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 :)
IS THIS SOME KIND OF A JOKE? IT SHOULD NOT TAKE YOU OVER A MINUTE TO IDENTIFY A DECAF VENTI NONFAT LATTE
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?”
After 2 years of all of those customers thinking that they know how to do my job better than I do, this is very satisfying.
(Five minutes before this conversation, we ran out of iced grande/venti flat lids, so we had to give out dome lids instead. No joke every customer who got an iced grande/venti drink had asked for a flat lid instead of the one I gave them. I had been nice and smiled saying that I was sorry to inconvenience them SO MUCH by giving them a dome lid. After the 245924th customer asking for a "normal" lid I was pretty sick of explaining that we didn't have flat lids to fit their drink... and that the iced tall lids they're pointing at wouldn't fit either.)
147xxxx:Alright, here's your iced grande iced coffee
Customer:Uhmm... Can I have a flat top?
147xxxx:... I would have given you one but we ran out. We only have iced grande/venti dome lids.
Customer:Oh... (looks at the stack of iced tall flat lids, frowns, and then looks at me) You ran out? what's that?
147xxxx:This? ...THIS is an iced tall lid. It won't fit, but here you can have this lid as well.
“Oooh, we got a beverage bandit up in here this morning”—my coworker referring to this issue while double baring with me this morning. To the woman who took a double venti cafe vanilla frappuccino light instead of the tall misto she ordered: you’re an idiot.
On Monday and Tuesday I worked an eight hour shift with the two dumbest and lamest partners in the store along with these two brand new baristas.
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.
“You know, whenever I get drinks for everyone, they always ask “was the curly haired girl there?” and when I tell them “yeah yeah, she made the drinks,” they go “oh good, she makes the best drinks.”—An awesome customer (triple venti caramel macchiato) talking about her coworkers. Totally made my week :)
“Do you want your whip cream?”—Me on register. I meant to ask if they wanted their receipt. This is what happens when I’m the only one on register and our little starbucks is absolutely slammed for a few hours.
I unfortunately missed the next minute or so because I kept thinking how annoying this must be for starbucks in the czech republic. I mean, when a customer asks for a “chai tea,” we always ask if they want a chai latte and chai tea. A bunch of times they don’t even know what they want even if we describe the difference. Can you imagine what happens when someone asks for a chai in Prague? "a chai? do you want just like a tea - green, black, passion, white - or a chai latte… or a chai tea?"
This Czech lesson is brought to you by the letter Ř because its really difficult for me to say it in a word.
Dear offices, please stop sending the stupidest person you have to get drinks for the whole office.
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.
"Oh, Saturday night? I can't. Yeah, I'm going out to karaoke with my baristas"
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.
Listen up, dude with nice hair and a good tan 365 days out of the year who obviously spends a lot of time at the gym
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
I love that you are super friendly with customers. Its really great that you know their names and go out of your way to make them feel special.
But when you’re double baring with me in the middle of a rush, I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me with the 14 drinks I have and the 9 drink order called out to me instead of drawing stars, hearts, and smiley faces on Vincent’s quad with a splash for two minutes.
“This is your first time in starbucks?! Well well well we had no idea. I’m Thomas. Welcome to starbucks. Nice to meet you too - Thomas. So glad you guys came in here today. This is EXCITING!”—My coworker when a giggly European couple admitted to us that it was their first time in a Starbucks. My coworker is absolutely hilarious. He took of his hat and shook their hands while he introduced himself. I couldn’t stop laughing. When they were leaving, they turned around and said “goodbye Thomas!” So cute.
So yesterday morning at 4:30AM, I’m walking my 2 minute walk to the subway station, and I see a truck from starbucks’s delivery company parked almost right outside of my building. I thought it was kind of odd since there wasn’t a starbucks close by. Well… okay, I suppose there is ALWAYS a starbucks close by, but the truck wasn’t parked right in front of one. As I started to pass the truck, I walked a bit closer to see if the delivery guys were in the truck. They were in there and completely passed out sleeping with their mouths wide open. I thought it was hilarious. I looked at the driver and noticed that it was my favorite delivery guy! Now usually I hate most things about that company, but he’s the only one that’s nice to us and always seems to be working harder than the other guys.
