absence makes the brat gripe harder

sorry for the lack of posts!!!
not only have i been racking up the hours at bux, but i've been VERY busy in my non-barista life.
hopefully an extra long tirade today will make up for my tardiness.

gripe #1
- we've had an unusually high number of partners in our district calling out because of sickness. my manager pleaded with me to close six nights in a row (yes, that included the whole weekend) and i (stupidly) complied. really, i don't mind closing. i usually have 1-2 closing shifts a week and as i've stated before i think closers work harder and have more work than the openers or mid-dayers, nevertheless i was geared up for my closing shifts and walked in each afternoon with a positive attitude.
well, at least for three days i did.
by day four i had trouble holding in my annoyance with the morning and mid crews. for the fourth day in a row nothing was prepped for the closers. since i mostly do mid-days i know exactly what needs to be done to prepare the store for the closers, but since i was closing there was no one to ensure good shifts were turned over to me. nothing had been deep cleaned, the pastry case hadn't been turned over, nor had the rtd case been stocked. mind you, for three nights we closers punched out twenty minutes after our scheduled time because we set the openers up for success. i had a discussion with mr. split personality assistant manager, who basically blamed it all on the 'other baristas'.
that night after my close - for the first time in months - i had an anxiety dream about work.
the next day i was prepared to walk into another disaster shift, but much to my surprise i was greeted with cheers from my fellow baristas.
"brat's here!" they all called out when i entered the store.
"yay - i get to work with brat today!" two baristas, who i hadn't worked with in weeks, exclaimed.
i wish i could describe how great it feels to see your co-workers perk up and cheer when you walk into a room. especially after having such a horrid dream about bux.
fortunately for me perky assistant manager was running the mid-shift and turned over an amazingly prepped store to me. i ended up having one of the best shifts ever and had no trouble getting my positive attitude back - which was so necessary because i NEEDED it to carry me through the next night's closing shift.
but the worst part of this experience was having my manager bitch at me about going over in labor.
"brat, you really should have been cutting hours, not staying twenty minutes over!" he chided me.
"well, next time i'll know to do that." i replied sarcastically. "we'll just forgo cleaning and prepping for the openers."
"brat, you should be able to do all your work AND cut hours."
suffice it to say, i was pissed. so when my manager asked me yesterday if i could pick up two shifts this week, i answered with a quick and definitive 'NO'.
i might have made an enemy of my manager, but after my hellish closing stretch, i don't care.

gripe #2
- i've ranted about this before, but it needs to be revisited. what is it with customers that needlessly bug the barista on bar?!? asking for straws, cups of water and sleeves is annoying, but at least it makes sense. bitching to the barista on bar that you're waiting for your ground coffee is stupid. really, do you see a grinder anywhere near the bar?!? also, asking the barista on bar for tissue paper, bags, or what song is playing is equally dumb. and yet there seems to be an insane number of customers who do this. not only that - they all seem to do it when it is quite clear the barista has a number of drinks on the bar and is working their little green apron tails off.
if you asked for a pound of coffee to be ground - then go bug the person who GROUND the coffee!
if you bought a mug and want a bag - then go ask the person who rang you up for the damn mug for a bag!
let the barista on bar do their job and make the twenty drinks they have in front of them, ok?

gripe #3
- in my bux we have 23 open syrups at any given time. a handful of them are duplicates for the cold beverage station, but still - 23 effin' syrups!?! what the hell!
bux just introduced new drinks with our new orange syrup. now, at one time we had valencia syrup that we used for iced teas and for valencia mochas (a drink that almost no one ordered), but now it has been replaced with a sickly sweet, fluorescent colored liquid that hasn't even a hint of natural flavors.
of course that doesn't matter to the customers who live for even more options to add to their already high-maintenance beverages. the thing bux doesn't seem to realize is that we don't gain any NEW customers when we add new drinks to the menu. instead we get regulars who switch their drink for a few weeks before returning to their old standard.
why is it that baristas know this, but the head honchos in seattle haven't figured it out yet?
btw, corporate - our stocks have (yet again) dropped. guess the new orange syrup wasn't the success you though it would be, eh?

partner rant: don't reward jerk customers! seriously! mr. whim came in again and of course was up to his old tricks. it's one thing to remake a drink for the jerk, but don't give him two free drink coupons for 'his trouble'. you know he's full of bull, so why give him a lucrative reason to complain? now he's going to demand a free drink coupon every time he comes in and makes up a reason why his drink wasn't right. please, save the free coupons for customers who deserve them, not for the jerks with attitude.


