Making your latte, working with the motto "just say yes," dealing with the hobos, the clueless, the regulars, and amazing(ly dumb) customers. I'm your starbucks barista.

Aug 19

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.

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