Sunday, November 23, 2008

A friendly message from your neighborhood barista:

-For starters, unless you are in Starbucks, don't order a Venti anything. It just makes you sound like a tool. Which you sort of are if you insist on ordering a Grande Caramel Macchiato at your locally-owned, non-franchised cafe.

-While we're on the topic of Caramel Macchiatos, they're caramel vanilla lattes. From what I've been told, the only distinction is the order that everything's put in the cup. I understand that this is news to quite a few people, and generally I don't judge you for ordering something you like at Starbucks somewhere else, considering that you don't know the difference. This is really just an FYI point.

-Don't assume your barista remembers you. Unless said barista remembers your drink of choice consistently, it's a safe bet that they won't recognize you outside of the coffee shop. Or in the coffee shop, for that matter. A lot of people drink coffee. We can't remember all of you.

-On that note, it is terribly disconcerting when someone continues a conversation with you whilst you are making their coffee beverage that you don't recall starting. Don't blindside us like that, it's just unfair. At least preface the continuation of a conversation with a reminder of what we were talking about originally. Otherwise, we're left flailing in the dark, attempting to not be rude while trying to figure out who the fuck you are and what on earth you're talking about.

-Don't be the regular that we hate. Don't be a snot. Don't be rude to the person that you expect to make your coffee several times a week. Just don't. If you aren't going to tip the baristas at your cafe of choice, at least be polite. It wouldn't hurt to ask our names, or at the very least, ask how we're doing. Fake interest if you can't be sincere about it. I don't feel like I'm asking a lot, just common courtesy towards the people who feed your caffeine addiction.

-It pays off to be a regular that we like. It gets you extras (chocolate in your chai for free, the slightly larger "small" mug), cappucinos made to your precise dryness specifications, and the bigger piece of coffee cake. If you're nice to us, we won't even mind making your obscenely specific beverage (one and a half shot latte with one pump hazelnut and one pump vanilla in a 16 ounce cup, no foam, extra hot, for example).

-Don't try to order while you're on the phone. This should go without saying, and really, it applies to all people in the service industry. Don't motion at the size you want and mouth your order. We are human beings. Unless you want your coffee more than you want to talk to your mom, you don't get coffee. If you insist on ordering while on the phone, I will purposely mess up your drink and/or over-charge you. It's the principle of the thing.

Edit: Don't ask us to make 2% milk if we have non-fat and whole milk. This half and half business is bullshit. You can't taste the difference, even if you think you can. Don't be a pain in the ass. You're just being ridiculous.


Erin, barista/cocktailer/shoe sales said...

Hi. I've worked in the service industry for 20 years, and while I respect your right to rant after a bad day or two, "don't assume we remember you" and "don't ask us for 2% milk?" Really? Suck it up. If these are your biggest irritations at work, I would say you are L.U.C.K.Y. If you don't care for your customers, there are tons of jobs out there were you don't HAVE customers. Maybe you should think about one of those. Seriously. Have a nice day!

Erin said...

where, I meant where.

Sabertooth Screaming Lemur said...

Actually, I thought your post was pretty right on.
Erin, considering you've been in the service industry for that long, maybe you've just become inured to the mindless disregard for the humanity of those who serve them that customers can put us through. I hated my counter job, too, but instead of thinking "oh, i just can't deal with customers", i realized "oh, i like dealing with people, but want them not to treat me like an automaton" and started my own business.
So, I think the post was accurate, and a lot gentler than some others I've seen. Also, taken seriously, it could be helpful to the ignorant!
Seriously. Have a nice day.

Carpe Omnis said...

Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of my regulars, in fact, there are several that I actually look forward to seeing. I have no great complaints about work, I actually quite enjoy my job. All I'm saying here is that even though you remember all the baristas at your coffee shop, chances are, they don't remember you. I'm just offering a heads up here.

Carpe Omnis said...

And it's unnecessary and ridiculous to ask someone to make your latte with half whole milk and half non-fat milk because you want 2%. It just doesn't make sense. Whether you're a regular I like or not, this is silly.