red cups are back!

tonight is the holiday roll-out for bux. tonight little green-aproned elves will magically transform the stores with red cups and holiday decorations. customers and partners usually have one of two reactions to the bux holiday season: 1.) "hooray! holiday!" or 2.) "WTF! it's waaaay too early for this crap!"

i fall into the category of the former.
i really love holidays at bux - truly, i do. even when customers get fussy because parking sucks, stores are crammed and our cd plays non-stop christmas songs, i adore this season. sure my shifts are fill ed with grumpy scrooges and stressed out housewives, but it's the people that embrace this time of year that make my job so much fun.

warm fuzzy #1 -
last holiday season we had a customer who needed fifty ten-dollar gift cards. usually customers that need such a high volume of cards are directed to order their cards online or call starbucks directly because it's a long process to activate all the cards. this particular customer needed the cards for the very next day and pleaded with us to activate all the cards in-store. seeing he was desperate we went ahead and started on his transaction. when a line started forming behind him he told us to go ahead and charge him for the other customers' drinks so they wouldn't have to wait for their beverages. he ended up spending an additional thirty dollars on other people's drinks, as well as stuffing twenty dollars in our tip jar.

warm fuzzy #2 -
a barista forgot to ask for time off so that she could visit her family (she hadn't seen them in almost a year). she was desperate to find coverage for her scheduled shifts and spent a couple hours on the phone looking around the district for people who wanted to pick up some hours. she ended up getting every shift covered except for one - and of course it was on christmas eve. the partners that were already scheduled that day told her not to worry about it and re-organized the shift so that her absence wouldn't screw them over. she was so thankful that she had christmas cookie bouquets delivered to each and every partner that worked on christmas eve.

warm fuzzy #3 -
the gifts and holiday cards regular customers give us baristas as a way of thanking us for our service. it's not expected but it's very much appreciated!

partner rant: you spent the first half of your shift bitching because you weren't given enough hours on this week's schedule. then you spent the second half of your shift bitching because you wanted to go home early. all your actions tell us is you want more shifts to skip out early on. if you really want hours then work the hours you're given!


Anonymous said...

I agree. I just got home from setting up the holiday siren's eye for my store. I was the lucky person that got to put out the red cups and sleeves. By the way, what do you think about those sleeves this year? There are FIVE different ones and they all kick ass. I know there are people that are going to ask for specific ones to "complete their collections."

Yes, it is mad crazy insanity, but it's all hot drinks... you know the good kind.... and it really is a lot of fun.



Tracy said...

I love the holidays, but it's annoying that Thanksgiving is the holiday that retail forgot. However, I love the decorations, it helps get me in the holiday mood! I'm looking forward to christmas at Disney this year.

I love your attitude on things...if you have time, check out my blog...


Anonymous said...

this barista loooves xmas too. and all the decor really gets u prepared for the festive season.

Beth said...

I had mu first-of-the-season latte in holiday cup yesterday ... and I got a bit of a Christmas rush. Time to start thinking about holiday CDs!

Simply Lauren. said...

yay! me and my friend Adam are SOOOOOOO excited about the red cups. :) whoo-hoo!!!! holidays!

pseudostoops said...

I do love those little red cups- it's so funny how the littlest things will put me in a cheerful mood.

Lee said...

Yay for warm fuzzies...

SkippyMom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SkippyMom said...

Those partners used to work for us - didn't they Brat? ...LOL..

I love these warm & fuzzy stories - so wonderful - I truly hope you have many, many more this season!

Happy Holidays!

Eric said...

I found your blog through the blog of the photographer who has the contest every week. I really enjoy reading it and it will now be a regular stop in my morning slack fest.
Thanks for a well written and intersting blog.

shakennotstirred said...

Love the red cups! Are the holiday gift cards out yet? (Guess I'll find out later today. LOL)

DJ said...

Question: As a frequent bux customer, I'd like to do something nice for the baristas, like baking cookies or something. Were I took make them baked goods, would they be appreciated or would they think I had poisoned them?

JTN said...

I was at a bux today writing and it was fun to watch all the baristas getting excited and looking around at the holiday stuff.

Marcus said...

awww... i love christmas... although my family has given up on celebrating it... and we get too many festive seasons here - Hari Raya (Muslim), Deepavali (Hindi), Chinese New Year, Christmas (actually, we don't get a public holiday here for it) and a couple of others i can't remember...

but yes... fun nonetheless.

on another note, i bought a starbucks mug the other day for the office... one of those bright white ceramic ones with the logo and the drink description boxes on the side (kinda looks like a replica of the paper cup) and it got stolen from the cupboard we keep our mugs in.


