working at bux one tends to become jaded when it comes to fussy customers.
usually it's pretty easy to roll with the punches when a customer bitches that their drink isn't hot enough, their muffin not moist enough, or if the aroma of their coffee doesn't "dance enough" on their tongue.
but even though a complaining customer is par for the course, there are times when you come across a person so mad at the world that they leave a lasting impression.
case in point:
yesterday morning my bux was in a state of flux. we were a person short on the floor, had a brand new trainee (don't worry - i have TONS of stories about this newbie to post) and a steady flow of customers that just wouldn't cease.
unfortunately, when we have to train a newbie on bar, it makes a longer wait for our customers.
now, what people might not realize is that we baristas have NO say in what a newbies training schedule will be. it doesn't matter if we tell our managers that putting a newbie on register training during a busy monday morning rush is insane, or if we explain with great detail that teaching a newbie how to make frappuccinos during the hottest part of the day is idiotic - managers will squeeze newbie training in wherever they see fit, even if it makes no logical sense.
so, yesterday morning we baristas had no choice but to follow the 'wise' decision of our manager and train the newest apron-wearing member of our staff on how to work the espresso bar. as you can rightly guess, customers had to wait an unusually long period to claim the drinks they had ordered several minutes before.
doobie newbie (yes, indeed, this guy enjoys his herbs) was placed in the care of my awesomely amazing fellow barista brat. not only did she have the almost impossible task of teaching doobie newbie how to make drinks, she had to appease the horde of upset customers at the same time. honestly, most of the customers left happy, especially since awesomely amazing barista made sure to apologize to every one of them about the long wait, but there was one woman who made it well known that nothing awesomely amazing barista could say could make her happy.
"is mine ready yet?" she hissed at awesomly amazing barista. "i've been waiting forever!"
"yours is up right now," aab informed her and began to apologize for the dely.
"why the hell are you guys so slow?" she growled. "there's no reason why i should have to wait ten minutes for my drink!"
"i fully understand, and you're right," aab answered her sincerely. "it's just that we are training right now and it takes a little longer to make drinks."
"you guys shouldn't be training right now!" the customer raised her voice to a level that made everyone turn and look in her direction. "that's no way to run a business! you should do your training some other time!"
"i totally agree with you, but i have no control over when they schedule training." aab responded in a kind voice.
"this isn't even right!" the customer screeched and shook her drink at aab. "you put too much milk in it! i ordered an iced latte and there is too much milk here!"
"well, i can remake it for you if you'd like - "
"forget it!" the customer shrilled and grabbed her drink. "i'm never coming back here again. i'm going to phone your manager and complain!: she called out as she made her way to the front door.
none of us were surprised when the phone rang and a highly tense woman's voice demanded to speak with the manager. upset that there wasn't a manager around to bitch at, she settled for one of the shift supervisors.
"you guys, that lady was so pissed!" the shift supervisor told aab and i after hanging up the phone. "she complained about the service, the wait, the training and the 'extra' milk in her cup. but she also SPECIFICALLY complained about the 'puerto rican looking fella that probably barely speaks english and stood there like an idiot staring at the cup'."
now, i myself, get frustrated with doobie newbie's inability to move beyond a snail's pace, but her comment was still somewhat shocking.
"and when i asked her if there was anything i could do to fix her experience," he continued, "she just yelled at me. she said, 'i'm just gonna toss my latte, drink my soda and be unhappy!'"
can i just say we will not miss her patronage?
barista rant: please don't plop your baby on the register counter, then walk away. i'm sure you thought that since i was standing right there, i would ensure your baby wouldn't fall to the floor, or start chewing on the paperclip next to her. i'm sure you figured that since you were only 'gonna take a second!' to browse our display shelves, we would have no problem entertaining your little angel. well, guess what - baristas do not babysit. we are not here to keep your kid from injuring herself while you choose between a green or purple commuter mug. be a parent and keep an eye on your own kid!!!