2.27.2007

tipper more

sorry for the lack of new posts.
there has been a nasty virus making its way throughout my district. luckily i escaped its wrath (this time) but my week was spent working overtime to help out my bed-ridden brethren.

apparently it was clear to our customers that we were short-staffed (and working our little green apron tails off) because our tip jars were overflowing!
now, i am NEVER one to complain when a customer leaves us a tip, but i noticed that people seemed overly-generous to us baristas this past week.

big tipper #1 -
a woman came in ten minutes before we closed and asked if we had any chocolate chip cookies left. i informed her that we had already sold out of them for the day and listed off the pastries we had left. the woman decided against buying a snack, but ordered a kids' hot chocolate for her daughter. she paid $1.05 for the beverage and then stuffed two singles into our tip jar. two singles! on a tab that was just over a buck! and we didn't even have the product she initially came in for!

big tipper #2 -
a lady came into my bux with her dog. i promptly, and nicely, told her that the dog couldn't stay in the store, but i would be happy to take her drink and change out to her once her beverage was ready. she handed me her credit card, went back outside with her dog and waited for her drink to be made. just as i told her i would, i brought her the latte, credit card and receipt. i thought that was the end of it, but she was back at our door twenty minutes later, motioning for me to come outside.
"here, this is for you," she smiled and handed me a five dollar bill.
"oh, thank you, but you didn't have to do this!" i told her honestly.
"i know, but you deserve it." she said before she and her dog walked away.
of course i put the fiver in the tip jar to share with my fellow baristas.

big tipper #3 -
one of our regular customers was a few cents short for his venti mocha.
"don't worry about it," my barista buddy told him. "i can cover the rest for you."
barista buddy pulled out the correct change from his pocket and added it to his register so he wouldn't be short at the end of his shift.
"i'll pay you back when i come in later today," regular customer offered, but barista buddy just waved him off.
as promised, regular customer came back a couple hours later and handed some change to barista buddy.
"that's for you," he said before reaching into his pocket. "and this is for everyone because you guys always do such a great job." he pushed a handful of singles into the tip jar.

big tipper #4 -
a woman came in and wanted to purchase thirty ten-dollar gift cards. there was only two of us baristas on the floor, and although time-consuming, we cheerfully went ahead and activated all thirty cards. before she handed us her credit card as payment she asked if she could add on two more cards (meanwhile the line behind her was growing). finally her transaction was complete - but before she left she handed us each a gift card for ten dollars for "our troubles".

let me tell you - NOTHING brightens a barista's crazy work week more than generous tips. and no - this is not any sort of plea or request for people to tip more often. it's just a way for me to express how greatly appreciative we baristas are that people are willing to pad our tip jar.

partner rant: yes, i know you say you're sick. i know working when you're sick is anything but fun or healthy - that's why i was willing to cover your shift for you. but if you really are "soooo sick" that you need me to come in for you, why the hell did you come by the store and hang out for an hour? and if you weren't "soooo sick" then at least do me the courtesy of letting me believe you're home puking your guts out, ok?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting link here about Starbuck that you may want to read. I agree with this. I was in a Starbuck for the first time in January in California (I live in Germany). My husband were out and bought a sandwich near a Starbucks, so we decided to get a cup of coffee to see what the fuss was all about. Turns out it's not about much, in our opinion. We ordered two decafs. The flavour was good, but no better than the coffee I buy here at the supermarket (a good German brand from Bavaria).

I meet friends every Saturday at an Italian coffee bar. Although the bar has all the different syrups and stuff, the only thing anyone buys is 1. Espresso, 2. Latte 3. Cappuccino. The vast majority being espresso.

Starbucks should discontinue all the unhealthy hype and concentrate on good coffee. Didn't they start out that way in Seattle?

Anonymous said...

OOps! Sorry! I forgot the link. Here it is:
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1593723,00.html

Melissa said...

It's nice to read about this...and see how some simple acts can really brighten someone else's day!

Zoltar Panaflex said...

I was at a Starbucks in Seattle a couple weeks ago (I normally don't frequent Starbucks, I favor a different brand o' bean...)

Although it was a fine place (noisy but to be expected, there were a good number of people) but not so much - I had had a very painful needle-jabbing at a doctor's office, and decided to treat myself with a Frappucino (which I understand are a PITA but I haven't ordered one in two years...)

I apologetically ordered one, it was ready before I knew it, and so was my husband's order, and we got two pastries. Everyone there was nice, really nice. So I looked around, wanting to drop a few dollars into a tip jar (I always tip for food service...)

