i feel your pain

today's post deals with bux indirectly (since bux owns seattle's best coffee) but i still felt the need to vent:

this morning i was at a borders book store looking for a birthday gift for a friend. as some of you may know borders has converted many of their cafes to seattle's best cafes. the ones that haven't yet been remodeled still serve seattle's best brand coffee. so, before i went searching for a birthday gift i decided to get an iced coffee.

barista brat: "hi."
borders barista: *blank stare*
barista brat: "uh, hi. may i have a medium iced coffee with one pump of white mocha and one pump of mocha?"
borders barista: "that's an extra charge."
barista brat: "ok."

the borders barista rung me up for an iced coffee and charged me an extra fifty cents for syrup - twice. now, it's not that i'm super cheap and can't afford the extra fifty cents, i've just never been charged twice for getting less syrup than the recipe calls for. the borders barista verified that she charged me twice because i wanted one pump of two different syrups.

barista brat: "ok, i understand. instead of the white mocha may i have two pumps of regular mocha instead?"
borders barista: "i'm still gonna charge you extra for it."
barista brat: "yeah, i know i have to pay fifty cents for it."
borders barista: "no, you have to pay a dollar for it."
barista brat: "but i'm only getting one syrup now."
borders barista: "but you want two pumps and if you bothered to look at the menu, you'd see it's fifty cents per shot of syrup."
barista brat (breathing deep as to not go off on her): "yeah, i'm only getting HALF a shot of syrup since medium drinks normally get four pumps."
borders barista: "you're getting TWO shots!"
my nice customer voice was gone by now.
barista brat: "so if i order a medium latte and asked for a shot of white mocha, how many pumps would you put in it?"
borders barista: "lattes get four pumps."
barista brat: "would you charge me two dollars extra for that?"
borders barista: "no, because four pumps equal a shot in a medium latte."
barista brat: "shouldn't medium iced coffees get four pumps as well?"
borders barista: "no, because you're ordering a drink that's not on the menu so you have to pay more."
barista brat: "is this your own rule? i'm asking because there's no other coffee shop that charges like this."
borders barista" "well this isn't a real coffee shop. this is a book store and they make up their own rules."
barista brat: "i know you get paid by borders but you're serving seattle's best drinks. the recipes are supposed to be the same."
borders barista: "do you want your coffee or not?"

now if the borders barista had 1.) been nice, 2.) had said "i know it sucks but that's how they told me to ring it up", or 3.) been polite instead of bitchy, i would have paid the extra money and been on my way. but she was obstinate, rude and clueless so i decided to look for a manager.

when i located him i didn't complain about the bitch barista. i just asked him to verify their procedure and of course the barista had charged me incorrectly. he fixed the problem and rang me up correctly and explained that she was a new barista and didn't know all the recipes yet - meanwhile bitch barista gave me the stinkeye the whole time.

now i want to point out that at NO time did i pipe up and say "i work for starbucks and you're doing it wrong!" or "i'm a barista and that's not how it's done!". i don't go out in public wearing my green apron nor do i put up with novice baristas who think a piss poor attitude is essential when working the bar.



Paper Monkey said...

The coveted 'first comment'!

You are a far better person than I am bat... I would have thoroughly lost my sh1t long before looking for the manager.

Paper Monkey said...

gaahhhh... brat, not bat.. That's what I get for being a smart ass.


BoB said...

I like bat, can I call you bat?

Fucking Seattle's Best, the Border's Cafe had better coffee. Seattle's most over roasted I'll buy into, but no way is it the best.

Borders Brat said...

I am a supervisor in a Borders Bookstore and I will agree with you completely on you being right in this case. I will take some offense to the go shelve some books line. Seattle's Best is pretty anal about drawing a line between the cafe and the rest of the bookstore. God forbid if a barista touches a book or magazine while they are in the cafe. That could cause a major rift in the Coffee Space Time Continuum. I am also crossed trained to work in the cafe when needed and I understand that you are not making up any of these stories. I will say that when we get ex-bux employees the first two weeks of training consists of us getting to hear after every sentence, "Well at Starbucks we do this way." So in conclusion how about a Borders/Brat truce? At least a truce if you ever come to my Borders or me to your Bux. Deal?

lighterate said...

tried to post here the other day but got blocked. My blog is up and running at news.com.au - it's called Splat! Because it still doesn't make sense to. Please drop by and drop a comment.

lighterate said...

doesn't make sense to... me, that is.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, that sounds like a lot of time and drama just for a drink. I would've just walked away, or maybe I would've paid for it and poured it into an expensive art book.

