crazy is as crazy does

there are a few kinds of crazy when it comes to customers.

there's the certifiably insane: people who really do have mental problems but have enough social skills to order a cup of coffee.
there's the manic crazies: people that are happy, but are clearly existing on their own planet.
and of course there's the wtf?!? crazies (unfortunately the most common crazy affliction we see at bux).

wtf crazies are the most dangerous sort. they are ticking time bombs and anything can set them off. so far this week there's been an epidemic of wtf craziness and of course we baristas have been on the receiving end of undeserved insults.

wtf crazy person #1
- while i was at bar some middle-aged lady walked up to the serving counter and spat out "SOME of us have real jobs we have to get to!".
"i'm sorry, were you waiting for another drink?" i asked when i noticed she was already holding a starbucks cup in her hand.
"HELLO! i've been waiting for over ten minutes!" she lied.
"well, i don't have any drinks left to be made. what did you order?"
"i ordered a caramel!" she practically shrieked. "and i've been waiting fifteen minutes for it!" yet another lie.
"a caramel what?" i asked. "a caramel frappuccino or a caramel macchiato?"
"a caramel drink!" she shrieked again.
"we have more than one caramel drink." i pointed to the menu.
before she could could yell out "caramel" again, the register partner walked over to the bar and said "ma'am, you ordered a tall drip with caramel syrup."
"yes, i know!" she was fuming. "so where the hell is it?"
"uh, it's in your hand."
that's right, this lady was holding her drink the whole damn time. so did she apologize for being such a bitch? of course not! instead she growled, "i'm NEVER coming her ever again! this is the worst starbucks i've ever been to!" as she stomped out of the store.

wtf crazy person #2
- a woman came into bux with her baby strapped to her chest (i have no idea what those sari looking baby thingies are called) and ordered a passion iced tea. after picking up the tea she went into the bathroom, only to emerge five minutes later with a bright pink stain down the front of her baby strap.
"you guys are lucky this wasn't hot tea." she shook her finger at us. "i would sue all your asses off if this was hot tea!"
we offered to give her towels to help clean herself, as well as give her another tea.
"i don't want another tea! i want you to pay my cleaning bill." she pushed the clean towels back at us. "this is 100% silk!" she pointed to the baby strap thingie. "this was going to be a family heirloom but you've ruined it!"
and then she started crying.
and after she cried she blamed our uptight society for not allowing her to breastfeed in public (which i guess is why she ended up spilling her tea all over herself in the bathroom?) and then she started complaining that her back hurt from the baby strap thingie.

my fellow barista brat figured the lady must be suffering from postpartum depression, but i think she just had a case of the wtf's.

wtf crazy person #3
- high school student asks me "can you make a frappuccino that doesn't taste like a frappuccino?"
"i don't understand, do you not want it to taste like coffee because we have non-coffee frappuccinos."
"i just don't want it to taste like a frappuccino."
"what do you want it to taste like?"
"you know - good, just not frappuccino tasting." she informed me with a straight face.
when i then told her that it was impossible to make a frappuccino NOT taste like a frappuccino, she then asked for a hot chocolate that didn't taste like a hot chocolate. and when i told her that was impossible as well she whined and demanded to know why i was "making her life a living hell".

barista rant: it is never, NEVER ok to help yourself to our tip jar. not even if you spotted the only state quarter missing from your collection - it will never be permissible to take the tip jar to your table to sift through it. and if you try it again i can't guarantee you'll make it out of the store unscathed.


beholdhowfree said...

Wow! Very funny. Great blog!

Crazy said...

To be honest, Crazy #1's story sounds like EXACTLY the kind of thing I do before I get my first cup of coffee of the day. My addiction is pretty serious, my brain doesn't function at full capacity until I get that caffeine hit.

But on the other hand, I'm too sleepy and confused to be such a bitch about my mysterious invisible drink. And once I saw the drink materialize in my hand, I would have snuck out quietly with my head down.

Sling said...

..these people are allowed to vote..and drive cars! :O

Anonymous said...

#3 made me laugh until I cried!

Can you imagine how she must go thru life? Wanting a boyfriend who doesn't act like a boyfriend. Wanting a car that doesn't look like a car. Wanting money that doesn't spend like money. Wanting music that doesn't sound like a song. Wanting a burger that doesn't taste like meat and bread.......

Give me a break!!!


Anonymous said...

laughity laugh snort - holy hell this is hilarious. (perhaps not so much for you, but genuinely fun filled for us)
good times...