pick a card - any card

i've posted before about scammers with fake money, fake coupons, fake gift certificates and fake receipts.
this morning, however, i was shocked when a customer handed me a fake partner card.

for those of you who might not know, each barista is issued a card that has their name and partner number on it. it has a magnetic strip, just like the gift cards (in fact, partners can use their partner card as a debit card if they so wish) and is supposed to be swiped every time a barista wants to use their partner discount.
most bux used to be pretty lenient when it came to the partner discount: so long as someone rattled off their partner number and their name, they could get their 30% off. of course partners helped their family and friends memorize their number so they too could partake of the discount, which is why bux has cracked down on partner discounts. now policy states that a partner must bring in their company issued partner card, as well as a valid id, if they want their 30% off.

so this morning a customer came in and ordered three drinks, as well as three pastries. when i gave him the total he responded with an "i'm a partner" and handed me his 'partner card'.

"so you have money left on this?" i asked him as i looked over the card for store credit that he'd handed me.
"that's my partner card!" he said in a huffy tone.

for a second i was perplexed, because really i didn't think anyone would be so stupid to think that writing random digits on a card that clearly states 'store credit' would fool a bux barista.
the customer was getting visibly upset with me but again i asked him if there was store credit left on the card.

"i told you already - that's my damn partner card!" he growled.
"really, you're a partner?" i asked incredulously. "what store do you work at?"
"none of your business!" was his mature response.
"well, how many pumps of vanilla syrup go into a venti vanilla bean frappuccino?"
i knew that if he really was a partner he'd know it was a trick question since vanilla bean frappuccinos use powder, and not syrup.
"five." he answered solidly.
"nope." i smirked and again repeated the total for his order.
"you're a bitch!" he spat and snatched his 'partner card' from out of my hands before storming out of my bux.

sadly his scam, bad as it is, will probably fool a barista at a different bux.

barista rant: don't throw a hissy because i wouldn't steam your soy milk to 200 degrees. when i was a newbie barista i once made the mistake of going against policy and attempted to steam milk to that temperature. i ended up with burns on my hand - a painful way to discover why bux puts limits on the temperatures we steam to. don't tell me that the other baristas do it, or that you have a medical condition that necessitates your soy milk to be boiled before you consume it. i will not put myself in harm's way ever again for a customer's whim, so if you need your beverage scalded, i suggest you buy some heavy duty gloves because you'll have to do it yourself!


(re)make up your mind

i’ve ranted before about customers who hold up the line while they spend twenty minutes figuring out whatever it is they want to order. what’s worse is when they decide what they ordered isn’t what they really wanted after all.
this morning a woman asked the register partner to describe every drink on the menu. and when she’d finally narrowed down her choices she wanted a sample of each of them “so i can be sure i like what I’m ordering!”.

she decided on a grande soy mocha (after trying it with whole, nonfat, percent and organic milk). i made her drink in record time (so that she’d finally leave our store) and after two sips she decided she wanted something else.

“i don’t think this is right.” she wrinkled her nose and pushed the drink back towards me.
“you ordered a grande soy mocha, yeah?” i asked her – a bit defensively since i’d been the one to make the samples for her.
“yes, but i don’t think i like it. i think i want to try it with white mocha instead.”

i wasn’t thrilled about remaking the drink for her, but i figured the quicker she got it the quicker she would leave. so after expediting her soy white mocha i bid her a good day.

“excuse me, but i don’t think i like this.” she said after another two sips.
“what’s wrong with it?” i asked, pissed because i knew she was going to want me to remake it yet again.
“i think i want it iced instead. it’s so hot out there today!” she said with a smile, as if that would make everything better.

so i made her wait until i finished the three drinks i already had on bar, which ended up being a good thing because right as i pulled the shots for her new drink she informed me that she wanted it blended instead. i didn’t take the time to explain that we can’t blend soy drinks. instead i threw together a frappuccino and slid it to her as soon as it was done.

“thank y-”
“bye.” i interrupted her and went back to making drinks.

before she left our store she turned around and began to say something to me, but i shot her a look that let her know she wasn’t going to get another remake. finally she left and i said a prayer to the bean gods so she’ll never come back to our bux again.

partner rant: don’t get upset if i remind you how to make a drink. don’t yell at a newbie because she told you to reset the timers every time you brew coffee. and don’t bad mouth the manager because he asked you to come to work in proper dress code. if you can’t handle the job then you should find another one.