3.07.2007

convenient for who?

i've ranted before about newbies that take waaaaaay too long to learn and master their barista duties - but sometimes it's the seasoned 'old-timers' who are guilty of slacking or cutting corners. in fact - seasoned baristas are the hardest to re-train. they are so stuck in their own personal ways and are resistant to change.

it doesn't matter if you point out how the proper way to do things is more efficient - they'd rather waste time and energy doing it they way they've always done it. sure, it's convenient for them to stay stuck in their ways, but it makes more work for the rest of us.

convenience #1 - rinsing out blender cups
i've ranted before about partners who throw blender lids into the sink without rinsing them, but worse than dirty lids are dirty blender cups. now you'd think a barista that has been with bux for more than two frappuccino seasons would understand that tossing dirty blender cups into a sink will only lead to more work when the next customer orders a frappuccino. and that it is gross and nasty to pull a dirty blender cup from the sink that is covered in coffee grinds, old whipped cream and lukewarm milk. and that it means we have to sanitize the damn thing several times an hour (as opposed to the usual rinsing).

convenience #2 - leaving all singles in your till
i know it's a lot easier to drop four five-dollar bills as opposed to twenty singles, but why the hell would you leave your till with only singles for the next register partner? when you finished tilling out did you not notice that you had no fives and all singles? and if you had some sort of brain fart and forgot to leave your till with the correct change, at least tell the manager so he can change the till out.

convenience #3 - leaving empty trays in the pastry case
why is it so hard to pull out an empty tray? especially if you take the last pastry off the tray to give a customer? don't you realize we get marked down for empty trays in the case? don't you realize it only takes about 2.1 seconds to yank that tray from the case? and don't you realize that you're setting the WORST example for the newbies when you leave a job half done?

convenience #4 - leaving a messy bar
i know it's impossible to keep the bar neat and clean every second, especially during a busy rush. but there are those times when there's only a couple customers in line and you don't have any drinks on deck. how hard is it to wipe down the counter, rinse out the pitchers, fill the hopper and clean the steam wand? even if you can't do all those things, can't you at least do one or two? why must you leave disgusting, crusty milk on the steam wands? what's the logic in leaving the hoppers empty? when the bar was handed over to you, it was fully stocked and clean - so why do you feel you are above leaving it prepped and clean for the next barista?

convenience #5 - not stocking the condiment bar
yeah, i know it's a neverending mission: keeping the condiment bar stocked and clean. but in our bux (and every other bux in my district) it is standard for you to fill the condiment bar before you go on break, lunch or go home. taking a rag and doing a one-swipe-wipe is not 'cleaning'. checking that the sugar container is half filled is not 'stocking'. and pushing the trash down further in the can is not 'changing the trash'.

convenience #6 - leaving trash single-bagged
i know it takes, like, an extra minute to empty the trash and line the can with two bags. yeah, i know you're saving yourself precious seconds when you decide to pull only the one bag out and leave the second bag in. but do you realize how much time is spent cleaning the trash can after the single bag splits and all the contents come pouring out? do you realize that now we have to clean the trash from off the floor and inside the can (which means we have to cart the can outside to rinse and dry it)? and that your 'shortcut' will leave us with one less person on the floor because someone has to clean up after your 'convenience'?

barista rant: don't tell me to grind your beans on "number three" if you don't want your beans ground for an espresso machine. don't tell me you want the beans ground for a french press, then insist that i keep the setting and "number three". LISTEN when i tell you what each setting is. don't nod, say "ok" and then add "but i want it for a french press on number three".

14 comments:

mellowlee said...

sounds like there are some mighty laaaazy people out there hey!

Anonymous said...

I have another one.....

Partners that leave milk jugs out on the counter instead of taking the extra second to lean over and put it back in the refrigerator.

or using hot water when making frappuccino base.

Man, I could go on forever.... ha ha

Schlatko

Lizabeth said...

i remember working with people who worked that way when i worked in one of the early java city stores back in the 80's. it is like working behind Pigpen. A maelstrom of mess and a cyclone of filth. Yuck.

