the steve urkel of starbucks

blogger hates me....it really does. it ate yesterday's post so i'll have to start anew.

for the past few months my schedule has been very consistent at bux. this means i normally see the same customers each week and work with the same baristas. occasionally, however, i'll work with a barista that i barely know.
for months i've been hearing complaints about the latest transfer to our store. she was hired (i believe) because she wouldn't need to be trained like a newbie, but on day one it was apparent to everyone that she knew next to nothing about making drinks. she also is compulsively late to her shifts, with each "reason" being more fantastic than the previous one.

"my power went out!" was the excuse she gave for her first bout of tardiness.
"the police blocked off my street and i couldn't leave until they searched my car!" was what we were told the next week.
then the stories got more elaborate:
"my dog was throwing up all night and i had to take him to the emergency hospital. in fact, he might die, i'm not sure, but i'm supposed to make sure he gets his medication every three hours, so can i leave early?"
"oh my god! i accidentally switched phones with my sister and when i set the alarm i didn't realize it was on pm and not on am. that's also why i didn't answer when you called me!"
"my car broke down and the taxi service says they won't come pick me up because i only have a credit card and their only available taxis are cash only. and the bus that comes near my house just changed the schedule so i won't be able to get there for at least another couple hours!"

but her tardiness is not the only reason for complaints. she's loud, annoying, just stands in front of the register, gets in the way of those actually working, and tries to become your new bff within the first five minutes of meeting you. if you correct her, or ask her to do something she squeals "my bad! i'll do better next time!" only to continue in her usual habit of laziness.

so, when i found out i'd be working several hours with her this past weekend, i wasn't that enthused. however, i'm used to dealing with lazy baristas, so i figured it really wouldn't be THAT much more work to deal with her.
how. wrong. was. i.

if it were just the fact that i had to tell her what to do every five minutes, it wouldn't have been that bad - but having to listen to her run her mouth non-stop was really draining. whether she was chatting with the customers, or trying to talk to us baristas, it was physically exhausting to just be around her while she had the mouth runs. and it wasn't that she was just talking to hear herself talk - she definitely wanted an audience who would give her feedback and input.
i'm sorry, but i'm just not that patient and/or compassionate to deal with the issues of someone i hardly know, and really don't like.

"good god, is this what you have to deal with everyday?" i asked superlead after our new annoying partner had left for the day.
"actually, she was tolerable today. usually it's much, much worse."
"maybe it's just because she's young that she's so immature." i tried to reason.
"uh, she's not that young." superlead gave me a look. "she's in her thirties."
"you're friggen' kidding me." i couldn't believe superlead was telling the truth.
"seriously, she's way old enough to know that her behaviour is NOT how you influence people and gain friends."

which brought me to a strange sort of quandary. on the one hand i feel bad for her. socially she is totally inept. it's clear she wants to be liked, and not feel like an outsider, but she is going about it in a way that only alienates her more. which leads to the other hand - she has been on this planet long enough to know that her method of social interaction clearly does NOT work. that forcing herself onto other people is NOT the way you make new friends. and that being lazy and making up dumb excuses certainly isn't going to make her any more popular.

so, i guess i'm just counting myself lucky that i don't have to work with her all that often, and when i do i guess i'll just try to deal. like always.

barista rant: i'm sick of you scammers trying to get things for free, and then threatening my job because i won't comply! so what, you spent thirty dollars on a gift card last week. so what, you claim my manager gave you a free drink because you threw thirty bucks down for that gift card. firstly, i don't believe he gave you a free drink. secondly, no matter how much you bitch, you're not getting a free drink for buying another card. thirdly, i don't care if you call my manager to complain about me and try to get me fired. we don't give away free drinks when you buy a gift card! if you really got a free drink last time, consider yourself lucky and don't threaten to get me in trouble because i'm doing my job!!!


Zoltar Panaflex said...

I have had constant issues with Blogger eating what I type, and instead of blindly trusting it each time, I do a cut and paste of each entry until I am sure it shows up.

Brat, I'm so glad to see you're back. I missed you, and since I'm not working anymore myself (sold at Nordstrom) I miss the *people* every day, how fun/nutty they are.

James UK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James UK said...

