shock and uh

one of the best things about working for bux is interacting with our regular customers. most of them are awesome (not just because they tip well and give us gifts during the holidays) and it really means a lot to know that we baristas have a hand in making their days just a little bit better.
because these regulars are so comfortable with us, they talk quite freely with us about pretty much anything that crosses their minds. often times our conversations are mostly innocuous. but on occasion, our customers will say things that leave us baristas with our mouths agape, wondering if we really heard what we thought we heard.

for instance:

one of our regulars had been absent from our bux for several weeks.
brat: hey matt! where've you been? we haven't seen you for awhile.
matt: hey brat, i just got back from israel.
brat: cool, was it for vacation?
matt: yeah, it was great. you ever been to israel?
brat: no. i have friends who tell me i should, but to be honest i'm kind of nervous.
matt: oh, all that bombing stuff is exaggerated. just make sure you fly el-al when you do go.
brat: yeah, i heard el-al is one of the safest airlines.
matt: it is - because we really know how to smoke out those arab terrorists!
brat: ...........

we also have an elderly man who comes in every afternoon on his rascal scooter. he's really a character, talking to anyone who'll listen. he also uses his scooter as an assault vehicle on anyone who gets in his way. the other day i was on register when he ordered his coffee.
mr. rascal: heya, give me a cup of coffee for here and one of those marble cakes. make sure there's plenty of chocolate on the marble cake, alright?
brat: no problem.
i held up a couple slices for him to inspect before placing the one he wanted into a pastry bag.
brat: here you go.
mr. rascal: i just got back from visiting my brother and sister-in-law.
brat: did you have fun?
mr. rascal: oh yeah, they made sure i got plenty of chocolate while i was there.
brat: that's nice.
mr. rascal: you know - it's true what they say about chocolate.
brat: what, that it's a natural anti-depressant?
mr. rascal: no! what, are you dumb? chocolate makes you horny!
brat: (laughing) uh, o.k.

one of my fellow baristas was at the condiment bar when a regular walked over to put sugar in her coffee.
customer: i love this store, you guys always work so hard and it's so much cleaner than the store down the street.
barista: thanks, we try!
customer: plus, i like the patrons here better.
barista: yeah, we have a pretty good batch of customers.
customer: the other day i was late for work so i just ran into that other starbucks. what a mistake!
barista: really? what happened?
customer: well, you know how that store is crawling with armenians?
barista: uh......
customer: well, there were these two guys in line in front of me that seriously just stepped off the boat.
barista: uh......
customer: they kept asking for 'latte coffees' and the poor barista kept trying to explain the difference between a latte and a coffee, but they just kept ordering 'latte coffees'. so she rang them up for two lattes. i guess that's not what they wanted because when they picked up their drinks, they took a sip, started yelling in armenian and threw their lattes on the floor! i felt so sorry for the baristas working that had to deal with those f.o.b.s!
barista: uh.......

and my personal favorite -
customer: how many shots of espresso can you put into a venti drip?
barista buddy: we can pretty much add as many shots as you'd like.
customer: is five shots too many?
barista buddy: not if you like it very strong.
customer: it's not the flavor i care about. i just need to jumpstart this guy. (he starts pointing to his crotch)
barista buddy: *tries very hard to complete the transaction without looking at the customer's crotch*

barista rant: don't come and complain to me about another customer sitting in "your seat". if you haven't already noticed - there is no assigned seating in our cafe. there are no rsvp signs, and no hierarchy that guarantees you get your favorite chair by the window every time you come to drink your mocha. don't bitch and moan to me, telling me i should have "seen you coming" and let the customer know that they'd have to find another seat. that's not my job, and if having your own personal spot to place your butt is so damn important to you - then go home!


randomgal said...

Hey Barista, this blog is all about starbuck complaints....
Why don't you find a new job, and make this blog about those restaraunts complains?
(I know economy is bad.)

BusBus said...

Randomgal: Yes, this blog is all about starbucks complaints (amongst other things).

Why don't you find a new blog, and make dumb comments on that one?


I have had way too many instances where clients have told me things that were either TMI or WTF.

HAHA about the "that's my seat" thing-I use to work in a fast food joint and I remember seieng this one regular getting visibly agitated because someone was sitting at "his table". Too funny.

Eric said...

Hey Brat,
Nice to see you posting more regularly again.

Zoltar Panaflex said...

Yeah! Brat!

Glad to see a new post! Having worked with *the public* I truly appreciate/completely understand your blog. I had one going about my former work place, but I quit that job to save my sanity.

What random obviously doesn't get is that out of 100's of customers, three or four stick out. It's not the whole job, it's bits of the job.