Andrew said...

The longer they've been there, the more awesome they think they are. Even if it's not true. Sometimes, I just what to strangle people like that. Get a clue!

Anonymous said...

what is a "short" size?? why isn't it on the menu? can i get a short frappucino? it'd be the perfect size! and is it pernounced BAR-ista, BARE-ista, bar-EESTA, or bar-ISTA?

Peter Matthes said...

I hate it when they use their fingers to test the proper temperature of my Caramel Macchiato.

Jon said...

I have really enjoyed your blog lately and have added it to my "favorite links" list. It's really impressive how you've taken one subject (working at bux) and made it SO entertaining! I'm really glad to have found your site and hope it continues for a long time. (I'm also a bux addict)

Anonymous said...

Don't think that it's just retail/customer service type jobs where co-workers are lazy.

I work in a supposedly "professional" environment (banking software), and there are people here who:

1. Won't make a pot of coffee after taking the last cup. Or, for that matter, won't refill/replace the artificial sweeteners, creamers, sugar, cups, or any other add-in after using it all up.

2. Won't replace the bottle on the water cooler after emptying it (all the women claim the bottles are too heavy for them to lift).

3. Use 1/2 pack of artificial sweetener, and stick the unused 1/2 pack back in the container.

4. Go grocery shopping during their lunch, and then put all their perishables in the refrigerator and freezer, making it impossible for others to even get to their lunches or anything left in the refrigerator

5. Leave their dirty dishes in the sink (which is most or our employees - by the end of the day, you can't even get to the fawcet).

6. Won't replace paper towels/hand towels/toilet paper roll.

7. Pour liquids into the trash can at their desk (I mean, cups of sodas or coffee).

8. Eat pungeant foods (fish, garlic, onion) at their desk. Even worse is when they eat foods using artificial garlic/onion/whatever. The smell actually penetrates into soft materials (Like the upolstery on the cubical walls) and lingers forever. There are some cubes that smell like a lockerroom.

Hoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sling said...

Many of the things you mentioned should be common sense.More than that,several are probably mandated by the Health Department...Keep up the good work B.Brat! :)

skinny malinky said...

So you were offered a management position, where you might actually be able to change these behaviors, right? And instead of accepting this offer of responsibility, you decide you prefer whinging to action?

Your blog used to entertain me, but now it's frustrating because it's the repeated moaning of someone who's doing nothing to change any of the things she moans about. It's just the same story over and over again.

I wonder what your coworkers would write about you...

barista brat said...

mellowlee - it's annoying because these partners shine in other areas. they just are lazy about specific things.

schlatko - haha, totally forgot about those!

lizabeth - what's super frustrating is that no amount of coaching will get them to change their ways.

andrew - very true.

anonymous - short size (8 ounces) is only available for hot drinks. and i pronounce it BAR-ista, though i've heard others say bar-EEsta.

peter matthes - omg that's horrendous! everyone knows they actually have to take a SIP before they hand it to the customer!

jon - thanks for stopping by!

anonymous - you've just ensured i'll never enter the banking software field!

hoodlum - i actually feel pretty well compensated for my work. if i didn't i would do something more lucrative. i hate when my fellow baristas do less than what they're paid to do. and i don't agree about bux wishing they could hire illegal immigrants.

sling - EXACTLY! ah, if only you were my boss!

skinny malinky - i didn't want a promotion because as i stated it's too much work for too little pay. i guess you missed the part of this post where i wrote "seasoned baristas are the hardest to re-train", which means i am active in trying to correct the behaviour.

Anonymous said...

seasoned baristas? those all sound like noob corner cutting to me. seasoned barista corner cutting is much less obvious. well, at least around here.
what's infuriating is having an asst mgr who tells all the new people to do things incorrectly.

Anonymous said...

Do you ever actually ask your coworkers to change their bad habits?