Kiz said...

Dangit! What happened to Thanksgiving?

I like the spirit of the Christmas season, but yeah, like you, I don't like how it keeps beginning two months in advance. Like Lewis Black put it once, Christmas is lasting longer than Ramadan.

I'll see if I can get that eggnog-maple macchiato sometime soon, though. K

(Marcus: BTW, what's Hari Raya? Is that the same as Eid-al-Adha / Qurbani Eid? Or Ashura or the beginning of Muharram?)

Glassmeow said...

Awww...warm fuzzies!

& now I wanna check out the Holiday Sleeves. Usually my morning Bux routine goes like this:

Rollup to the drivethru speaker, rolldown window, turn down the stereo and order 1 tall skinny chai latte and a slice o' pumpkin loaf

Turn the stereo back up and pull up to the window

Hand out money or credit card and cash for barista tip

Collect pumpkin loaf, change or receipt and card and chai

De-sleeve and put chai in cup holder, then hand sleeve back to barista with a smile, wish them a nice day and drive off

Now I gotta remember to keep the sleeve. It'll confuse the hell out of us all.


does this mean the gingerbread is back too?

Writeprocrastinator said...

Christmas? Bah (expletive deleted) humbug!

Mel said...

you should check out www.oxfam.org.uk
They have a campaign against Bux!

mellowlee said...

As I was walking to the skytrain yesterday, I looked in the window of a Starbucks, and there was a lady drinking from a RED CUP! I was so excited, I started giggling and clapped my hands YEEeaaah! Oh, I was with my 16 year old son, and now he think's I'm simple. LMAO
I heart Starbucks holiday stuff :) Yeah red and white!

lighterate said...

HI BB, thanks for dropping over and having a laugh. I'm off to sign a contract for a film on Sunday - the world is starting to move. When are you going to do your version of Clerks? Simply called Brats? There must be comps like this:

in Australia in USA? You've obviously got the writing bug.

barista brat said...

schlatko - it's true, even though it's busy it's a ton of fun. even when you're steaming eggnog and you think you'll go deaf because it's screaming at you! and yes, the sleeves are better this year.

tracy - i'm going to add a link to your blog this weekend.

anonymous - yay for bux holiday decor!

beth - this year we're selling a dvd of bing crosby's "white christmas" and it comes with a bonus cd!

simply lauren - i think the red cups make the drinks taste better, haha.

pseudostoops - it's true, those red cups really can lighten a mood.

lee - hear, hear!

skippymom - i told you to warn me when your ex-employees applied at bux! haha!

eric - thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment!

shakennotstirred - make sure to get your holiday cards early! we always run out.

dj - your baristas will LOVE you if you were to do that. if you are a regular they wouldn't fear being poisoned at all, haha.

jtn - it really is a treat for us baristas when we get to put out the holiday merchandise.

marcus - that sucks about the mug! i know exactly which one you're talking about. i'd send you one if you weren't half way around the world!

kiz - haha, let me know how you like it when you order it.

glassmeow - you might freak your barista out! we have a customer that always orders an americano, then one day he ordered a frappuccino and ever barista made a remark about it.

writeprocrastinator - haha, just like scrooge you'll have a change of heart!

mel - i'll check that link out today.

mellowlee - it's funny how the little things can really cheer a person up. i still can't believe you have a 16 year old son!

lighterate - are you going to keep us posted about the film? my writing bug is stuck on "novel format" right now, haha.

Glassmeow said...

Hi Brat

I got a Red Cup today! Hee!! And Gingerbread. Yum!!! And the barista handed me my chai without a sleeve!

She's quick, that one!

I'll have to visit a different Bux where they don't know me to get a Holiday sleeve.

mellowlee said...

Sometimes I can't believe I have a 16 year old son ;) haha. Thanks to glassmeow I now have a wicked craving for an extra strong no water chai...in a red cup! Oh and gingerbread! MMMMMMMm Too bad it's monsooning out! I really need to buy some rubber boots so I can go out puddle jumping (and keep my feet dry when I go for coffee)

bostonbabe3 said...

I loved decorating our store this year...although, I do find bux to be lacking in traditional decoration. I hate the whole contemporary modern theme...too clean and unemotional if you ask me...

however, they did a great job mixing traditional in with the specialty drinks and pastries...can I get a YUM-YUM!!! Eggnog latte here I come!

kudos to the whole christmas season! yeah that's right, i said "christmas"!!! Now let's play all the christmas music over and over!!! Anyone for Alvin and the Chipmunks?!! it's my all time FAV!!!

people who are PC have no culture...

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