I usually see him near the end of my shift around 10 o’clock, and yesterday I saw him as I’m about to start another shift 6 hours later.
When I passed by him though, I couldn’t help but being so jealous of him. At 4.30 am everyone should be sleeping.
My co worker and I both found your blog and we always wish our customers were more entertaining like yours. We were both wondering if your coworkers know about your blog. Are you ever worried that you’re manager or district manager is going to find it and then fire you? Do customers know about your blog? Love your blog tons and please keep the funny stories coming!!! -Leslie A.K.A.162XXXX
These are all things I’ve definitely given some thought to in the past. And I’m not talking about the entertaining customers.
My customer’s don’t know about my blog. Thank god. Can you imagine? ”I saw what you wrote about me - AND ITS NOT OKAY THAT YOU’RE OUT OF LEMONADE!!!!” When I make my exit in 3 weeks, I’m planning on messaging him on facebook and letting him know. I think he would really appreciate it.
I used to be scared my coworkers would find it and it would be like Harriet the spy and I’d be looking for Rosie O’Donnell for guidance. But then I realized that I don’t really talk badly about my coworkers. I’d be more worried that I’d look like a loser, than a traitor. My coworkers aren’t going to find it - none of them are geeky enough to google anything like starbucks barista or to go on tumblr.
If my old manager found it, I think he’d think it was pretty funny. If my new manager found it, she’d probably passive agressivly hint that I should quit the blog.
If my district manager found it, she would flip. the. fuck. out. I imagine walking into my store for work and having her sitting at a table along side my manager, saying “*my name*… we have to speak to you,” and then finding a bs way to fire me. I thought if this were to happen, I’d say fine. If a company wants to fire me over making us baristas - the face of their company - seem more human, talking about new promotions, and being pretty damn proud of the brand, then fine. I’m fired. DEUCES.
I feel like I’d be able to talk myself out of this situation or at least be able to confidently highlight my positive posts over my how-dumb-can-these-customers-be posts. What can i say - my dad’s a lawyer.
A borrowed partner asking another partner near the pastry case for a Classic Old Fashioned Doughnut.
I couldn’t stop laughing, and I mention this quote basically every time anyone orders a classic old fashioned doughnut. I absolutely love working with this partner because she’s so hilarious. She’s a great barista, but honestly I appreciate her weirdness more than her barista skills. She’ll speak in the monotone voice and sometimes call drinks out by their cup marking initials. Yeah, she’ll say it all deadpan, but she knows how funny she is when she says “ICED GRANDE LITE ICE GEE ARRR TEEE ELLL” in her monotone voice.
Another awesome thing about her is that she works and is good friends with my former coworker - who is equally hilariously weird - before she transfered to a less busy store. My store would love to have her transfer in (and she wanted to as well), but she’s going to Spain to teach English in like 2 months! How cool for her! ¡Viva antigua doughnut!
Everyone told me I’d get used to it, but I just can’t really function at 6 in the morning. I told my manager I hate opening. I sucked it up because we needed someone to open, but I am absolutely miserable and constantly counting down until my shift ends. I figured if other people hate opening and say that they aren’t available to do it, why can’t I? Well, I’m still scheduled to open, and this week I’m opening Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Shooooot me now. Today I was planted on bar 2, and I was just so stupid all morning. I couldn’t get into it like I can in the afternoons. I had to write down drinks when they were yelled down to me from the expediter and help make drinks. I guess it doesn’t sound that complicated, but you have to really be aware of everything going on in the back line from the bar side (i.e. look ahead and see what drinks need what milks and check to see if we have enough milk, cold bev, making sure bar 1 person is all stocked up) to the expediter who sometimes calls out a drink to me and sometimes writes it down. Its noisy! It takes a certain savviness, and when I’ve been up since 4:30 am… I just… I just get absolutely retarded. I’d like to think the lack of flow on the floor wasn’t totally my fault, but ha, idk. I probably messed up a million drinks today, so sorry to those customers - our bad. For those of you who open regularly, I don’t know how you do it.
Sometimes I wish I could take pictures of my regulars without looking like a creepster
I’d really love documentation of these awesome two ladies who come on a daily basis. They’re these two older women, who’s relationship we’re still trying to figure out. At first we thought they were romantic partners, but now we just think they’re partners in crime. Definitely roommates. Perhaps sisters.
