5.23.2007

absence makes the brat gripe harder

sorry for the lack of posts!!!
not only have i been racking up the hours at bux, but i've been VERY busy in my non-barista life.
hopefully an extra long tirade today will make up for my tardiness.

gripe #1
- we've had an unusually high number of partners in our district calling out because of sickness. my manager pleaded with me to close six nights in a row (yes, that included the whole weekend) and i (stupidly) complied. really, i don't mind closing. i usually have 1-2 closing shifts a week and as i've stated before i think closers work harder and have more work than the openers or mid-dayers, nevertheless i was geared up for my closing shifts and walked in each afternoon with a positive attitude.
well, at least for three days i did.
by day four i had trouble holding in my annoyance with the morning and mid crews. for the fourth day in a row nothing was prepped for the closers. since i mostly do mid-days i know exactly what needs to be done to prepare the store for the closers, but since i was closing there was no one to ensure good shifts were turned over to me. nothing had been deep cleaned, the pastry case hadn't been turned over, nor had the rtd case been stocked. mind you, for three nights we closers punched out twenty minutes after our scheduled time because we set the openers up for success. i had a discussion with mr. split personality assistant manager, who basically blamed it all on the 'other baristas'.
that night after my close - for the first time in months - i had an anxiety dream about work.
the next day i was prepared to walk into another disaster shift, but much to my surprise i was greeted with cheers from my fellow baristas.
"brat's here!" they all called out when i entered the store.
"yay - i get to work with brat today!" two baristas, who i hadn't worked with in weeks, exclaimed.
i wish i could describe how great it feels to see your co-workers perk up and cheer when you walk into a room. especially after having such a horrid dream about bux.
fortunately for me perky assistant manager was running the mid-shift and turned over an amazingly prepped store to me. i ended up having one of the best shifts ever and had no trouble getting my positive attitude back - which was so necessary because i NEEDED it to carry me through the next night's closing shift.
but the worst part of this experience was having my manager bitch at me about going over in labor.
"brat, you really should have been cutting hours, not staying twenty minutes over!" he chided me.
"well, next time i'll know to do that." i replied sarcastically. "we'll just forgo cleaning and prepping for the openers."
"brat, you should be able to do all your work AND cut hours."
suffice it to say, i was pissed. so when my manager asked me yesterday if i could pick up two shifts this week, i answered with a quick and definitive 'NO'.
i might have made an enemy of my manager, but after my hellish closing stretch, i don't care.

gripe #2
- i've ranted about this before, but it needs to be revisited. what is it with customers that needlessly bug the barista on bar?!? asking for straws, cups of water and sleeves is annoying, but at least it makes sense. bitching to the barista on bar that you're waiting for your ground coffee is stupid. really, do you see a grinder anywhere near the bar?!? also, asking the barista on bar for tissue paper, bags, or what song is playing is equally dumb. and yet there seems to be an insane number of customers who do this. not only that - they all seem to do it when it is quite clear the barista has a number of drinks on the bar and is working their little green apron tails off.
if you asked for a pound of coffee to be ground - then go bug the person who GROUND the coffee!
if you bought a mug and want a bag - then go ask the person who rang you up for the damn mug for a bag!
let the barista on bar do their job and make the twenty drinks they have in front of them, ok?

gripe #3
- in my bux we have 23 open syrups at any given time. a handful of them are duplicates for the cold beverage station, but still - 23 effin' syrups!?! what the hell!
bux just introduced new drinks with our new orange syrup. now, at one time we had valencia syrup that we used for iced teas and for valencia mochas (a drink that almost no one ordered), but now it has been replaced with a sickly sweet, fluorescent colored liquid that hasn't even a hint of natural flavors.
of course that doesn't matter to the customers who live for even more options to add to their already high-maintenance beverages. the thing bux doesn't seem to realize is that we don't gain any NEW customers when we add new drinks to the menu. instead we get regulars who switch their drink for a few weeks before returning to their old standard.
why is it that baristas know this, but the head honchos in seattle haven't figured it out yet?
btw, corporate - our stocks have (yet again) dropped. guess the new orange syrup wasn't the success you though it would be, eh?

partner rant: don't reward jerk customers! seriously! mr. whim came in again and of course was up to his old tricks. it's one thing to remake a drink for the jerk, but don't give him two free drink coupons for 'his trouble'. you know he's full of bull, so why give him a lucrative reason to complain? now he's going to demand a free drink coupon every time he comes in and makes up a reason why his drink wasn't right. please, save the free coupons for customers who deserve them, not for the jerks with attitude.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sheesh I was in withdrawal, brat! I'm glad you're ok, missed you. Hate that your work can be so stressful, but happy to see you back, I was positively mopey!

Shari

Anonymous said...

absence makes the brat gripe harder

This alone was worth the long wait between posts!

