cutting those apron strings

do you remember my rants about the newbie who, although a genuinely nice guy, couldn't remember how to mark cups, make drinks, or anything else necessary for a barista to remember?

well, he's back. and with a vengeance.
ok, that's not exactly true.
rephrase: his MOTHER is back with a vengeance.

a week before christmas this newbie informed my newly promoted manager that he wouldn't be able to work the shifts he'd been scheduled for because he was going out of town. now, policy hadn't changed between the time he was hired and when he had this talk with my manager. since he hadn't requested the time off in advance, it was now up to him to find coverage for his shifts. reluctantly he spent ten minutes on the phone leaving messages for our fellow baristas asking them to work the week before christmas.

so, instead of trying to call partners at other stores he decides to call - wait for it..... his MOTHER.
yes, newbie called his mommie. was it to vent his frustration? was it to inform her that he'd be late for dinner? no, he called so that she could inform my manager that her precious son had more pressing things to do rather than call around for coverage.
he called his mother, filled her in on the situation, and then told my manager that someone wanted to talk to him about the schedule.

thank god we found coverage for his shifts since we were already understaffed. but here comes the best part: his mother called our manager this morning. why? because newbie now needs new year's eve off! AND he's too busy to call around for coverage!
my manager tried to sweet talk me into working a double shift ("think of the overtime, brat!") but i happily declined.

this newbie and his mother took me back to a time at my old bux where (yet another) newbie had her mother call in for her.
see, this newbie was scheduled to open, but never made it to the store. the opening manager called newbie's house and left a message - concerned that something bad might have happened. twenty minutes later there's a phone call.

"hi, this is newbie's mother." said the caller.
"is newbie ok?" the opening manager asked.
"well, she didn't get much sleep last night so i turned her alarm off."
"you know she was scheduled to open this morning, right?"
"yes, but i don't want her going to work that early. so i'm calling to tell you she quits and won't be coming in again."

that's right.
newbie's mother mother called in and gave the manager -20 minutes notice.
so long as her daughter got a full night's rest.....

customer rant: i know you're probably frustrated because you have a line out the door, but yelling out "i hate my fucking job!" isn't the best way to get sympathy tips. and really - if you hate it so much, then LEAVE! no one's holding you hostage.


Glenn (Customer Service Experience) Ross said...

BB-There is a free podcast out there for people at manager-tools.com. Each week they have a new podcast on different aspects of management including coaching and giving feedback. Perhaps you could find a minute to drop a hint to your new manager about it. If he or she is serious about management, this is a "must listen." I tell you this based upon my years in both management and in training.

No, I'm not making any money off of this and yes, I said it was free.

I like your blog. Keep it up:-)



Sling said...

Please excuse Sling for leaving annoying comments.

Sling's Mom

Anonymous said...

Please don't tell me this idiot still has a job??!?!?

Evangeline said...

All those days of clicking my heels together and saying "There's no place like working from home there's no place like working from home" totally paid off!
(BTW, I'm making your blog a pitstop from now on because you is d'shit)

Anonymous said...

Good grief!

How do you continue to put up with that crap?

SkippyMom said...

As a Mom of many...you have got to be kidding me....I guess she just really didn't want her to have a job...Nice responsibility they are teaching your kid there lady...gah

Would my folks have ever done this for me? No....Would I do this for the SkippyKids...hell no...Part of having a job is to teach them responsibility...or did they not get that memo?

The rant cracked me up - the barista didn't actually scream that out loud - really? I am surprised they still have a job...

Hugs to you...the gift cards will start to dwindle here shortly [we hope!]

Nicholas Nemec said...

Needs New Years Eve off!

WTF, who needs New Years Eve off? To do what? Get drunk, watch that big ball with lights thingy slowly go down a pole on TV and then realise that since you live in the Central Time Zone it's only 11:00PM and you have an hour to go.

Way to go newbie's mom. He's grown up to be a responsible adult. I'm sure you'll still be covering for him when he's 34 and living in your basement, spending his time playing video games and sucking down all your free chow. Oh well, his co-workers were mean to him.

Ceetar said...

yeah, i'd imagine New Years Day is a bigger day to need off. Generally you can still get to a party after starbucks closes, but theres always that chance that you're still too drunk to move the next day.

I wish i could randomly call in for a week too, shame it doesn't work that way.

Anonymous said...

You take this job waaaay too seriously. It's obviously a starter job for children who haven't developed rudimentary work habits but reading this blog you'd think it was a career.

