9.17.2006

barista brat meets barista bitch

every bux has a different personality. that's why loyal customers don't mind driving past three or four other buxs on their way to their favorite one. i personally like the fact that each store attracts a different type of loyal clientele but that doesn't mean a barista can skimp on their everyday duties.

this morning i stopped by a bux that i used to frequent often. there are only a handful of baristas that i know there now (turnover is very high at this bux) but even though i didn't recognize the faces i still expected a certain level of service. when i walked up to the register i wasn't greeted with a "how are you today?" or a "what can i get started for you?" or even a simple "hi there". instead the register partner adjusted her ponytail and said "your drink".

it wasn't even a question. her tone of voice was monotonous and flat and it was evident that her hair took precedence over my drink order.

"hi," i smiled hoping she would become more welcoming when she saw how polite i was. "may i have an iced grande americano?"
"anything else?" she asked as she grabbed a hot cup and started to mark it.
"i'm sorry, i wanted that iced," i informed her as she put the hot cup on the bar to be made.
"yeah - i heard you," she spat before growling, "anything else?"
before i could answer the barista making drinks asked the register partner, "tony's here? i didn't see him walk in."
"i saw him parking so i marked his cup already." she said to the barista before giving me the total.
"may i also have a grande drip with room?" i asked when i had her attention again.
"ugh!" she exhaled loudly, as if i had totally ruined her day by asking for a simple cup of coffee.
before i could give her my partner numbers for my discount, tony walked in and she immediately started chatting with him as she thrusted her hand in my direction so i could place my money in her palm.
by this point i was really ticked off. "i have partner numbers," i interrupted their conversation so i could get my discount.
"hang on, tony." she smiled sweetly at him before frowning at me and demanding, "your numbers".
i gave her my numbers and she was so quick to give me my change that she missed my hand completely and dropped the bills and coins on the counter.
did i get an "i'm sorry" or "oops!"? of course not. she just continued her conversation with tony while i gathered my money.

after waiting five minutes for my americano that never materialized i asked the barista about my drink.
"i never got a cup for that," he said before walking away from the bar and into the backroom.
the register partner was still talking with tony and i didn't feel the slightest bit guilty for being bitchy when i interrupted with a "you never marked my cup, did you?"
"excuse me?" she was giving me attitude.
"iced. grande. americano." i said slowly and clearly.
seeing the barista had left his post she had no choice but to end her conversation with tony so she could make my drink. after carelessly putting the lid on top she pushed my drink to the edge of the counter with so much force that the americano fell over and spilled - liquid running off the countertop and onto the floor.
"you know what?" i was so pissed. "just give me my money back. i don't want the americano and i'm returning the drip."
she gave me a look that could kill before calling out the barista to clean up the mess.
after she gave me my money back i asked her, "does gina still come in at six on mondays?"
the register partner's face went white when she realized i knew her manager. that look alone was worth the price of admission.

customer rant: your pastry case is disgusting. i know it gets busy and there isn't always time to wipe the crumbs clear but three empty trays, smeared icing on the glass and fingerprints all over is not an appetizing way to start the morning. please - take two minutes to tidy up. your customers will thank you.

20 comments:

Sarah said...

I hope you go in and tell Gina how horrible her staff is....

sha said...

I hope you go in and do it too. What a COW!

Ms. K said...

Oh, oh you HAVE to go in and tell Gina what a bitch this girl is, and how bad she sucks.

And then, of course, you must blog it for our entertainment....

Thy said...

SACK HER! : D

i don't always expect people to polite and happy when they've been working hard all day,

but that is just ridiculous.

Freaky Filly said...

maybe you should've "accidently" spilled your drink on her.

mellowlee said...

Hah! I bet the look on her face was worth the price of ten iced americanos :) heehee!

jpdc said...

You should go in while they're BOTH there, that way you can see Barista Bitch's face when you work your magic. Hopefully, she'll cry.

Kiz said...

So... how do you suggest most people deal with an incredibly rude barista? As in, those of us who ordinarily -won't- know the manager. I'd feel like such an ass if I asked for the manager unless there were a major screwup. KF

Anonymous said...

I've never done Starbucks, not a coffee drinker, but I like your stories. It sounds to me like the chain really doesn't have much to offer beyond customer service and atmosphere and if they can't keep that together they're in trouble. It must be hard to attract and keep competent help for almost no money. You get what you pay for...or not.

