easter dummies

i usually love to work holidays because (for the most part) customers are all smiles and business tends to be slower. today, however, there were several exceptions to the general rule.

MANY people decided bux coffee would go great with their easter brunch, so we had a rash of people ordering our coffee travellers. now usually people will phone these orders in ahead of time, but not today. we had several customers walk in, order a traveller (plus all the condiments) and expect us to have it ready for them in under three minutes. since it takes four minutes just to brew a batch of coffee it is impossible to hand over a traveller as soon as a customer orders one (which is exactly why most people call ahead).
most of the customers understood that it would be a short wait for their travellers, but there were two separate customers who decided it was perfectly acceptable to raise holy hell.
"isn't this starbucks?" one lady sneered at me. "aren't you guys supposed to ALWAYS have coffee?"
"certainly we have coffee, but i need to brew a batch especially for the coffee traveler you ordered." i informed her with gritted teeth.
"i can't believe this!" she complained two minutes later. "that lady just got her drink and she was BEHIND me in line!"
"ma'am," i tried to keep an even tone, "if you'd ordered a latte then you would've gotten your beverage before her."
"just hurry it up!" she snapped at me and gave me the stink eye until her order was ready.
the other customer wasn't as rude, but was just as big of a pain. hating that he'd have to wait a few minutes while the coffee was brewing, he tried to argue that he deserved some sort of compensation for his time. i agreed to let him have a free drip coffee, but he wanted a frappuccino. he also wanted free pastries and a free sandwich. when i refused he gave me a sour look and said "well, i see YOU'RE not in a giving mood this holiday."
"i thought christmas was the time for gift giving, not easter." i smiled at him and bid him a good day.

but the craziest story of the day was the elderly couple who ordered five different beverages. the register partner handed them their venti drip coffee while they waited for me to make their four bar drinks. the husband attempted to fit his venti drip coffee in the carrying tray i'd handed him and ended up splashing a bit of the coffee on his hand.
"OW, OW, GODDAMMIT!" he howled and jumped up and down. "DAMN IT! DAMN IT! THAT COFFEE IS PIPING HOT!"
"let me get you some ice and a towel." i offered right away, although it was clear only a drop of coffee escaped from the lid.
"GIVE ME ICE! GODDAMMIT THIS HURTS!" he continued to howl and nurse his hand.
i offered him some burn cream but his wife just waved me off and said the ice was good enough.
by the time i'd finished making the rest of the drinks he'd calmed down.
"what is this drink?" the man pointed to his cup of coffee. "is this the coffee? because i ordered a coffee."
"uh, yes. that's the coffee." i told him, bewildered that he seemed to have forgotten making such a scene about the coffee just minutes earlier.
"just wanted to make sure i wasn't taking someone else's drink!" he said as he placed the cup of coffee in the tray, splashing a bit on his hand in the process.
but this time there were no theatrics and he went on his merry way.

barista rant: LISTEN for your drink! i'm tired of calling a drink out repeatedly, only to have it sit on the bar and grow cold. and by the time you saunter over to the counter to pick it up, you complain that it's not hot enough. and then you want a free drink coupon since you "had to wait" for me to remake your lukewarm drink. pay attention if you want your latte hot!


Anonymous said...

This person couldn't figure out that a single latte just might take a little less time to brew than what, like a gallon of coffee? Who decided to let her out in public?

me said...

oooh. i can't wait to join the work force.

Grumpy Housewife said...

Anonymous, I bet I can tell you who let her out of the house.

Her family. Who she had been annoying ALL DAY LONG, no doubt. They sent her on a bullshit errand (not saying that the Starbucks Travellers are bullshit, but you know what I mean), to get rid of her for a half hour.

If you think they're annoying online? In person they're worse. Especially if they're YOUR family, and YOU have to put up with them and their stupidity.

Joanna said...

Aww, it sounds like that last guy might have been suffering from dementia or alzheimer's--either one could lead to an unexplained emotional response, and forgetfulness afterwards.

ADW said...

People ALWAYS want something for free. My favorite is when they order something (drink or food) and then change their mind about what they wanted in the first place and tell YOU that you got their order wrong. And then they expect to keep the initial order since you would "throw it out anyway." Not on my watch.

I know the difference between an order for a Cosmo and a well vodka and tonic. You just didn't realize there was a price difference of $5.00. Ahole.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the last guy gets my vote for Alzheimer's or the equivalent. My grandma has it, and behaves that way pretty often. If the wife wasn't annoyed when she said the ice was enough, I'd guess she's used to dealing with him. Poor guy - and poor WIFE, too.

Rambling Mom said...

Hey brat,

Just so you know, if I ever happen into your Buc's in order to get a traveller, and if I happen to decide not to phone in the order in advance, then I'll gladly wait to have fresh coffee in the traveller. And while I'm waiting instead of complaining, I'll grab myself a mocha.

And what's with the people complaining that you don't have enough coffee for instant travellers anyway? I mean really are you supposed to make up a few extra gallons of coffee "just in case" and then toss it down the drain.

I suppose -- that would increase the costs and give people something else to complain about.

jp said...

Love the guy who expected you to be more giving since it was a holiday.

Did you ask him what HE was giving away?

Eric said...

discovered the joy of the Traveler while working on Fortune Hunters. The production assistants would show up everymorning with a fresh unit and all the goodies. Truely a good thing. Now I suggest it to all the shows. So much better than waiting for some lame Mr. Coffee to spit out 5 cups of coffee.
I'll gladly wait

Companionable Ills said...

the first guy sounds like an attention-starving drama queen... I feel bad for his wife (then again she may be the one encouraging it)

Beth said...

Sounds like the Easter Bunny skipped a few houses ...

amanda said...

I love your blog, I've gone back to read every article, and while taking forever I'm so glad I did. I'm sorry for every frapp I've ever ordered, and for everytime I've crowded the handoff bar.

You are a great writer and I hope you keep up the blog!

Hopefully my request for ice cubes to cool off my venti drip isn't too annoying.

Lee said...

AHAHA!! I love "Christmas is the time for gift giving.." You are so on the ball brat! Good one.

Brussels said...

Great comeback with the Christmas line!

Anonymous said...

hi brat. just wanted to tell you that i just got a job at Starbucks, and i have to say that reading your blog is a big reason why i decided to apply in the first place. my first day was so much fun, and i want to say thanks for writing your blog and giving everyone a peek behind the green apron.

Monica said...

seriously, i love this blog. that is all.

barista brat said...

anonymous - i can only imagine what she's like in restaurants: "why did that person get their glass of water before i got my baked lasagna?"

me - it's a treat, i tell ya.

grumpy housewife - i can't believe you unleashed your mother-in-law on us!

joanna - you might be right.

adw - yea, i REALLY hate those types.

anonymous - yeah, it makes sense.

rambling mom - exactly. people will never be happy, no matter what we do it seems.

jp - he was giving a whole lotta lip.

eric - yeah, the travellers are super convenient, and honestly as long as the person is patient it's not a bother. but expecting it to appear as soon as they've ordered it is really annoying.

companionable ills - maybe. it was certainly very odd.

beth - rightfully so, it seems!

amanda - thanks for reading! and no, ice cubes in a drip are not annoying - unless you ask for a specific number and inspect each one before we put it in the cup.

lee - thanks!

brussels - thank you!

anonymous - welcome aboard! i'm very happy that you weren't turned off of bux by reading the blog. i really do love my job and i think you will as well!

monica - haha, thanks!