Marcus said...

cool post today... although it seems like i've read about crazy 1 before...

anyways, i have a little rant about an experience today... i'm working at a client's out in hicksville and there's only a Coffee Bean nearby so i usually go there to get my coffee...

usually it's pretty slow (i've waited 10mins for a drink before becuase the guy who seems to be the manager AND who's at the cashier was not concentrating on me ordering so ordering took ages THEN he was fiddling about with other things and eventually the other staff who appeared from nowhere made the drink... it was just a latte dammit... plus the store was empty)

What pissed me off was that today i needed my coffee... went in there and there was a huge line... so i thought i can wait... so i waited in the SAME SPOT in the line for 10mins watching idiots order and the same manager idiot taking the orders. In my opinion, he should have taken all the orders in the line then dealt with the dirnks but noooo... he was fussing about at the same time as taking orders...

plus the customer idiots - there were these girls in a big group and were ordering food as well... fine... but they just had to each order and purchase their own thing AND deciding when they were ordering... it piiiisssssed me off.. .so i left.

argh... i need a coffee...

michelle said...

thanks for a laugh on this cranky friday morning! wtf crazies definately make you wonder about the world. :)

Anonymous said...

Having had post-pardum depression, I really feel for #2. It's such a crappy feeling.

It does not, however, give her permission to be bitchy. Trade the tea for some Z0L0ft, #2 -- it's safe while nursing and it helps alot!


melissa said...

The baby thing is called a "sling". It's for the whole coddle your baby to death theory of parenting type people.
WTF? People are a-holes!
Thankfully not all people.

Anonymous said...

Twenty years ago a lot of these people would have been institutionalized. Now we get to enjoy their antics everywhere.

Johnny Yen said...

My twelve-year-old son pointed out something recently: that instead of a military service draft, all people should be made to work in a restaurant or similar retail establishment for a year. It would certainly change their perspective.

At a restaurant I worked at in the late '80's, that had a very affluent clientele, there was a family-- a husband, wife and two small children- that would come in on our hugely busy (and lucrative) Saturday mornings. We dubbed them "The Blenderheads" because their hair looked it had been styled by a blender. (I think in actuality they still had "bedhead")

The mother would inevitably do one of two things: 1. order something, then when you brought it, she'd deny ordering it or 2. Suddenly demand to know where something was, something she had not ordered. Actually, there was a third-- she'd sometimes do both-- demand to know where something she had ordered was, then when you went ahead and rushed it for her (causing problems with the surly cook), she'd deny ordering.

In any of the cases, the husband would look at you pleadingly, like "please just placate her..." and would always tip extremely well.

I believe the clinical term for the husband is "enabler."

Pita said...

Barista Brat, I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I just have to tell you that I find this all incredibly fascinating. I'm in the Marketing Management program in college and have dreams of managing my own bux sometime in the future. Yes, I know I need to see if they will even higher and train me as a barista first! *grins*

Any advice you can give a bux wannabe? Your stuff makes me laugh and scares the HELL out of me. I thought running a day care business was hard!

Your most sympathetic reader,


Kiz said...

I can understand the behavior of #1 and #2... People deal with being embarrassed differently, and some folks can't walk away feeling like they've been made out like a fool. Hence, your #1 getting angry and saying that she's never coming into Starbucks again, like it's your fault for her absentmindedness, or #2 getting upset at you after spilling tea on herself.

Most folks either just try to remove themselves from the situation, or laugh it off (I prefer the latter). Then you got your folks not feeling like the issue is 'resolved' until they've yelled at someone and walked away feeling like they're still the one on top.

What you really gotta wonder is how #1 and #2 are explaining this story to their friends. 'Cause then they have to concoct a reason why it's your fault.

Regarding #3, pfft, I have no clue. Did she ask next what color is the atmosphere, or how cold is the toilet? K

Anonymous said...

ANd then there are the crazies those of us that work at non-bux coffee shops get as well. The "what you got that taste like frappacino?" and I'll always remember the customer who when i greeted her said bitchily "I'm from Atlanta and i like the starbucks macchiato." ANd that was it. No other information. Congratulations? Starbucks is less than a block away, go there if that is what you want people!

Anonymous said...


i once had this customer who ordered a hot chocolate and when she collected it she went

'oh, its not blended?
but its chocolate!'

she prolly thought i'd do magic since its called a steaming WAND. geez.

did get us partners laughing tho. after she left of course.

the bored-rista :)

WANTED: Daily Drama Fix said...

hey! I think I work with #1! Oh wait, she doesn't like coffee. But seriously. She is a friend but she seems to like to make life hell for other people. I believe she likes to be pissed - it must make her happy. You have inspired me to make a post about one of our latest outings ...

plain(s)feminist said...