Beth said...

SO GLAD you nailed her with the "I know your manager" hint!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand people like that. Excuse me... WHAT ARE YOU GETTING PAID FOR???? Not chatting with your cute co-workers! Hope Gina sees the light and fires her butt.

Film Aficionado said...

Like everybody else in this post section, I hope that you make a point of talking to the manager. If she treated you like that, she probably treats countless other customers that way. It is amazing how people can get away with that crap just because so many people don't want to confront them.

By the way, I would venture a guess that the bitchy barrista half-intended to make the drink fall just to piss you off. Classic passive-aggressive behavior.

James said...

Nicely done. I would have just shat on the side of the toilet bowl, but your method is much better.

Benny said...

Brat, if you were Gina, I'd fly out there every Monday at six just to see ya.

If I didn't know any of the managers personally, as a customer I would have calmly asked to speak to the manager on duty. I was at a Ruby Tuesday a few weeks ago, and my veggie burger order was totally effed up by a server who was flirting with a twat at the table behind us. When he finally brought out my plate, among other mess-ups there was what appeared to be a pube on one of my slices of avocado. I calmly asked to speak with the manager. When I saw that the manager was just as bad as our server, I said, "I'M SORRY, BUT THERE IS A FREAKING PUBIC HAIR ON MY AVOCADO. I HATE TO MAKE A SCENE, AND I APOLOGIZED TO OUR SERVER UP FRONT THAT I AM A PICKY, TROUBLESOME CUSTOMER, THINKING HE WOULD ACTUALLY TAKE THE HINT AND WRITE DOWN WHAT I WAS ORDERING. DID HE WRITE DOWN 'ADD PUBES' TO MY ORDER, OR SOMETHING? COULDJA CHECK?"

Yes, I said it all in caps lock. And my mother's face was completely drained of color. I told the manager to just bring me back a whole avocado, uncut. And I'll be damned if he didn't CHARGE me for it, after all.

"Goooood-bye, Ruby Tuesday!"

Ben said...

Great customer service huh ? I always thought American service was supposed to be zillions times better than British. BTW did she have an English accent ?

I had a free Danish at my local coffee shop yesterday from the Manageress. She said it was because I was one of a number of people who come in 3-4 times a week, order a coffee, sit down, drink and eat quietly whilst reading music mags, and then take my cup back to the counter when I leave. It was my "loyalty" bonus. It made my day.

Simple things please simple minds.

First Year said...

I really wish people who have such an obvious lack of personality and people skills would stay the hell out of customer service jobs!

Kiz said...

Yar! There's a scurvy lass; she should be made t' clear out the bilge 'til landfall fer that.

SkippyMom said...

I completely agree with all commentators, but I think first year said it best - if you can't handle it then get out...problem is tho' we would be down to a handful of good people (barista included) to handle all our needs -

Good lord - think of every place that would go out of business if they actually got rid of the "bitches"? hooboy!

barista brat said...

sarah - word on the street is gina already knows.

sha - she truly was!

ms. k - hopefully i'll soon be able to blog about her being fired.

thy v. - yeah, all she needed to do was be polite - that's all!

freaky filly - i'm going to remember that for next time!

mellowlee - it really, really was!

jpdc - you know what? i bet you she IS a crier.

kiz - the sad reality is if a barista doesn't care then there's nothing you can say to make sure they give you good service.

anonymous - this barista knew full well what was expected of her when she got hired. even if she feels she's paid too little that's no excuse to be a complete bitch when she's at work.

beth - and i loved EVERY syllable of it!

anonymous #2 - i have a feeling this barista won't last very long - at least that's what the district rumors are.

bbakon - i think you're right about the passive agressive thing.

james - haha! that made me laugh.

benny - my former awesome assistant manager once ordered food from rubio's while she was on break. not only did they take FOREVER (twenty minutes for a quesadilla!) but when she opened the container there was a pube in her food. after that she never ordered again from "pubio's". that's yet another place where the manager doesn't care.

ben - haha, i have some stories about english service! that's awesome that you were recognized by that manager.

first year - so very true!

kiz - haha! i be forgettin' about thee day o' pirate speak!

skippymom - i think you're right. people will shell out money for good service and they will boycott a place for bad service!

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