wanton whims

i can't believe with all the hours i work that i've been fortunate to have dealt with mr. whim only twice before yesterday.
in fact, i had a vague recollection about there being a problem with his drink the last time i'd helped him, but it didn't really stick out in my mind. well - after yesterday's experience he will NOT be soon forgotten.

it all started so innocuously: i was on bar, happily making drinks, when i came across mr. whim's grande latte. now, there were no special markings on the cup - just the normal vertical slash in the drink box, so i was quite surprised when he came back three minutes later to tell me there was a problem with his drink.

but wait.
i'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

mr. whim is one of those people who believes - no matter how many people's drinks come before his - that he has the god-given right to stand directly in front of the hand-off counter while he waits for his drink. of course, he plops a newspaper on the counter to read while he waits for his drink (mind you, he doesn't pay for the paper - he just believes he has the right to read it while he waits) making it difficult for other people to pick-up their drinks once they've been called out.
when mr. whim's drink is ready he'll act as if he didn't hear you call it three times and continue to read his paper. when he's done with the comics section he's ready for a bathroom break, and only after he's done relieving his bladder he'll come get his drink.

of course there will ALWAYS be something wrong with his drink.

"there's too much foam on this." mr. whim told me after taking a sip of his latte.
"oh, i'm sorry." i raised my eyebrows in surprise. "it didn't say 'easy foam' on the cup."
"i didn't want 'easy foam' - i wanted the regular amount. you put too much on." he said - all the while flipping through a new section of the paper.
"ok, i can take some of the foam off - "
"forget it. just give me an iced latte instead."

so after i gave him an iced version of his drink, the talker pulled me aside and said "that's mr. whim! he always tells us to remake his drink!".

turns out mr. whim is NEVER happy with his drink. and every time there's a different problem: not hot enough, too hot, not enough foam, tastes weird, feels too light, etc., etc. sometimes he wants us to remake the exact drink the same way we made it in the first place. other times he wants something totally different. next time i see him at the hand-off counter i'll make sure he signs off on every part of the drink making process: "the temperature is 160 - is that ok? i'm about to put the foam on top - let me know how much you want, ok?"

hopefully then i won't have to cater to his whims.

barista rant: please listen to me when i ask you a question! especially when the question is: "do you want this blended like a milkshake, or do you want ice cubes in it?" because it's REALLY annoying when you look at your drink and say "oops! i meant i wanted the blended one!" after you assured me two minutes earlier that you wanted ice cubes in your drink.


Red7Eric said...

I hate Mr. Whim.

I mean, c'mon. It's coffee, and it's creamy and foamy. Unless the milk is sour, it's ALL GOOD.

Go away, Mr. Whim. We hate thee.

BobbyRisigliano said...

I hear you loud and clear.

At the Diner that I work at we have a Ms. Whim. Her over easy eggs are too easy. Her hard poached are golfball poached not hard poached like she asked. There the same damn thing. This lady actually brings in her own brand of vanilla soy milk cause the brand we carry is "too milky" as she puts it. There's no milk in it lady?

Augs Casa said...

I really enjoy reading your posts. I'm not the coffee houe type, but I have been several times. It really is amazing how people can be complete idiots. I'm one of those people who "if" something is made wrong for me, food or drink, I'll drink it or eat it anyway.

jp said...

I think it's time to start peeing in his cup.

Calitri said...

If you ever get him when he asks for you to remake the same drink, just take his back, turn around, put his drink behind the counter, act like you're doing something for a couple of minutes, then hand the first drink you made back to him. I bet he'll be perfectly happy with it the second time.

I used to do it when I worked at the bar. Just move some things around on the plate in the kitchen and bring it back out to them. Worked like a charm.

Evangeline said...

You know... iocane powder is odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid, and is among the more deadlier poisons known to man.

Mr Whim said...

Iocaine powder??? Inconcievable!

Sling said...

Evangeline is scaring me!..
As long as mr. whim is gonna send his drink back,go ahead and give something totally different than what he ordered the first time.At least you'll get to see the look of utter surprise on his face...could be fun.

Grumpy Housewife said...

Good grief. I think Mr. Whim was in the Bux my best friend and I stopped at today.

The guy in line in front of us was a complete pain.in.the.ass. He wanted a latte, but he didn't want it too hot, but not just warm, and he didn't want too much foam, but not too little, either, and could they just add HALF a packet of Sugar in the Raw, because that processed crap will KILL you, he knows because his best friend's brother's neighbor's uncle's second-ex-wife's cousin knows a doctor, and that's what that doctor SAID.