Regarding Mr. Whim, everyone at your location needs to get on the same page with these kinds of people...where I work (not Starbucks, but still dealing with "the public"), once we're onto a scammer, we all agree to make their every visit so unrewarding that they eventually go away. "Attitude" gets you exactly nowhere in my business, as these losers quickly learn. Sometimes it even gets you banned, if you try hard enough!

Charlotte said...

I'm glad to see you're still alive. :)
Your venting more than made up for the lack of posts!

Alli said...

God, I miss the valencia mochas :(

Blame Zoolander and the "ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCINO!!!" but ... yummmm.

Scott Jones said...

Glad to see you're back, sucks that you got stuck with that many closing shifts. I just got back from college and am working at my bux once again.

So many people have been shifted around in my district that I only know 10 of the partners here, the rest are all new!

Oh well...it was good to see a new post even if it wasn't happy. Cheer up Brat!

mellowlee said...

Im so glad to see you back. Sorry you had such a crap week. As soon as I saw the Orange flavoured drinks at my bux, I thought of you. Are these syrups limited time only? or are you stuck with em?

Ryan Hines said...

love the new post...

The worst part of orange mocha fraps is the terrible recreations of zoolander that people perform when they get to me... at first i didnt get it now im like lemmie guess orange mocha frap

Marie said...

I missed you brat. After reading all of this.. I do not let my SO complain to/about baristas unless it is justified (ie - wrong drink) I promise I will never ever let anyone be rude/snotty or a bad customer to a barista within earshot.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brat!

Let me ask you something.

Do you have a problem at your store with partners (both at your store and at others) not charging for extras such as added syrups, caramel sauce, heavy whipping cream added to drinks, and other stuff.... meaning when you are on register and ring up the drink correctly the customer gets all pissy because their drink is now a wallet-breaking sixty-three cents more than what they paid before?

I've been having this problem a lot lately and it's starting to get to me. I'm really tired of looking like the bad guy and that I don't know what I'm doing.... when in reality I'm the one doing things correctly?

Was just wondering if you had the same issue.

Schlatko

Manuel said...

My girlfriend has apart time job in a coffee shop in Belfast and her week was like your too. Th manager walked out so she was asked to cover her shifts, which she did as the owners were off on their holidays. But she is whacked now.

Good to see you back.

notbubbly said...

Ah! I complately forgot about the anxiety dreams! It has been almost a year since I ended my 3 year stint with the Bucks and for the entire first year I had a lot of dreams. especially during naps post open or after closing. I hated those!

Johnny Yen said...

Welcome back-- you were missed!

What a friggin' idiot-- he bitches at you over 20 minutes, then wants to add another 16 hours or so to your schedule?

RE rewarding jerk customers-- we call that "feeding the bears" around here. You feed them once, and they'll come back for sure.

Gail said...

I actually always ordered the Valencia Mocha. I loved loved loved that drink. :)

Grumpy Housewife said...

Brat! Glad to see you!

I'm sorry you ended up closing for six nights in a row, after day shifters who can't be bothered to clean and stock properly. See, that always annoys me, when people refuse to do their job correctly. Look, it's not that much harder, and it makes everyone's life easier, so why not just suck it up? Oh, because you might go ten minutes longer before you get to LEAVE?

Yes, this is the attitude I used to run in to.

Mr. Whim needs to be shut down permanently. He's going to be one of those assholes who goes into every Bux and expects to be catered to because he got free drink coupons once from you all. Why the other partners can't figure this out is beyond me. People like that are why places like Wal Mart and Target have stricter return policies now.

I hope you don't get sick with whatever everyone else is coming down with. I am in the midst of a sinus infection (ANOTHER one, the second in three months, too close together, ack!), in MAY, fercrissakes. I'm hoping you don't get what they have, or what I have, or hell, pretty much anything. I wouldn't wish this kind of misery on anyone but a select few people. My ex in-laws come to mind.

Kore said...

I saw that orange crap on the menu at my Starbucks and it totally made my gorge rise. :X

Benny said...

Brat. I've missed you, too!

I actually TRIED the orange mocha frappuschmuko today. You know what it tasted like? Orange Popsicle melted into a weak Wendy's Frosty.

And I soooooooo wanted to fall in love. Sigh.

xoxo- Benny

me said...

i make it easyy....
i just order plain black coffee and add in my own stuff. it's easy.

although most people gawk at the 15 year old holding a mug of pure black coffee.

Marni said...

Missed you so much! Glad you're back...

Moxie said...

Good to see ya, Brat! I nearly cursed out a barista at a Chicago Bux for almost making a soy Frap for the customer ahead of me. "You're screwing it up for all the other Bux if you let this customer believe they can get a soy Frappy!" I screamed in my head. Dorks.

Haven't tried the orange cream Frappy, but I did have some orange passion iced tea in Chi-town. It tastes like Kool-Aid. It's good, but I feel slightly confused by it.

SkippyMom said...