They didn't have a tip jar! I emailed Starbucks to compliment the staff, and got a quickie form reply. I guess I ought to go BACK to the Starbucks and compliment them again, I thought it would make a difference to email a compliment, I guess not!

I really wanted to tip them though, they were all upbeat and efficient!

Beth said...

I love them.

Andrew said...

Man, that's nice. It always make you feel warm and fuzzy inside when someone appreciates what you do for them. I wish that'd happen to me!

Tracey said...

Interesting link, anonymous, but for starters, I have a hard time putting much stock in the oh so knowledgeable opinion of a person who spells espresso with an "X". Starbucks is simply doing what every other company in America does...meeting the demand of the public. It is not their job to worry about our health...we are adults and are perfectly capable of deciding what we eat or drink. The HYPE is what makes them MONEY. The masses no longer want a straight cup of joe...they want it drowned with syrups and flavors and chocolate and caramel, they want it blended with ice or other fancy methods of preparation. Specialty coffee bars are exactly where one should go if what they want is a straight espresso, latte, or cappuccino. All of those things can be ordered at Starbucks, if you so choose.

Sling said...

Some days diamonds...Some days rocks..
I found that for every pain in the butt non- tipper,there were those that more than appreciative.
Sounds like you had a great day B.Brat!

Gamestore Girl said...

I get jealous reading your blog - you guys have a lot of great customers. Never have I had a customer bring us in lunch or leave nice tips or anything like that - anywhere I've worked. Apparently I'm working in the wrong places!

Ya Looblue said...

Re: your "ill" partners
i'd have thrown an apron at them from behind the bar and told them to get their ass behind the register if they're stupid enough to come into work.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

wow, what a great day. it's leaving me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Eric said...

Hey brat, I tried to comment yesterday but after upgrading my blogger I forgot to confirm the google account.
Poor me. Regardless, I was also wondering about your thoughts regarding Howard's memo. it seem that that is really an upper management response to a lot of the issues you have been having with your middle management. Locals questioned seemed to feel that sure Shultz is on the right path but no one in middle management remembers the old days when the core values were about coffee. Thoughts?
And yes Tips are a good thing. Big tips are even better.
Also check out the music video I posted on my blog. It is a Vancouver BC artist named Ava Drake and it is rather pleasant. I lit some of it.
cheers

Allan said...

I was waiting for the part where some klepto schizo walks in, grabs the tip jar and says how she needs the cash to pay a ransom to the space aliens that abducted her.

I'm glad that didn't happen.

mellowlee said...

Aw, Im glad your customers were so appreciative during an especially hard week! As for the rant, wow, that takes some moxy to show up at work to hang when u are supposed to be sick Geeez! :O(

mellowlee said...

heee, the word verification was RRRMAD appropriate yes? hehe

THE Jessi said...

I read the comic Pearls Before Swine, and one of the characters Rat works in a Bux-type coffee shop and many of his comics relate to your stories. Such as the link:

http://www.comics.com/comics/pearls/archive/pearls-20070216.html

I spent all day yesterday reading your archives, great blog!

Dianna said...

..How is someone who called out of work because thy are "sick" going to show up, at work? How dumb can you be. I worked in a few places where that was grounds for firing. You can't show up at your job if you called in sick!

barista brat said...

anonymous - i agree, some of our coffee doesn't taste any better than what you could find in the grocery store, but some of it is superior in flavor to most places i've frequented.
and i too wish that we'd get back to basics. the problem is: it's so profitable to cater to the publics many whims.

melissa - it really was a mood changer!

zoltar panaflex - that is so strange! i can't imagine a bux without a tip jar - unless they are a licensee and not a company owned bux.

beth - me too!

andrew - hang in there! i'm sure it will!

tracey - very, very true.

sling - it was a great WEEK! (minus working all the extra hours).

gamestore girl - haha, maybe! but i'm glad you're customers are still cool.

ya looblue - i questioned her about it and she said, 'oh, i'm feeling a little better, but not enough to work'. i told her not to bother asking me to work her shifts ever again.

668 - yeah, it was a warm and fuzzy feeling for me as well

eric - i'm preparing a post regarding howard's memo. and i'm off to your blog to check out the video!

allan - me too! i think i would have done a body tackle for sure!

mellowlee - too appropriate!

the jessi - thanks for stopping by!

dianna - yeah, she's not the brightest young thing.