And other things you shouldn’t say to an enraged barista.
Now I’m the first to rage and rant about my coffee shop. We’re not the quirky, individualised independent shop where artists hang out. No sirree bob. We are a small cog in a major conglomeration, and we are here to make money. However, if this blog is anything, it is a fierce defence of the wonderful people who work in this industry. And we take a lot of shit from people.
Like this douchebag, for example.
Old Raggedy Man: I’ll have a cappuccino, love, thank you.
Now, old men calling me love, that’s sweet. I’ll go for that, it makes me think of my grandparents. So I try extra hard on his drink. That cappuccino was a fucking work of art. If there had been a coffee painted on the Sistine Chapel, that would have been it. Fluffy and foamy, and peeping over the rim of the cup, like a freshly risen loaf of bread. Beautiful. So I hand if off, and all is well.
Except I return from loading the dishwasher to the same old man, with a sour expression and a half-full cup of coffee. He’s not calling me ‘love’ now, evidently.
Him: Do you SEE this cappuccino?
Me, with a plummeting heart: Yes, indeed I do, sir!
Him: This is NOT how a cappuccino should be! There’s no coffee in it!
Me: Well, we put one shot of espresso in, would you like it more milky?
Him: MILK! No! You’re not listening to me, there’s no coffee in this! It’s three quarters foam!
Me: Well, that’s what a cappuccino is, sir. Would you like another shot of coffee in it?
Him: I don’t want to pay for more coffee that should be in it anyway!
Me: I’ll give you the extra shot for free, sir.
Him: Its just ridiculous! I’m trying to drink it, and there’s no coffee, just foam and milk.
Me, getting rather fucked off with both how irritating it is to listen to someone whine about something for being the way that it should be, and at my own inability to respond with something other than soothing, accommodating noises: Well, I’m sorry about that, sir. That’s our standard way of making them here.
And then he says something that should never be said to a coffee house barista (and I’m taking some liberties with spellings here for possible legal reasons).
The bastard then says: Well, I don’t have this trouble over at Bosta!
Now, that’s just rude. I try to explain that we have different sizes, and every place is different, but of course, my first thought is Well, fuck off to Bosta then!
This kind of treatment is the equivalent of turning to your girlfriend, pointing at a woman across the room, and saying ‘You know, I’d rather be shagging her, you just happen to be here.’
And really, if you’d rather be with her, why are you here at all? Could it be that your wonderful Bosta baristas have been avoiding your gaze, refusing your calls? Has your wonder woman upped and left, taking her extra espresso shot with her? Because why else are you here? If you’re in such a committed relationship with your coffee shop, walk the extra thirty steps and go there. Leave us be, you foul little man.
Perhaps there’s something in the human psyche that’s always looking for something better, and then reverting to what it knows. Maybe that’s the reason people stay married. Or maybe, just maybe, this man was just one of thousands of idiots I serve every week, and I should get over it.
You know who else should shut up, whilst I’m at it?
Man: Why do you have these little plastic spoons? They don’t have plastic spoons at Cafe Mero. They have real silver ones!
Again, the response is only ever going to be ‘Fuck off there, then!’
Man: Use this (throws a Bosta card at me)
Me: I’m afraid I can’t, sir.
Man: WHY NOT? Why on earth can’t you? It’s very simple!
Me: This is not the coffee shop you are looking for.
(Big Up to all the Star Wars fans who got what I was going for there.)
Man, wandering in like a lost child: Is this the only Bosta Coffee in the area?
Do I expect you to pledge allegiance to our coffee, our branding, our choices on whether to offer you an extra espresso shot or a gluten free brownie? No. But I expect you, once you have made your choice, to shut the fuck up and resign yourself to your fate. Just like marriage. You are, I presume, a smart, independent human being who is capable of changing your life to suit your whims. Well, so am I. So, I repeat, fuck off to the coffee shop of your choice, and please make sure it is not mine.