The poor baristas were just trying to smile and nod. My best friend rolled her eyes, and I finally couldn't take it anymore and piped up, "Hey, how about you add your own damn sugar, and let them make you a freakin' latte, without all the extra shots of drama? SOME of us don't want to stand behind your idiotic ass all night."

He harrumphed, and asked me what made me so special, and I said, "Because I'm going to order a venti latte. Period. No extras, no half-packet-of-this, or not-too-hot of that, and without your bitchy attitude, too. I bet these lovely baristas will appreciate the lack of attitude, and the lack of whiny 'I'm so speshul, look at Pwecious Me'."

As he was harrumphing, I caught the eye of one of the baristas, who was having a hard time not laughing his ass off.

I hope I struck a blow for all baristas today, Brat, who have to deal with the Mr. and Ms. Whims of the Bux universe.

In the end? He just whined, "I GUESS I can live with a REGULAR latte, and add my OWN sugar....since SHE thinks she's SO much more special than ME."

The female barista piped up, "No, sir, she's just NICER than you are."

Go Baristas!

Anonymous said...

It's pretty sad when the only power a person can exercise is to push around some hapless kid working the counter at a coffee shop or fast food restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I have a story for you-

I was at Barnes and Noble studying and decided to buy a coffee. As I'm sure you're aware, B&N cafes sell Starbucks coffee but don't take their gift cards. Apparently, the lady in line in front of me was not aware of this policy. The barista working explained it to her twice, but the lady still handed the barista the gift card when it was time to pay. After much whining on her part ("but this is a Starbucks!" "I'm sorry, ma'am, we're not a Starbucks..." etc) she finally handed over the cash.

Anyway, she had ordered two venti frapuccinos, whereas I had just ordered your basic coffee, so the barista got my coffee while the frapuccinos were blending. The lady then proceeded to freak out that I had gotten my drink first even though I had ordered after her. While I was adding my cream she made some comment about how they were showing "ageism" (I'm 17, barista is probably around 20) and she was going to call Starbucks corporate and complain... because apparently she missed the part where it wasn't a Starbucks.

Seriously. I will order frapuccinos on occasion (though not in the middle of winter!) but I do anticipate having to wait for them, especially since this cafe only has one blender.

However, one of my teachers was there grading papers and saw the whole thing, and said that the look on my face was absolutely priceless.


Johnny Yen said...

We have our version of "Mr. Whim" at the restaurant/bar I work at. She has a very, very specific order that she always makes, and all the bartenders (she always sits and eats at the bar, thank god) know her order. She always has to find something wrong with her order.

I suspect Mr. Whim's problem is the same as hers-- being unhappy with their lives, and taking it out in other ways.

Inigo said...

Mr Whim... You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means...

Gail S said...

Playing the amateur psychologist here, I always figure people like this feel powerless with the significant others in their lives. Mr. Whim is probably totally hen-pecked at home and never gets his way. I tend to feel sorry for them, at least when I'm through with them and have calmed down :) Or maybe he's just a total a**hole.

barockstar said...

hey there brat - new reader here.

i've attempted to go back through the archived posts - but there are so many, so i figure i can digest a month or two at a time, until i catch up!

as a partner myself, and an avid reader - i think i'm gonna like it here. :)

just wanted to share a little story about a mr. whim that i had, and how i broke him.
well actually mr. whim liked me, and never had me remake his beverage... but he always had a problem of some kind, and was usually among the first 5 customers of the morning. (and it's not like it was a hard drink either - grande nonfat no foam latte)

i was opening with this super awesome bar star and totally legendary guy, who was complaining as he put out the pastries about our mr. whim. so we devised a plan...

i'm on till, and he goes to bar when he comes in.
i call the drink, he makes it.
the guy picks it up, sips it and kinda scowls and says 'this doesn't taste right', and puts the drink back on the counter.
my partner goes:
"i had a feeling you'd say that" and puts up the other latte he secretly made at the same time.
there was a moment of silence, and then he broke out into a big grin (well big for a grump)...

never did that partner or i have to remake his drink again!

now THAT's how you break them! :)

take care

jehara said...

some people seem to get off on being like that.
we used to have this couple come in regularly that were notorious for this. they would always order cappuccinos with rigid specifications and even with them hovering over the bar and the barista checking with them along the way they STILL weren't happy. i remember once i was on bar, lady hovering, i was being courteous and checking with her along the way even showing her the sweet and lo packets before i poured in 3/4 of the damn thing. after handing her the drink, she took the first sip, i inquired how it was. she assured me that it was perfect. not two seconds later, she came back to the bar to complain that X was wrong with her drink.

seriously, no amount of catering would produce a drink she would be satisfied with on the first make.

i really really hate customers like that. their lives must really suck.