They bring in their own mugs and always get decaf coffee. At night we don’t regularly brew decaf, and I dislike telling people they have to wait 4 minutes for their coffee (not as much as I dislike pouring out an untouched batch of coffee). When I tell them that we don’t have decaf ready, they’re always so nice about it and usually make a point to say that they don’t mind waiting because it will be nice and fresh just for them.
Sometimes they come in the morning and one of them gets a plain bagel toasted with butter (no knife!) along with the decafs, but I think they come mostly at night.
One of them has these awesome big blue framed glasses, and she wears her hair in a pony tale. Well most of her hair. She has a small braid on either side of her face that just hang down. I have no idea when or if this hair style was ever popular but I just love it. I’ve never seen her without that look. The other one’s look is less ostentatious, with thin framed glasses and grey short wavy hair.
The other morning while I was doing a slide, the non-braided woman put on a bicycle helmet and said to her friend and myself “well… up, up, and away!” and her friend goes “oh yes!”
Today was kind of stressful. There was a point for maybe 20 minutes or so where we had a constant stream of customers with a new partner and a borrowed on tills and me (of course) on bar. The new partner wasn’t that secure on calling and marking drinks, so I had to double check most of the orders that she called out. The borrowed partner was stressin me out on top of this because she would blindly call out drinks to me without seeing if it was a good time. Like I would be right in the middle of calling and handing out drinks to customers to customers and she’s all iced grande sugar free cinnamon dolce soy light iced latte. When you’re calling a drink out, you have to make sure that the person is ready for you to call it or else you just have to repeat it again or say “you got it?” like a million times. I think we can all agree that this is a time waster.
So I’m in the middle of everything - you know, iced grande unsweetened passion tea lemonade this, iced venti skinny vanilla that - and some of my favorite regulars (a group of guys who work at this music venue) come in. A friendly face in the middle of some craziness can be really calming, so I’m pretty happy to see them.
So I’m making small talk with them while I finish their drinks, and I get my next drink called to me - iced venti vanilla red eye. OH HAY, I know who’s drink that is! Another favorite regular of mine - the fashion student who is a real life Ken doll! so happy to see him too! I had an afternoon full of non regulars and now I get two at the same time! Awesome.
So I turn around to put the shot in the red eye and the borrowed partner calls out a drink to me, but before she can finish “double short with room americano” I hear this Boston accent saying “hay youuu.” It was my favorite regular who’s been coming in for the 2 years I’ve been there, and works at the comedy club around the block. ANOTHER FAVORITE REGULAR.
I say “this is crazy! All of my favorites are here right now!” and “ken” says that it looks like the planets have all aligned for me. It was an awesome 3 or 4 minutes, and I totally lost all concentration for the drinks that came after that (one of my favorite coworkers came to my rescue and marked the next few cups after regularmania). Now that I think about it was kind of weird seeing these guys I know well separately together all standing around the handoff counter.
One of them mentioned me leaving (and if they’d be any staaahbucks in prague EDIT: there’s at least one) and so I had to break the news that I was leaving to the regular that didn’t know about it. Besides my hilarious coworkers, I’m probably going to miss my regulars the most :(
AND I HATE THEM. I walked in the other day and the all five partners on the floor had them on, and they were dealing with only three customers. It looked all kinds of silly. My store really isn’t that big. We don’t really need to shout except in the morning when there’s a lot of noise in our store. How much more like mcdonalds and less like a coffee shop can we go?
It might be my ADD, but I tried to work with them on, and I didn’t last five minutes. My coworker kept saying funny things to me over them so I’d start laughing, and then I would think of something funny to say in retrurn and then I wouldn’t be able to get it out b/c I’d be laughing. This makes me look like a crazy person.
The only reason I like them is because it makes me feel like Madonna. And we don’t have to be right next to each other to talk about a cute customer.
One coworker in particular (the one who got me to try it for the first and only time) LOVES them. He decided to put one on in the afternoon. It was pretty hysterical since no one else was wearing one.
