You know when you’re a high school senior and the last time you do any event no matter how mundane it is becomes significant and you get a bit sentimental over it? Like last day of summer before you’re in college or last home coming parade or last early morning band rehearsal that you hate because its so early or last time that the year book photographers come and everyone skips class all morning saying that they’re in every school club or last stupid pep rally that no one pays attention to or last bull shit study session for that class that no one cares about.
I feel like that with starbucks this week. Thursday was the last morning I’d have to be at the store at 5 am and the last morning rush I’d do. Friday had the last weekday afternoon rush I’d do. Tonight is going to be the last time I make foam for a starbucks cups or those obnoxious vivannos (oh yeah, I’m crying over that) or frappuccinos. And the last time I close down the bar… and do all of those things that I’ve been doing every night for the past two years. Its weird to think about, especially weird to think about how many times I’ve done it.
But right now I gotta go to work. My last day of work.
ps I’ll post something later tonight or tomorrow :)
Yesterday, I was double baring with a new partner. It was maybe his 4th shift on bar, and a few of us have gone over how to mark a cup and call out a drink a few times. I pick up the next drink and asked him how he would call it. It was a decaf venti nonfat latte, which meant the box that was labeled decaf had a big ole X in it, an N in the Milk box, and an L in the drink box. Pretty basic for someone who’s been on bar or calling out drinks on register for four days in a row. Thought it would be an easy one.
He just stares at it while in my head I’m all one mississippi two mississippi three mississippi four mississippi fiv-ITS JUST A DECAF VENTI NONFAT LATTE. So I interrupt his “thinking” and say we’ll take it slowly. I tell him to look at the decaf box and the shots box. When calling out a drink, these go before we call out the drink size. I ask, “do you see anything written in these two boxes?” He opens his mouth like he’s about to say the obvious answer, but nothing comes out. So he’s just standing there with his mouth open. ”OKAY… in the decaf box there’s a big X… what does that tell us?” I get a sound out of him: “uuhhhmmm decaf.” If he wasn’t able to answer this question, I… I don’t know, I was probably just going to give up all hope on this dude.
But I don’t. So I say “aalllright, so we know its a decaf drink… now we say what size it is.” He picks on the cup in his hand, looks at it really hard with squinched eyebrows, and then looks at the stacks of cups for comparison. This isn’t rocket science. After working at starbucks - specifically on bar - for like 32 hours total, I’m asking you to identify the cup in your hand - the largest cup. ”grrra-VENTI” Nice save there, buddy boy.
I tell him that there’s an N in the milk box - what does that mean? He is speechless. What is wrong with this guy? I really am starting to think that he legit can’t read, which would be sad, but you kind of need to be able to read to work here. My other coworker gave me a look at this moment, and I’m sure she was thinking the same thing I was: fuuuck, this guy isn’t going to be good enough.
I’m leaving, the main morning rush bar barista put in her 2 weeks a few days ago, and a lot of us are going back to school within the next two weeks so their hours are cut in half and are taking themselves off mornings. When one of my favorite shifts called attention to the fact that our mornings were going to be difficult to staff the usual 7, my manager commented that we were so lucky to get these 2 new partners just in the nick of time! Uuhm… no. I’d rather work understaffed than have to constantly watching someone to make sure they’re doing things write and not causing me to make a mistake because of them (i.e. marking cups wrong, missing orders).
Anyway, back to the puzzled partner. I tell him the answer (“the N is for nonfat since its THE ONLY MILK THAT STARTS WITH THE LETTER N”) before he can uhm and ah and look at the ceiling for another 5 minutes. By this time, decaf shots have been pulled, nonfat milk steamed, and I’m finishing up the drink. I decide, just for my own enjoyment, to ask what the L stands for in the drink box. ”…LL…LATTE”
I tell him to put a grande/venti hot lid on it, and then tell him to call it out. I say it three times slowly while I point to the markings on the cup before he calls it out: “decaf… venti… nonfat… latte. decaf venti nonfat latte. decaf venti nonfat latte.”
What does he say? “decaf venti…uhm no fat… what is it?”
The new baristas will be good; they’re both eager to learn and are willing to do the cleaning side of our job with no complaints. One of them was double barring with and was great at calling out the drinks correctly. However he smells. The other one is really excited about being there and kept thanking me all night for helping him out. He has a good attitude, but I haven’t been able to really train him on bar since he hasn’t been able to remember what goes into a tall syrup latte (3 pumps of syrup & 1 shot of espresso) … I’ve quizzed him on this every 10 or so minutes and he’s still not getting it.
You know that shift that I can’t stand? Well my friend let me know that the shift said that he’s glad that these two guys were hired so that he can now “kick his feet up.”
…for the past two night I was working with this ass.