If simply relating a jaw-dropping comment is 'complaining' than that's all anyone does anymore.

Keep up the complaining!!! You're doing great! Hehehheheee...

Sara said...

Nice to have you posting more regularly!

Keith Kennedy said...

If 5 shots of expresso really works then we could save lots of money on viagra.

Keep us posted!

Meghan said...

Stories like your barista rant never cease to amaze me. I can't begin to understand someone with the mindset that a seat in a food establishment is "theirs." Especially to the extent that they would try to get an employee to kick the other person out of it! What planet to they live on??

eada said...

LMAO @ the rant! Reminds me so much of that movie with Jack Nicholson. At least they don't bring their own cup and spoon :P

ex barista dude said...

this blog makes me laugh everytime. keep up the good work. also, I just read the post about how bitter you feel. customer service steals souls!!! :D

randomgal said...

Bus Bus- At least I'm Not A one Trick Pony! I actually post about different things!

Anonymous said...

i just cam across your blog - love it! i'm a barista at bux too and i've sometimes thought about starting a book about all the crazy stuff that happens. it's quite the job, that's for sure.

biggearhead said...

May I just say, that I live in envy of the excellentosity of so many of the titles to your posts.

Jerraine said...

miss ur posts! glad that u are posting more regularly. I live in singapore and there's starbucks here as well... let's just say... i got my fair share of horror stories (from customer's pt of view).
Like today... i just witnessed how a barista made my caramel machi drink with warm milk instead of steamed milk... and when we asked for a double-blend frap, she gave us a single blend frap and a ugly face when we asked her whether she mind blending it again. there was only a single customer... and that was me who ordered two drinks. sigh.

Moxie said...

Snickering over the guy with the, um, stale biscotti, shall we say?

So glad they moved to free wifi for Bux gift card users. And the Bux near me has added some very nice patio furniture - Mission style wood with cushions.

Manuel said...

regular customers have real entitlement issues eh....

Meghan said...

Hey Brat, is your store going to get a Clover? I had the opportunity to try a cup of Clover-brewed coffee at a coffee expo, and it was good, but I think it was wasted on me. People say it's the best cup of coffee you'll ever taste, but I don't think I could say that. Guess I just don't have the palate for it. Have you been able to try it?

Tanvi said...

Wow! This place is pretty interesting and so must be your job

I wanna work at a Barista someday!

Tanvi said...

Uh....excuse me.....I went through this post all over again
and on reconsideration...
I think I wanna have a cup of coffee at a Barista someday

[I think not 'everyone' can handle customers.So plz can you erase the 'work at barista' thing off your brain? Thank you]

and yea....Nice blog. You Rock!

HD said...

Brat - I love reading your stories. It's amazing what entitlement issues some people have. And what people think is okay to say or do in public... Thanks for making my day brighter when you post!

Chelsea said...

Brat, where have you been? I miss your posts!

mellowlee said...

Hello Brat!! I loved the story about Mr Rascal and the 5 shot jump start heee! People are great!

I posted a pic of a starbucks drinking squirrel who was bothering me on my lunch hour yesterday. That squirrel must have had 5 shots of something I tell ya.

I hope all is well with you!

Anonymous said...

you suck. i hate your non posting. have an espresso and start typing.


Michele said...

Write to us about the damn oatmeal! Please.

Anonymous said...

you are completely incompetent. i'm never coming here again, and i'm going to inform your regional supervisor about this!

KH said...

Barista Brat,

I love your blog! I will definitely be linking to you from my blog.

KH, The Hooters Girl

fading in the sun said...

I miss you, brat! please post more!

claire said...

hilarious, poor you! just stumbled across your blog and am so glad I did -it's like waiter rants with caffeine.

Anonymous said...

where are you now?

Courtney Hope said...

lol. i'm a newbie to the bux employment chain, and am just finishing up my first month. Some days make me want to gouge out my left eye, but all in all, not a horrible existence. i thoroughly enjoy reading your rants... thinking back on them will probably help get me through my early am shift tomorrow.

and 'amen' to the ridiculousness of the oatmeal. sheesh.

jo said...

hey sbux-lady :) r u gonna write about the leadership conference in n'orleans? i am from a store in canada, so i think my manager's perspective was a little different. anyway, just wondered about your thots...

indigo blue said...

True story, a conversation between me and one of my regulars:

me: Hi, how are you today? I haven't seen you in awhile.

customer: Not so good. I've been pretty sick.

me: I'm sorry to hear that. What happened?

customer: Well, it all started with the botched hysterectomy...

me: ::gulp::