About a week ago we got the best job application I’ve ever seen
Have you ever visited a Starbucks Coofee location? Where? Describe your experience. Yes, everything. What do you like about coffee? Everything Why would you like to work for Starbucks Coffee Company? I’d be fun. Describe a specific situation where you have provided excellent customer service in your most recent position. Why was this effective? (blank.)
Brilliant. She didn’t leave any contact number to call, so we had no excuse but NOT to call her.
To get a job at starbucks you have to be friendly, not an idiot, and be ready to do anything - you won’t be making lattes all day; you might have to clean the bottom of a fridge.
I say you have to not be an idiot because people do really obviously dumb things during the application/interview process that lead me wondering what they’re thinking.
Take your time and fill out every part of the application. It shows that you can follow directions and you know how to read.
Show up a bit early, and whatever you do, DON’T show up late. It shows that you won’t be late. A lot of times if you are late, a partner has to stay longer to cover your spot on the floor. After doing a a 6.30am-2pm no one wants to stay a second longer.
Friendliness is something that I believe can’t be taught, so you kind of have to already have that.
You would think that all of these things are obvious… but people make these mistakes so I GUESS THEY ARENT.
Starbucks was my first job, so I didn’t have any work or coffee experience. Being a starbucks barista is really unlike any other job (its somewhere between regular barista, mcdonalds employee, and pushover), so honestly, I think people are better when they have nothing to compare it to. Because, for the most part, you will work harder than other jobs.
Someone else sent me an email about the interview to be a shift suppervisor. I’m really late (I hope you got the promotion, Stacy from Cali!!), but I thought I should address it.
I can only speak from my expeince being interveiwed with my store manager, another store manager, and my district manager. I’ve learned that they basically want to make sure you can handle customer’s issues the way starbucks wants you to handle them (L.A.T.T.E. skills, “just say yes,” etc), you’re able to communicate with your partners (“what? what? why?”, star skills, etc), and you know all of those starbucks things like the mission statement, guiding principles, green apron skills, you know, those items you once read and then never EVER used again. After my interview I was told that the only thing I had to work on was my green apron skills… not like I had to be more welcoming, more like I had to memorize them better. I made a bullshit poser on printer paper about them, and called it a day.
If there’s an issue - customer/partner, partner/partner, or (and this one’s fun) customer/customer - you’ll be able to step in and confidently deal with it. With a good shift, things run smoothly and the partners feel supported at all times. I can always tell when a good shift is on the floor because they always know what’s going on and what needs to happen. I had a few questions like “what if someone isn’t smiling?” (yes she asked me this) where the ultimate answer was “I’d tell on them.”
A district manager (or at least mine) cares more that their shift is completely by the book and not about using their own judgement - even if it might make more sense.
I also had to prepare a coffee tasting. I did (I think) 3/5 espresso 2/5 verona with apples dipped in caramel and chopped nuts. It was last fall so it was very autumnyyy, and my cheesy district manager loved it. It was impressive. Mixing a few blends and bringing in/making your own food is a lot better than doing a chocolate brownie with verona - amiiiriighh??
Anyway, I’m keeping it short and simple. Any partners want to chime in or anyone else have questions?
“Well it would be nice to know about this BEFORE I ordered my drink. And you know, we’re waiting for someone here.”—
A customer responding to my coworker saying that we were closing. We had to close because water was shooting out of the drains and the water from the drains (i.e. uhm… sewage) was quickly flooding the lobby and blocking every doorway.
SORRY I would have loved to have given you notice sooner, but I didn’t exactly have a heads up that our store was going to be flooded in under two minutes.
Today, the barista at Starbuck’s asked for my name and I told him it was ‘Free’ so that when he called me he would say, “Tall Mocha Frap for Free.” He told me I was clever but I still did not get a free drink. MLIA.
Last night we had this crazy mad scientist lookin homeless person hang out in our lobby.
