chip frappuccino only to find bux no longer makes them. then he'll want to know why bux no longer makes them, if there's a way to make a poor man's version and if he can have the direct line to Orin Smith so that he can petition for the return of the orange mocha chip frappuccino.

or you might be wheeling the trash out and a lonely (or even loony) customer will want to bend your ear because no one else will listen to them.

i'll be honest - there is safety behind the counter.

barista rant: please don't use our bathroom as a hook-up spot. people poop in there! our toilet is not a "romance room" no matter what your hormones are telling you. the people banging on the door were not cheering you on - they were desperate to relieve their bladders. please have sex somewhere else, ok?


mellowlee said...

Sex in the bathroom at BUX? EW! haha. You just totally made me day *laughing HARD*
As for the other side of the counter deal, I can only imagine what must go through your mind as you prepare to make the journey from behind the counter to the beyond. *G* People are hilarous.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Barista #1: Oh no, they've got Brat!

Assitant Mange-r: Leave her to them and let's see how right she is, this time.

Barista #2: Damn it, we never leave a man...er, a person, behind!

Barista #1: What are we going to do? What are we going to do?

Barista #2: Don't panic, stay calm...I know, give me a pen.

Assitant Mange-r: No, she's "Little Ms. Always Right," I really want to see how she's-

Barista #2 slaps Assitant Mange-r and hands pieces of paper to Barista #1.

Barista #2: Here, you distract them with these.

Barista #1: (...)It's not working! These won't take these coupons, they know that they're fake because there's no expiration date on them!

Barista #2 throws Assitant Mange-r to the customers. The Baristas pull Brat to safety.

Brat: It was horrible, I don't ever want to go back out there! They kept clawing at me and asking for peppermint lattes! I tried to tell them, "not til December," but they wouldn't listen.

Calamity H. Jane said...

A romp in a public pooper - oh but a classy one at that, it's BUX!

Citymouse said...

Sex in a Bux...hmmm I find those rest rooms too small for that!

Kiz said...

As awful as that is, I can't say I'm surprised. Back in my old high school, people would hook up underneath the basement stairwells. You know, where the acoustics are such that even the rat screeching echoes. By comparison, a given bux bathroom is a Presidential Suite.

I try not to think of it too much...

By the way, I tried a Maple Macchiatto the other day. It's like they captured the smell from waffles, butter, and syrup and turned it into a drink. It was so good that my fingers felt sticky afterwards. ...and I ordinarily don't like bux... K

benny said...

"People poop in there!"

That's like WC Fields (I think?) saying he doesn't drink water because "fish fuck in it."

To each their own. ;-)

Dan said...

Wow... freaky coffee, lonely lunatics and sex in public crappers! More reasons I don't partake in the ritual that is the Bux. Awesome post BB! Laughed, cried and was disgusted...

Beth said...

Benny, love that W.C. Fields' line; how have I missed that one all these years?

Brat, you mean you're not all ours? Damn. I was so looking forward to your helping me review each track on every CD ...

Marcus said...

yes, we do have 7-11's here... it's great... and funnily enough, the company that runs/franchises them out is the same one that manages Starbucks in Malaysia...

hah! and the starbucks barista seems to be the unofficial counsellors of the world...

Anonymous said...

Geesh that is gross...in the bathroom....

Anonymous said...

beware! the counter is not 100% safe. this weekend, i was waiting for a drink at the bar when this little girl started hugging everyone in proximity and said: you're my best friend! then she ran BEHIND the bar and hugged the barista too. luckily she was making my iced drink and not something hot which would've scalded her. crazy kids.

barista brat said...

mellowlee - i think one must be pretty hard up if they think bux is ok for sex!

writeprocrastinator - haha, that was brilliant! right down to the annoying assistant mange-r!

calamity h. jane - yeah, i wonder what places they vetoed!

citymouse - haha, you must be a wild one!

kiz - is that your new favorite sweet drink? canada has had maple for a long while, but it's new to my bux. i'm waiting for the person who orders an eggnog maple latte in december (sweet overkill).

benny - haha, i love having well read friends.

dan - can i borrow your new renovation outfit for the next time i have to clean the bux toilet?

beth - music is a pleasure. matching gift cards to mugs is not.

marcus - bux baristas and bartenders. we are both therapists and addiction enablers.

anonymous #1 - it sure is.

anonymous #2 - thanks for the warning!

Kiz said...

Eggnog maple latte! Brilliant!

I'm going to try that at least once this December. But just once.

And yeah, this is the first time I saw a maple macchiato at the bux here, so I'm guessing it's relatively new to this area as well. Though I ordinarily just get hot chocolate, so I'm not entirely observant. K

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