Here's the thing about slings: they make lousy heirlooms. Babies poop, pee, and spit up on them, plus there's the breast milk stains. Why in the name of all that is holy would anyone buy one made out of SILK?

But also, speaking as one who regularly breastfed in public, it can be overwhelming to do so while fearing public retribution, which a lot of people feel entitled to offer. And a lot of these same helpful people seem to think that bathrooms are a good place to nurse babies. (They are probably the same people who pee on the Bux bathroom floors and don't flush.)

Anyway, I think you got either a hormone rant or a generally overwhelmed rant. (Although even *I'm* not entirely convinced that it wasn't a wtf rant.)

barista brat said...

beholdhowfree - thanks for stopping by!

crazy - haha, maybe on days when you're in need of extra caffeine you can call yourself 'wtf crazy'.

sling - ...and raise children.

melanie - i'm guessing she has parents that don't act like parents.

evangaline - i always manage to laugh a day or so later!

marcus - yeah, at my old bux there was a guy who was waiting for a drink called an 'espresso brownie' not realizing it was a pastry and that he was already clutching it. btw - your story is the very reason why coffee bean runs a distant second to bux.

michelle - thanks for stopping by!

meira - i'll remember the zoloft tip for when i have kids, haha!

melissa - haha, thanks for letting me know the name.

anonymous - institutionalized or heavily drugged, i'm sure!

johnny yen - your son sounds smart. thankfully that family tipped well - but the wife was all kinds of crazy!

pita - if you want to manage at bux there are 2 ways to do it: 1) get hired as a barista, work your tail off and get promoted (this is the most common way people become bux managers) and 2) become a manager at a different company and then apply to be a bux manager.
i'll be totally honest with you - if you get hired in as a manager you will be paid more than if you were to be promoted from within the company. personally i think it sux that bux doesn't pay their internals as much as externals, but that's how it's always been. good luck!

kiz - haha, i wouldn't be surprised if she WAS related to the crank caller.

anonymous - i have a friend who works at an independent coffee shop and she says her skin crawls when people order "grande double chocolate chip frappuccinos".

bored-rista - haha, the steam wand line is hilarious!

libbe - i'm off to check your latest post!

plain(s)feminist - yeah, i wondered why in hell she would use an heirloom on a daily basis. i wonder why they would even make those in silk - but the other day a woman came in with a designer bag that cost over 500 bucks so i guess to each their own.

Anonymous said...

I used to work in a convenience store, and on the counter we had one of those clear plastic containers which sort of looks like a fishbowl. It used to hold candy but we put matches in there, which were 2 cents a book. Usually the customers would throw some change in there and fish out some matches; periodically we'd empty it out and put the money in the till. When you work in a convenience store, kids between the ages of about 7 to 12 are the banes of your existence. One day I was dealing with a couple of kids in that age group. One was buying something; the other one looked at the fishbowl, picked it up, and began taking the change out of it! When I yelled at him, he looked affronted and said "If you didn't want it, you shouldn't leave it in there."

Good thing we have such strict gun laws in Canada...

Anonymous said...

Oops, now I'm going to have to correct myself and dilute the impact of the story...what the snotty kid said was "If you wanted it, you shouldn't leave it in there." Doh! I wonder if he had the same sticky-fingered policy elsewhere.

OldSchool36 said...

It's amazing that some people can actually function in day-to-day life and interactions with other people. WTF's are EVERYwhere!

Chelsea said...

To tell you the truth, #3 sounded like a joke...something some of my friends might do just to see your reaction...

barockstar said...

i love your term wtf crazies, and will now officially adopt it into my own SB lingo..

Writeprocrastinator said...

""i'm NEVER coming her ever again! this is the worst starbucks i've ever been to!"

Um, that's a bad thing??? Make sure that the local mental hospital revokes her day pass from now on.

Anonymous said...

#2 (woman with baby in sling, spilling tea on a "to-be heirloom"): sounds like the kind of thing someone might try to pull to get some money out of a company that she hopes will just pay her off to get rid of her. Clues are: her reasoning is absurd; first she talks about how she thinks she COULD have sued for a lot of money, if she'd been lucky enough to have ordered hot tea; she then tells you how lucky you are the amount she wants is less, trying to make you feel relieved; then she starts to cry, completing the act.

It may not have been a deliberate act of extortion, but it's close enough so that had she been thinking, she wouldn't have tried to inflict it.