Question: is Newbie even old enough to drink? I can't imagine any New Year's event being that important, but since the management seems to be in a codependant relationship with its immature staff he'll be allowed to skip a shift and still keep the job.

Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

People choose the job they choose for the reasons they choose it. You're a dick to come and criticize people for choosing this line of work. I know plenty of people who are smarter than you who work at Starbucks. You know how I know they're smarter? Because they can spell codependent.


hellolizzie said...

i hate to re-ask the obvious question, and can you please answer in the next post...but WHY does the noob still have a job?

i ♥ ya BB!!!! Happy New Year's, doll!

jp said...

This story did not have the happy ending I was hoping for. Let me try:

"Tell your son to take all the time off he wants. His last check will be here waiting for him whenever he decides to pick it up."

And then maybe there could be an evil maniacal laugh, or something like that.


Calamity H. Jane said...

Hey quick question for ya : my co-worker wants to buy a Starbucks travel mugs but he would like to know if he can have his vanilla lattes refilled inside it? Or do you only make them in their respective Starbucks cups?

Happy New Year!

Evangeline said...

Do you get asked work related questions a lot on your blog? (you have no idea the amount of self restraint I just showed by not spelling that as "a latte")

The Girl with Moxie said...

I had a colleague that would have her husband call in sick for her AND he would also leave instructions as to which of my colleague's assignments needed to be finished and/or reassigned. Needless to say it didn't go over very well with the boss.

Many blessings to you, Brat, for 2007.

conorinsweden said...

Hi Brat!

Didn't get around to commenting the other day so thought I'd do so now... I'm in Perth, Western Australia and we do not have any Starbucks in our whole state! Can't say that this upsets me, but I do enjoy reading your tales.

Happy New Year :) I hope lots of people make new years resolutions to not be such dicks when they come into your store.

Anonymous said...

i agree with Sara. dont judge people by the job they choose. working at starbucks has been quite an experience for me and i wouldnt change it for the world. wish i could continue tho.

the world should have more motivated people like you, Brat. it'd certainly make it a better place.

mellowlee said...

Hello Brat! Sorry I haven't commented in a while, my puter was in the shop. That really sucked! I was, as Barb always says "Gobsmacked" by the newbie story. I mean, who does that?! Gawd!
N E ways, happy new year! :)

Johnny Yen said...

As a parent, my thought is "Wow-- she's really preparing her child for a functional adulthood, isn't she?"

James said...

how old is this guy?! and anonymous, why all the hating? what, just because someone works at a coffee shop she can't express her opinion on it? because she can. and she does it rather nicely too.

keep up the good work brat.

Amy said...

Your story reminds me of one told to me by my faculty supervisor when I became a graduate teaching assistant. As the story goes, a student was given a poor grade on an assignment. The student was not happy with his/her grade and confronted the teacher about it. Well, not quite. He/she dialed their mother, handed the phone to the teacher, and told her to explain why his/her grade was so low. Welcome to college, please leave your mommy at home.

barista brat said...

glenn - thanks for the tip.

sling - you're reply is better than the post!

anonymous - sadly, yes.

evangaline - thanks for the link!

anonymous - the tips help immensely.

skippymom - man, i wish i could have YOU call his mother and set him straight!

nicholas nemec - his mother is raising a winner, eh?

ceeter - yeah, all the die-hard partiers asked for today off (and no, that doesn't include me, haha!)

anonymous - you know what they say about opinions and a-holes...

sara - that was friggen' hilarous!

hellolizzie - i forgot to explain why newbie is still at bux. i will get to it in my next post - sorry!

jp - will you please be my boss? haha!

calamity h. jane - your friend can bring in any mug he wishes to (even a coffee bean mug!) but unfortunately he'll only get a ten cent discount. even if it's a starbucks mug it's still only ten cents off.

evangaline - i never mind a chance to clarify that green giant known as bux! wow 2 comments on one post!

girl with moxie - wow, that story is classic. happy new year!

conorinsweden - i hope they make that resolution as well!

anonymous - you're quitting bux?

mellowlee - imagine if devon asked you do to that for him! glad your computer is back!

johnny yen - yeah, no "world's best mom" mug for her!

james - this guy is in college. can you believe it? and thanks for the kind words!

amy - haha, maybe it's the same guy!

Anonymous said...

ahh.... brat this is the
funniest blog I've read for a loonng time - keep it up!
*just off to read the archives*


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S.C. said...

Man that sucks! I wish some people would just get it together at work. I've always believed that people will get what's coming to them.