The other night he and I got into a little passive aggressive fight. So the coffee timer went off, and when this happens we’re supposed to throw out the coffee and brew a new batch. He looks at the timer for a few seconds him reset the timer instead of dumping out the old coffee. I asked “hey, are you going to re brew the coffee?” He was standing 2 feet away from me and was totally ignoring me. “hey *shift’sname* are you going to re brew the coffee or do you want me to do it?” nothing. “HEY WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE COFFEE?” He then looks at the coffees and then mumbles something to himself about fifteen minutes. So I say “what about fifteen minutes?” and he goes on trying to ignore me. Now, he wasn’t counting money or filling our a values walk or doing anything that he had to really concentrate on; I mean he was just wiping down the grinder with a cloth. He just knew that he was supposed to brew it. He didn’t brew it, and I was calling him out on it. He in turn decides to be a little kid and believes that if he ignores me I’ll go away. “HEY *SHIFT’SNAME* WHAT ABOUT FIFTEEN MINUTES?” So he goes “oh uhm.. yeah… I’m auh just going to wait 15 minutes.” I go “hey, have you ever noticed that you ignore people when you don’t want to answer they’re questions?” haha, and of course he ignores me and its just ridiculous. so I say again “HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED THAT YOU IGNORE PEOPLE WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS? I THINK ITS REALLY FUNNY” and then I go into the back room. and ignore him for the rest of the night.
Listen, he’s been so ridiculously immature for the past 6 months, so I can be a little immature for one or two days.
The other partner I was working with was a barista who’s been with the company for a little more than a month. Everyone (including myself) was making excuses why she just wasn’t getting it, but now I just think she’s kinda dumb… or at least playing dumb so other people can do the work for her. Sometimes if someone corrects her she’ll go “ooooh my god I had no idea!” For example: “what?! ooh my god! I had no idea that we could vacuum the pastry case?!!” On Monday I said something about cleaning the brewers, and she did the whole omg?! you clean the brewers like that?! thing. On Tuesday I noticed that she made the same mistake, and when I said something about it she pulls out that line again saying that she had no idea they were supposed to be cleaned like that… I tried to tell the shift that he should try and coach her, and he then said that the shift didn’t have to train people, and I should do it…
So on Tuesday I’m working with these ALL STARS and wanting to gouge my eyes out. Our afternoon rush died down around 4.30, so we started to pre-close and restock while the new guys did the garbage. However in the middle of this, business picked back up like crazy. The month old barista and the shift were on register and I was on bar. The floor was a complete messss. On my side a cube of frapp base was out that I haven’t been able to put away and lids were randomly put on the side while plexies that were being cleaned. It looked kinda chaotic. especially when I then had 10 or so drinks lined up. I was still being good with customers and making drinks right, but the mess was making me go a little crazy.
While finishing up some drinks, I glance over at the next one I have to make. It looks familiar, but I can’t remember the regular who gets it. So I look over at the bar and then hear someone say hi to me using my name. It was my district manager… and the store looked sooo bad. I think to myself that I should clean up, make it look like I didn’t start to preclose, say that dreadful “let me know how your drink is,” i don’t know… do all of those things that we make sure that we do when the district manager is there. Then I realized that in a few days, I won’t be working for starbucks so I don’t give a fuck about what my district manager thinks about me. Let her see how chaotic things can get and how terrible the shift runs his floor… I. DON’T. CARE.
It was very liberating.
As she was leaving, she told me that she loves how I connect with customers, how we chat while I make drinks and they leave laughing and smiling. She then said, “just don’t forget to say that little tag line ‘let me know how your drink is!!’ They’ll be out the door by the time you finish saying it - they won’t even hear it!”
I just kind of gave her a look and said “uhm.. k” and went back to making drinks.
In the afternoons we sometimes get a few drink orders. I guess at 3 o’clock everyone needs a coffee pick me up, so they send someone on a starbucks run. This person is usually lacking common sense.
Interns, if I ask you a question about a drink don’t stare at me for 5 seconds and then say whatever. I had this one intern who did this with every question I asked. Do you want that iced coffee sweetened? ”…whatever.” What size do you want the triple latte? ”…whatever.” Do you want the whip cream on the mocha frappuccino? ”…whatever.” If you’re wondering, I chose the more expensive options.
Also, don’t remind me seven million times that a particular one is for your boss and must be made right. I make all of my drinks right, thank you very much. Sometimes I have the urge to mess up every drink except for the boss’s where I would write “I made this one correct like how you asked!!! SMIILLEEYYY FACE!!” on the cup.
My favorite thing is when my store is unfortunately out of something that is on the order. like chocolate chip cookies. ”WHAT?! BUT SHE WANTED A… okay uhm… god, I don’t know… OKAY HOLD ON what do you have? m&m? M&M? uhm… are you sure you don’t have anymore? shit… okay…” no chocolate chip cookies = the apocalypse. I find the level of freakoutage hysterical. However, I find the fact that this intern being on the phone for the next 2 minutes talking about a chocolate chip replacement and kinking up the line not so funny.
