Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Will work for coffee...

There was a girl I used to know who was so hopelessly addicted to one of the largest and most recognizable coffee retailers in the world, that she literally could not fathom a morning with out an iced Chai and coffee cake. She would go to any length to make sure this happened. She would scrounge through her change purse; couch cushions and car's trunk. It wasn’t until she was eyeing the kids piggy bank that it dawned on her this might be a problem. With some prodding, she decided to total up her daily habit. She almost fell off the couch when she realized her addiction was adding up to be about the same amount as a car payment. Yikes.

Giving up what was so enjoyable for her was not really appealing, but continuing it seemed ludicrous. So what to do? Then the most obvious solution presented itself to her. If you can’t beat em’, join em’.

And so a barista was born, or I suppose I should say made.

It took a little longer than she had expected to get the hang of it. Man this was kind of hard. There are so many drinks to memorize. Once she had them all straight, she was met with the fact that no one actually orders the drinks the way they are on the menu.There must be a gazillion ways to customize every single drink. As if this wasn’t scary enough, there were regulars that knew she was inexperienced, thus adding on the pressure. The best advice given to her was simply, “What ever you do, don’t cry on the floor”. There were a few days in which she took this advice straight out to her car where she cried throughout her entire lunch break.

She realized the register area was where she really shined. Socializing has always been her forte. (Every single one of her childhood report cards made a statement about how her socializing always seemed to be the top priority for her). So this is where she was planted, every shift, and she couldn’t be happier about it. It wasn’t long before she saw a customer walk in the door and she had their drink waiting for them by the time they got up to pay. She was the customer service extraordinaire. Until this one day…..

These are all actual conversations that took place in ONE day, in ONE shift.

Working for Coffee and Great Benefits Barista: Hi sir, how may I help you today?

Usually Pleasant Older man: I would like I small coffee and an old fashion donut.

WCGBB: Ok, great, I have a tall coffee and a donut, which will be $3.65.

UPOM: I SAID a SMALL coffee and a donut. I will not allow you to bastardize the English language any further.

WCGBB: Ok sir, here is your SMALL coffee and donut. Have a great day.


WCGBB: (over hears customer asking co-worker if there is any fruit cups in the back of the store, and him telling her all we have is out on the floor today)

WCGBB: Hi there, what can I help you with today?

Really Wanting a Fruit Cup Lady: Yes, I would like a coffee of the day and can you go check if you have any fruit cups in the back for me?

WCGBB: Oh I am sorry, but everything we have is out on the floor. We must have sold out of the fruit cups already.

RWFCL: Its 8am, isn’t it a little early to be running out of fruit?

WCGBB: Our shipments aren’t always consistent, and we must not have gotten very many fruit cups, I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.

RWFCL: Whatever, you are just too “inconvenienced” to go back and look for me. (Walked off in a huff).

Why do people always say these things as they are walking away??

WCGBB: Hi sir, what can I do for you?

Don’t Even Have Words For This Guy: Yes I would like a medium cup of coffee of half regular, half decaf.

WCGBB: You got it. (Turning around to pour his coffee, pulling the regular coffee handle…)

DEHWTG: Ummm, excuse me, I WANTED the DECAF on the bottom of the cup!


WCGBB: HI there, what can I do for you this morning?

Really Confused Lady: What is the difference between a Latte and a Cappuccino?

Co-worker: A latte is espresso, steamed milk and topped of with a little bit of foam. A cappuccino is espresso and very little steamed milk but mostly foam.

RCL: Ok, I want a Cappuccino with a lot of milk and just a little foam.

WCGBB: Ummmm, ok.

Did she listen at all to what was just said?

Lady With Small Child: Hi I would like a vanilla latte and my son wants an….umm…let me see…(looks at menu for a while)…a caramel cappuccino.

WCGBB: Are you sure your son wants a cappuccino? Are you sure it’s not a caramel frappaccino?

LWSC: No, he wants a CAPPUCCINO!!

WCGBB: Ok, well most kids don’t like cappuccinos and I am just trying to ensure you are ordering the right drink for him.

LWSC: (Obviously annoyed at any attempts to prove her 6 yr old does not in fact want a cappuccino) Just give him the cappuccino.

I write the cup and send it over to the bar. Three minutes later there is a 6 yr old complaining that he doesn’t like his drink and its not what he wanted.

Told you.

WCGBB: Hi there, what can I do for you today?

You Can’t Possibly Help Me in Any Way Today: Yes, I would like I gift card.

WCGBB: Ok well, I can definitely do that for you, but unfortunately I don’t have any envelopes for the gift cards.

YCPHMAWT: What? Well what am I supposed to do?

WCGBB: I am really sorry, it is two days after Christmas and we ran out and I am not sure when we will be getting more in.

YCPHMAWT: (Looking around, behind the counter, behind her, everywhere) Well can’t you just improvise? Cant you just make one?

WCGBB: Ummm…not really. I’m sorry.

YCPHMAWT: (Threw the card at me) Well I’m not getting this then!

WCGBB: Ok, Have a good day!

Sure, WWGBB could have just run to the nearest CVS and bought her an envelope, but I am pretty sure that is not in the job description.

Kidding of course, no need to call the authorities.

So these are just some of the outlandish stories I have heard. They are quite amusing to me, and I hope to you as well. Even though she has to deal with these people sometimes, she really loves her job there and is thankful for all the positives that come along with it. For every one of these people there are five more that she looks forward to seeing every morning. She has met some really great people on and off the floor, has amazing benefits, and will never again have to think of breaking open the kids piggy to get at that spare change!!

It makes me think twice about ever being rude or impatient when I am met with my own customer service situations. These people work hard for your coffee, and for theirs!



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