As my coworker was mopping the lobby, I saw this homeless guy in this awesome outfit circa 1986 just kind of wandering aimlessly around our lobby. He went over to the newspaper stand and swiped an observer. My coworker told him that if he wanted to read the newspaper, he has to pay for it. According to my coworker, the guy said that he wanted to keep his picture in the paper… and then said that he wouldn’t pay for it. My coworker basically said that it wouldn’t fly and calmly took the paper. It was a pretty slow Thursday night, so my other coworker and I just kind of stood there watching and kind of hopping that there’d be a scene. After my coworker put back the Observer, the homeless guy marched back to the newspaper stand and picked back up the paper. My coworker once again told him how he’d have to pay for it. Well the Einstein looking guy, sais FINE - HERE, and awkwardly threw the paper into the mop bucket. My coworker hilariously said “alriiiight, thank you, sir” and picked up the soaked paper. I guess the guy was pissed that my coworker wasn’t more angry because he picked up the mop in its bucket and very awkwardly threw it on the ground and stormed out of the store. The whole scene was kind of ridiculous
today during the morning rush, I was on double-barring with my store manager. In the middle of the crazyness I accidentally put whip cream on an iced mocha that wasn’t suppose to get it. Instead of remaking it, I was lazy (hey, at least I admit it!) and decided to just scoop off the whip cream. As soon as I did so, I realized that my manager would probably notice and think I was lazy/a bad barista.
Then I realized that I’m leaving starbucks in a month, and I honestly don’t give two shits.
I’ve never felt so liberated. Should I start a count down?
There’s this morning regular who gets a venti misto, but is always charged for a coffee. One of the first times I was on a register in the morning, I charged her for a misto and then she corrected me. I clarified her order - 1/2 brewed coffee 1/2 steamed non-fat, and told her that it was a misto. She then called over to another partner saying “you don’t charge me for a misto, just a coffee right?” The partner then looked at me and say “oh yeah, yeah, we just give it to her for the coffee price.” Whatever, its like a 50 cent difference, and I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Its really nice of our partners to do this, but it irks me when its expected.
If I’m expediting the line in the morning, and I ask what she’s getting she goes “Oh, *partner name* knows my drink” and then she’d yell across the store to that partner and said partner (its always one of these two slow girls who don’t understand the concept of time) will stop whatever they’re doing and have a full out conversation where they kiss her ass.
I thought I was the only one who was bothered by how she thinks she owns the place so I’ve never really mentioned it. However, I once I heard another partner complain about her and I was all “I THOUGH I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO THOUGHT THAT ABOUT HER.” I think his exact words were “dumb ho, i don’t care about your drink enough to remember it so someone else can make it. no one cares about your boring life or how you only drink skim with splenda because you lost like a shit load of weight.” Harsh but because it was so unexpected it was truly hilarious. Everyone weirdly kisses her ass, and I was somewhat relieved that not everyone felt like that.
At one point today during our rush, my bar partner and I were caught up on drinks. We were maybe 3 drinks ahead and when customers came over to us we just pointed out which drink was theirs at the hand off. A pretty nice place to be during the rush. We were surprised when we noticed this customer standing at the hand off counter. My coworker - who doesn’t work mornings and therefor doesn’t recognize this “VIP” regular customer - asks what she’s waiting on. She says her drink, and my coworker realizing that we don’t have it asks if she placed her order with the person expediting. The customer says no. My partner says “oh… who rang you up?” The customer says no one did, point to the line and says “I’m going to be late for work. I can’t wait.”
Basically she wanted us to make her drink for free and she didn’t want to wait in line. She didn’t even ask us to make it, or anything. She just told us what she was waiting for and why we didn’t have her order… she just expected us to do it if we saw her. She didn’t say “hey sorry! I’m so in a rush, can you guys please get me the misto I usually get?” or anything nicer. She honestly seemed kind of pissed that she had to wait…for her drink that she didn’t order… because she didn’t even wait in line! Because my partner and I weren’t her morning barista bitches, we kind of told her she had to wait like everyone else and then ignored her.
but uhm… EXCUSE ME?! Who the hell do you think you are?! You think you are too VIP to wait in line? Uhm… John Stewart, Harrison Ford, Shia Labeouf, Molly Shannon, Ross Geller David Schwimmer, Jessica Alba, and so many other celebrities have to wait in line SO YOU DO TOO.
You aren’t Mariah; you don’t get VIP service.
I couldn’t get over this. And she was the only annoying customer all morning.
Having a floor full of people who are good at their job and want to be there makes a huuuuuuuuuuuge difference in the morning.