Tracy said...

Brat, I have to agree. It's not the overcharging I would have been so pissed about....it's the ATTITUDE! I mean, common sense would tell her it was wrong, that she was overcharging. When I was the Cafe Manager at Books A Million (affiliated with Borders actually), I know that there's no way I would have tried to charge anyone that much. You weren't even getting a full shot!

On that note, I personally think they really oughtta change the recipes! A drink that size, with FOUR pumps....it's overkill!


Magi said...

As a former Borders cafe manager, I am appalled by that barista's actions. We would definitely be chatting about customer service skills.

I have to agree with Bob that I'm not impressed with Seattle's Best. I'm a mocha fan, but no longer get them there. I just don't care for them.

I enjoy your stories, Barista Brat. Thanks for sharing them!

SkippyMom said...

Grrr....go get'em Brat.

I would have walked off wayyyyy b/f you did. And she didn't even apologize when her manager pointed out her goof.

She needs to be out of retail now - I can only imagine what the holidays are going to reduce her too!

lighterate said...

just goes to show, you never know who you're serving in life, do you?

lighterate said...

She got more than she bargained for didn't she.

Writeprocrastinator said...

borders barista: You can question authority, but you can't question me or that will be another fifty cents.

Beth said...

Brat, you're my hero of niceness. I would have been bitchy.

Hoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ms. K said...

Wow. You're way more patient than I am, Brat, because I do believe I would have jumped in her shit looong before the manager got involved.

What a bullshit line of reasoning from her. She's an idiot, and doesn't know what she's doing, and if she can't handle making drinks at a Seattle's Best in a Borders, then she needs to learn the alphabet so she can go shelve books in the Bookstore Lite.

(can you tell I don't like Borders, either?)

mellowlee said...

I admire your patience. I would have either told her I didn't want the drink, or paid, but I'm glad you got the manager. So hopefully future customers wont get that same treatment from her, but I really doubt she learned from that experience!

Marcus said...

*reaches over the counter and slaps dumb cow*

wow... this one really takes the cake. and man, i wonder why this girl is in retail? i mean, if someone really does sound like she/he knows what she/he is talking about, you'd actually listen to them, especially if you're new. geez, some people are just dumb.

good work on your patience!

barista brat said...

paper monkey - i try not to lose my cool, especially in situations like these, because i'd much rather the person not have the excuse that i was "a bitch". i'd rather the manager let them know that the calm customer was right.

bob - haha, i don't think it's the best, either.

borders brat - i actually go to the borders cafe often, so no need for a truce, haha. the two former borders baristas i know told me that they were expected to shelve books and magazines if no one was ordering coffee. i didn't realize some borders keep the cafe staff separate.

lighterate - can i link your new blog?

anonymous - haha, i like the artbook suggestion.

tracy - i agree, four pumps is too much. and it was the attitude, and not the money that bugged me. i think those of us that work in the service industry expect a certain level of service when we are the customers.

magi - thanks for stopping by!

skippymom - too true! i didn't even think about how she's going to flip when holiday comes around.

lighterate - haha, she sure did.

writeprocrastinator - hey! no feeding the borders bitch come back lines!

beth - haha, i wasn't exactly nice. curt and too the point is more like it.

hoodlum - getting into a dialogue with you would be ultimately pointless.

ms k. - yeah, retail isn't for everyone, and for those who can't be bothered to be polite should find another job.

mellowlee - i agree, i don't think she learned at all. i'm sure she just thinks i was a bitch who tried to get her in trouble.

marcus - exactly. she should find something else to do if she can't be bothered to do her job correctly.

sbc said...

I am a barista at a Seattle's Best and whatever that girl was saying isn't correct. It us true that it is against company policy for us to work at all on the book floor. However, our managers who aren't very smart always stick us on register, shelving, alphabetizing, ect. I wish they were like what most other stores are and left us alone. We only have two people working at a time, so when there is only ONE person in the cafe because someone else was pulled, it's maddening. Then managers wonder why we take longer to close at night!

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