Absolutely MISSED...glad you are back! Sorry work has been suckier than usual...don't you just love the managers? Uh, can you work six [SIX!?] closings in a row, but don't for goodness sakes pull OT? What exactly would they like you to do...work gratis? Oh, yeah...prolly' the do...hee..way to keep to your convictions tho'...and refuse the extra/extra shifts...you need a break...

But not from us...nooooo...we love you....:D

Hang in there and have a great weekend!

Hugs!

delect said...

Hey Brat, new reader here.

I need some help. I go to a really busy bucks near work and I am all about quick order, quick pay, quick tip, patient waiting. I need to change my drink, they are making it too sweet, so.. in starbonics...how do i order a grande americano with a shot of vanilla syrup and some non fat foam on top? Help please.. thanks.

Twentysomething Female said...

Hi Barista brat, love your site so I've just added a link to your blog from mine (http://showmetheliver.blogspot.com/).

I worked for the 'bux for 2.5 years in Canada and I loved and hated many moments of it... but mostly loved it.
I like reading your blog b/c I had so many similar experiences, and it reminds me of what it was like to work there... I probably wouldn't have quit if I hadn't moved to the UK for school!

Take care :)

Rambling Mom said...

If I send you this link, I'm talking about you in front of your face (if I don't, I'm talking about you behind your back)

my blog post

Melissa said...

Brat- Love starbucks. Yummy. I always get an 8 pump Venti Chai Latte w/ no water.
But, i have a question- Those Banana Dolce Coffee Cakes; do you get them whole sale? And if so, from where? I have been trying to get the recipe but to no avail.... What company makes them???

Thanks!

Pop-Punk Junkie said...

Brat - I just discovered your blog via Naked Women And Beer, and I've enjoyed browsing your archives over the last few days. I work in retail, so I can feel your pain with a lot of these customers! I'm going to add your blog to my blogroll if that's cool with you!

Lorraine said...

Hey, Brat, just stopping by for a tall drip, no room.

Marcus said...

yay to brat being back!

but also glad to know that you're non-bucks life was picking up too!

Christine Fletcher said...

The valencia mocha was so weird, I was compelled to drink it. It was something of a relief when that drink finally disappeared!

Great post, brat.

Sling said...

Tag!..Hahahah.. :)

Mrs. Qball said...

I miss you, are you ok?

Anonymous said...

more absences...hmmmm.... :(

more cowbell said...

The valencia syrup -- isn't that they used to use for the Passion Tea Lemonade deal? That was so good. When they switched to the "new" syrup, the baristas would always make it with the Valencia if you asked. But now the Valencia is just gone ...

Bastards.

Anonymous said...

I hate the orange drinks! Their god awful. Lately the stuff Sbux has been coming out with have been major flops. That includes the new black apron coffee which tasted like acid. yck.. i love your posts by the way. I'm glad I know there are other people at Sbux that feel the same way i do. =)
-ArbPokerStud

Valerie said...

Just wanted to let you know I stumbled upon your blog and have been reading a bunch of it. It's awesome. I love it. I'm a big Starbucks fan, so it's cool to read what goes through the mind of a Barista. Thanks for being thoroughly educational and entertaining. I will be even nicer to the partners at my local bux, than I already am.

mellowlee said...

Hey brat! I hope all is well with you. Take care. Miss you! Mel

Anonymous said...

Where's the brat at?

Anonymous said...

i think she gave up blogging

Farm Fresh Waitress said...

Boo, I liked this blog. Is it officially dead, or just defacto dead?

slskenyon said...

I always enjoyed a conversation with the manager who, in ten words or less, defeats their own argument. It calls into question the validity of their being managers in the first place. Yeah, and that orange syrup? No shocker that one took a nose dive fast.

SkippyMom said...

Um, Brat...do you need bail money? 'Cause you know when I was married to my ex I became totally ace at getting him outta jail...so, if, y'know - you finally took out one of the customers I would SO come bail you out...and then I could hide you in VA! hee....

Seriously...we hope you are okay.
Take care and let us know if you need anything, 'kay?

Hugs

Anonymous said...

I miss the brat :(

today is 6/13 :sobs

Anonymous said...

Jonesin' for ya, Brat...

Love, Shari Ann

huckleberry said...

Every evening, I go to My Favorites and click on baristabrat hoping to see another hearfelt and witty post by my favorite blogger. If you've decided to stop, thanks for the entertainment and insight you've shared. You don't owe your readers anything, of course, but could you give a quick update on how things are? In any case, please know that you are missed.

Moxie & Spice said...

brat where are you? it has been forever since we've had a new post!

barista brat said...

i'm sorry everyone!!!!

i promise - next month i should return to blogging more regularly!

and for those that asked questions in this comment box - i will respond to them in the next post.

Gardenwife said...

Hey, Brat - did my comments get to you? I've left two or three, but they're not showing up on your blog.