I was double baring with one of my regular closers who has never worked a morning rush, and we were pretty golden. We had an extra long line to the door all morning, but the drinks never piled up. The most we had at a time was like 5 or 6, which is pretty awesome. More significant than the number of our sales (not that impressive) or the customer count today was how positive and energized everyone was throughout the whole morning. The most difficult thing i had to do this morning was set up the pastry case at 5 am, which was kind of a challenge because we just had SO MANY pastries this morning.
The morning rush floor was full of partners who are regular closers and have never worked the morning before. I like to think, as a closer who has helped train the current closers, that it was because they wanted to fill the floor with awesome and friendly baristas on this promo day. So that put a cool spin on the shift. As closers we are always cleaning and stocking, and the quicker we do it the quicker we get out. So during the calm before the storm we were all moving and trying to find something to do, instead of standing around drinking espresso like what’s usually done. However, there wasn’t really anything to do so everything was EXTRA stocked up and every thing was REALLY clean. It was kind of hilarious.
During my ten, I counted a portion of the pastry coupons from one till and it was a little over 52. By the time 10.30 rolled around, our pastry case was basically empty.
Before i went on my ten, my manager said "You seem tired"
Yeah no shit I’m tired. It’s Monday morning. My last day off was last Monday and my next is this Thursday. Every barista is working 40 or more hours a week. As my shift and I were opening, the phone rings and it’s a partner saying that she cant show up for the shift that’s starting in 15 min because she isn’t “mentally able to come into work.”. Another partner still hasn’t showed up and he was suppose to be here 45 minutes ago. That leaves us with 4 people to handle the morning rush with me on bar. And on top of all of that it’s 7 am
SO YEAH IM A BIT TIRED
“Uhm, I don’t know if you’re new here, but my iced soy latte gets a FLAT lid. Okay? Just hand me the correct lid.”—Little Miss Condescending after I put a dome lid on her drink when we ran out of flat lids.
We ran out of iced grande/venti flat lids today. I wanted to shoot myself.
Last night we noticed that we were running low, but since the order said we were getting some the next morning, we didn’t call stores nearby to see if they could spare a sleeve for us. When I got onto bar and noticed the lack of a certain type of lid in the plexies, I thought I might get a customer or two bothered by the dome lid, but I had no idea that it was going to be every customer.
The majority of them weren’t rude. They would just stare at their drink for a bit and then stare at me until I asked them if there was anything else I could get for them. Then they’d ask for a flat lid instead.
Oh A FLAT LID. you wanted a FLAT LID on your iced grande unsweetened iced coffee with milk! not this round thing that is only used when a drink gets whip cream! MY B
Don’t you think if I had a flat lid I would have given it to you? The dome lids are more obnoxious to put on. As my shift and I discussed, we have never ever put the wrong lid on a cup. And even if we have, wouldn’t we notice before passing it up to the customer?
I had a few people that asked for a flat lid, and then when I told them we were out, they asked me again for a flat lid or clarified what they meant… It was as if they weren’t even listening to what I said in response to their question. So I’d tell them slowly that we were out of iced grande/venti flat lids and only have done lids. Then they would stare they would have this befuddled look on their faces while they went to examine their cup.
Others leaned way over the handoff counter looking at the stacks of lids while I was making other drinks. Then an arm would go over that so called glass shield wall and point to the small stack of iced tall flat lids. ”CAN I HAVE ONE OF THESE?!” You want an iced tall flat lid? sure, sure. I don’t know what the fuck you’re going to do with it since its not going to fit your ICED GRANDE DRINK.
At the end of my shift, I was really tired and didn’t want to hear ONE MORE WORD ABOUT THESE STUPID DOME LIDS, but when I passed up an iced venti soy chai dome lid and all, I heard another request for a flat lid. I told the customer about the sitch, and after leaning way over the hand off counter, they pointed to the stacks of lids “I see one right there…can I have that one?” So I gave the requested lid (an iced tall lid) to her and moved on to the next drink I had to make. ”This doesn’t fit.” I told her AGAIN that we were out of them, and the lid she wanted does not fit the cup of her drink. I really wanted to say NO SHIT IT DOESN’T.
Its not that serious. If you have an issue about having a dome lid instead of a flat lid, you need to really reevaluate your priorities. And seriously - almost every customer that questioned me about my lid choice.