Not all interns are clueless. I know this because I was an intern, and we all know I’m pretty brill. Once an intern came in with every person’s order written out correctly (like how we would call it) on a blank sticker/label. We were impressed. She was probably a paid intern.
Oh and if you come in alone with a 25 drink order, don’t be pissed when we don’t really have a magical way for you to comfortably carry the drinks. At my store we’ve found a way to secure 12-14 drinks in a bag. I wasn’t the one who figured the perfect configuration out, so I can say without being cocky that I think its pretty brilliant. We cut one of the drink carriers in half and lay a carrier and a half of a carrier down at the bottom of a double bag large shopping bag. If we have to add another layer (more than 6-8 drinks, we put #7 and #8 in between the others), we try to put cups that are the same size at the bottom, and do the full/half carrier combo on top of the other. All hot drinks get splash sticks, and we try to throw in sleeves and straws. If it gets extra heavy (i.e. more venti drinks than tall), we either triple bag it or tell them to make sure to support the bottom of the bag. Its ultra crafty.
Once we had a girl come in and order like 20 drinks. When we prepared her 2 of these bags of drinks she got mad because she thought there was no way that she could carry them by herself. Uhm… then you should have brought another intern.
Ugh. SO WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED: don’t be an idiot.
Yesterday my coworker commented on the Aretha playing in our store saying that it was so his song. One of our favorite customers (the one who reminds me of this mom video and my coworker, and we gave her a starbucks card when she was having her baby since we figured we weren’t going to see her for awhile… I can’t find these posts but whatever) started teasing him “oh god, you so would say that.” I laughed asking him if that’s what he’s going to sing when we finally go to karaoke. The customer is like “you’re going karaoking? when?” We tell her that we have no idea, but we’ve been wanting to go for so long. My coworker says to her “what? you wanna come?” She says “well I’m not working this weekend - are you guys free Saturday?” So my coworker is like this is too brilliant and goes into the back room to see what our schedules are like. We’re both totally off work that night. When we tell her that we don’t know where we’re going yet, she says that she’ll find the place and let us know.
My coworker and I are SO EXCITED. We’re going to go out with our awesome 40 something customer and have a hell of a time.
you are charming no one.
p.s. do you only wear muscle shirts
When we’re really busy, this guy will walk up to the counter - of course not waiting in line, take a free pastry sample, then yell for the person on bar to make him an ice water. Then after he gets his water at the handoff counter, he’ll come back to the registers and take another sample. He’s the kind of person who takes the sample and leaves the cup/container sitting on the counter.
He brings in the same cup and gets a refill. The cup is slowly rotting away and is super raunch. When he wants a flavor, he bitches about the additional cost. Sorry, I’m not going to give it to you for free because you look like you could be a hair model. I don’t think your ass is hot. I just think you’re a cheap ass.
And he acts as if we should be running to him and putting aside whatever we’re doing to get his refill or god damn iced water.
Any part of him that might have once been attractive is diminished by his skeezy attitude that makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little.
This guy just totally gets under my skin. I saw him in line (which was shocking - in line!) trying to pick up these two girls with his hair toss. Eh, he looked like such a Chester Molester. I feel like everyone knew of this guy in high school. His neck was super thick, and he walked around like his arms were significantly bigger than they actually were. And he was super rude to girls, but they were too dumb to say anything besides “OHMYGOD! YOU’RE SOOO MEAN!!” And then when he said something stupid, and the legit kids called him out on it, he said something even more ridiculously stupid. And then 3 years after you graduate, you randomly run into him at a bar and his drunk ass tries to hook up with your best friend from high school and he’s looking pathetic. wait… okay sorry, I don’t know where I got off there…
ANYWAY, the other day I learned something about him that really terrified me.
While I was at register, this like 11 year old kid walks up, rolls his eyes, and says “god, starbucks plays the whitest music.” I took one look at this kid with his shiny brunette hair saying this douchey comment and knew that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. And uhm okay, lauryn hill. Wtf is white music? I don’t know what Dizzy Gillespie would think about you saying this about his version of tin tin deo. I’m pretty sure when I was 11 I was still playing in dirt and not making comments like that. I basically ignored him until he asked for a tall iced water. His dad came in a second later and yelled over at his son to order him an iced venti ice water.
As soon as they left, I turned to my coworker and said how I had no idea that the asshole had a son, and honestly I’m wondering how long ago he found out that he had a son. My coworker said that the dynamic douche duo came in a few days ago. The son apparently said to my coworker “so… if I ordered coffee.. would you actually give it to me… like since I’m a kid? because coffee’s bad for kids… so would you still let me drink it?” Like trying to challenge my coworker with this “moral dilemma.” She was basically like uhm, its not illegal and it should be up to your parent to decide if coffee is okay for you.
Jerk father and punk ass son - what a happy family