tales from the bright side

sometimes, when there's a rash of jerk customers (like the other day), it's tempting to quit. but then there are other days where the customers are all great, or someone makes you laugh so hard that it's totally worth it to wear the green apron.

favorite funny bux stories so far this week:
- a group of rowdy middle grade boys came in and were very disruptive. the were so loud i had to play the "if you can't behave, you'll have to leave" card. meanwhile an employee from the burger shop next to us came in for his drink.
"hey, why did your boss kick us out yesterday?" one of the boys asked the burger shop employee.
"because you guys are loud, obnoxious and messy." he answered with a smile.
"but she can't throw us out just because she doesn't like us!" another boy piped up.
"guys, i know that you know the reason why she kicked you out. all you have to do is be cool and then you can hang out all night long." he told them as they gathered their things to leave my store.
"hey, guys!" the burger employee called them back before they'd walked out. "you see this?" he pointed to the mess on the table and chairs in the aisle. "this is the reason people don't want you in their place of business. now clean all this up and apologize to the starbucks workers for being bad customers."
unbelievably the boys did exactly what they were told - even apologizing to us.
"you want a job here?" i teased the burger employee after the boys had left.
"hell no!" he laughed. "at my store i can kick those snots out any time i want!"

- (this happened at my fellow barista brat's bux) a kid walked into the store and gabbed a root beer from the display case and brought it to the counter. after paying for the soda, and putting the change in the tip jar, he returned the root beer to the display case and started to leave the store.
"hey!" the register partner called out to the kid. "aren't you going to take your soda? you just paid for it!"
"yeah, but i stole one last week and my mom made me come back just to pay for it."

- a tall guy in a suit came in and stood in line, the whole time he was on the phone. when it came is turn to order he put the phone down and asked barista buddy if he remembered him.
"i'm not sure - i'm sorry." barista buddy apologized, thinking he had messed this guy's drink up in the past.
"well, i came in about a month ago and ordered an iced latte, but i left my wallet at the office and you went ahead and gave me the drink and told me i could pay you later."
"oh yeah, ok." barista buddy started to ring the guy up for the latte.
"the rest is for the tip jar." the tall guy said as he handed over a twenty dollar bill. "thanks again for that!" he called out as he left.

- a regular customer came in holding a large pizza box in one hand and a two-liter of coke in the other.
"oh, yay! you brought enough to share!" i teased her as i marked her cup.
"i sure did!" she smiled. "this is for you guys. i left mine in the car." she answered and handed us the pizza and coke. "you guys always make my day, so i figured i could make yours for once!"

partner rant: please don't give out false information to customers. don't tell them that we blend soy drinks, that frappuccino lights are totally calorie free or that all our tea is organic. it doesn't matter that you don't think the customers really care whether you're lying or not. the fact is you're making every other baristas job harder when you give out false information. either learn the real info, or go work someplace else.


Gamestore Girl said...

The good customers are what make the day for me. We don't have customers dropping off pizzas and stuff for us - thought it would be nice ;) But just to be able to talk, joke around and have fun with your regulars is nice. It gets tiring dealing with person after person that has no sense of humor, is bitchy and will never be pleased.

I try to be extra nice whenever I'm out shopping, even if the cashier is tired, disinterested or moody. I know what they're feeling because I'm them at least once at some point during the week. Those days when you just wish all the customers would go away and leave you alone.

Yay for cool customers that make your efforts seem worthwhile.

Andrew said...

Haha, that's pretty darn cool, getting a 20 buck tip. Did you guys leave it in the jar?

Lisa said...

Good customer service deserves good in return. I'm sure it's the little things like this that make the job worthwhile.

mellowlee said...

I loved the good customer stories! The girl with the pizza and pop is the best, what a sweetie!!!

Marcus said...

ah... i like these stories... it kinda lets me know that there is some good humanity left in the world...

the obvious favourite story would be the pizza lady but i think the classic is the kid who's mum forced him to pay for the drink he stole the last time... at least he came back to do it!

and no, the mug hasn't gotten stolen yet - i learnt my lesson and 1) wrote my name on the bottom really big; 2) i don't leave it at the office and carry it around in my oversized backpack... yay!

Sling said...

Some days diamonds,some days rocks...The diamond days are the best!

HB said...

I always try my best to stay on the good customer list. I always smile and tell my baristas to have a good day.

Allan said...

Have a cuppa good karma!

Anonymous said...

haven't been able to access to internet for a long time and i wanna say 'gosh i missed your blog :)

and wow, nice people actually still exist. hope ya get many more diamond days ahead..


barista brat said...

gamestore girl - i'm just like you. i'm always super polite to store clerks.

andrew - of course!

lisa - absolutely!

mellowlee - i thought 'pop' was just an east coast thing. didn't realize canadians called it pop as well!

marcus - yeah, the one with the kid is my favorite as well.

sling - you said it!

hb - you are a barista's dream customer!

allan - thank you kindly!

emmanuelle - glad to see you back!

Ryan Hines said...

ive never had anyone tip me at starbucks more than 5 bucks (which i think is overly generous but its their money) but this one lady comes and does a 5 dollar tip every time she comes... shes really funny too so it makes her even cooler.

But the things that make me happiest when im at starbucks are helping a person try out a drink thats a bit different but you would think they might like based on talking to them and then see them order it every time they come in after that... it makes me feel good. Also is when i get to share all that knowledge that we thought was pointless during training... but turns out you can toss into a conversation and make customers happy and impressed