Similar here with Blogger... I think what happens is the autosave feature seems to kick in, just as you inadvertantly hit CTRL and A and as you strike the next key, everything disappears, and the very next second, the autosave "saves" the blank draft.

I do a copy and paste into a notepad document every so often now too.

Or, you could get hold of a clipboard utility that stores the latest CTRL+V copy actions, and us that to keep a running back up. I can recommend "Cliptray 1.61" which does exactly what I need.


BeerPup said...

Yep, I've lost posts that way also. So you could either use the cut/paste option, or use the blogger utility where you e-mail your post to your blog and it publishes, and make sure your e-mail is set to save sent copies.

Katie said...

hey barista brat! being a nother barista, i can totally relate and love your blog!
wondering if you read http://147xxxx.tumblr.com ? She's gotten popular around tumblr and twitter and as another barista blogger i thought you'd like it
oh, and is your store safe of the 600 shut down?
much love!

Anonymous said...

Sometime I wonder if you work at my store! I am amazed at the incompetency that runs rampant at SBUX.

Jaui said...

heya brat...!! it's good to be able to see new entries on your blog when I check! and i still love reading about the crazy people over there!

i had a bad bucks experience over in london. It was hot (airconditioning wasn't working), the service was slow and unfriendly and yeah, too many of those 'alternative' drinks.

but your blog has taught me to be tolerant of ocassional bad service at bux, because it just might have been a bad day for them (like, the fact that the airconditioning wasn't working)...

Johnny Yen said...

Not long ago, some co-workers and I were talking about the difference in customers-- how the ones who are the easiest to deal with are generally the best tippers, and the ones with the biggest sense of entitlement are the worst.

A few weeks ago, we had a busy Sunday evening shift at the restaurant, and I saw that the other server on duty was getting busy. I grabbed some of her tickets from the window and started running food. I brought two dinners to a couple that are a notorious pain in the ass and they refused it, saying they'd seen it sit in the window for 20 minutes. Since I had personally seated them about 25 minutes before, and had seen their food put in the window only a couple of minutes before, I was incredulous, but thought it best to sent their server to be sure. We were ready to just redo the order-- our instructions from our boss is not to argue-- just do what it takes to make them happy. As their server discussed with them about what they wanted to do, they got belligerent, yelled at her, the husband told her "F*ck you!" and that they were never coming back. She told them "That would be a real shame."

Happily, we haven't seen them since then. It's nice when people keep their promises.

6th Floor blog said...

'tis why I usually write all my posts in word before posting. Although, I've been getting weird 'title html errors' lately.

Obviously you know your manager best, but I've been hearing a lot of people tell me they've gotten/offered deals for signing up fora gift card, but usually it's "We'll give you a Venti", "Free soy" or something like that.

mellowlee said...

Argh, I hate when Blogger eats posts :O( I hope you don't get very many shifts with this woman. She sounds exhausting!

biggearhead said...

Ah, the sucky coworker! We just had one fly the coop not long ago. The worker wasn't a bad person, friendly and all that - but sucked on the job, and in that "Hey - what the hell happened here...OH...looks like...yep, Bob slacked off again, screwed up, and didn't tell anyone about it, and now we get to clean up a worse mess than if he'd fessed up at that moment."

Goodbye, sucky coworker. I wish you the best, and pray for those who now have to bear the load you are sure to bring upon them.

Anonymous said...

if she truly is in her 30s and is acting like this, she honestly may NOT know that her behavior is inappropriate, for a number of reasons including home culture, affective filtering problems due to a learning disability of some kind, or drug/alcohol abuse...think about it that way for a bit and maybe it'll be easier to tolerate her behavior?
still insanely frustrating to work with tho.

Astatine said...

i do not know you, linked onto steve.blogspot. however, worked closing shift for years. and we both know that doesn't work. seriously, just tell your manager about the daily shitstorm and deal with the day-to-day by having them spend as much time washing dishes as possible or making c.o.d. anything that is busy work to keep them out of your face. they will work themselves out naturally soon enough.

Anonymous said...

love your blog! i recently transfered to a new province - so many new quirks to learn :) i tell every barista i know about this site

Tev said...

Isn't there some way you could put her legs onto a bucket of cement and drown her?