7.26.2007

we used to be friends (a long time ago)

one of the great things about working for bux is making friends with (most) your fellow partners. i am still buddies with many people from my old bux, and am very close to several of the baristas at my current bux.
sometimes, though, a person you thought was a friend can turn out to be a real jerk.

we have a barista at my store who has always been friendly with everyone. in fact, every partner in the store (managers included) has always said "that guy is so cool!" whenever his name is brought up in conversation. unfortunately his name has been brought up quite often lately.

when this partner started slacking on his barista duties, the rest of us were quick to give him a break - after all, working at bux is very labor intensive and everyone has off days. but when it became clear that he had given up caring about cleanliness, speed of service, and punctuality, the new store mantra became "yeah, he's cool, but I hate working with him".

i felt more like a babysitter than a barista whenever we were on the same shift.

"hey guy, can you remember to windex the inside and outside of the pastry case when you're cleaning it?" i asked after noticing the plethora of fingerprints on the glass.
"oh yeah, sorry." he smiled back at me. "i was about to do that."
"we have to sanitize ALL the mats." i told him plainly when he asked if it was okay to clean only the ones that 'looked dirty'.
"haha, ok." he laughed. "just thought we might be able to clock out a little early - that's all."
"hey guy, don't forget to empty the trashcans in the lobby." i had to remind him when he'd told me he'd finished all his tasks for the night. "and you still haven't windexed the outside of the pastry case."
"oh, my bad!" he smiled again before complying.

i decided to have an informal chat with him - letting him know that EVERYONE had noticed his performance was slipping, and that it was frustrating since we all knew he was fully capable of doing his job correctly. he apologized and promised to work harder on his next shifts - and he actually did improve, for about a week.

"hey brat, i don't feel like going to my other job today." he told me one morning during a crazy rush. "i'm too tired after working here, so i think i'm just gonna call in sick." he chuckled.
"please tell me you're joking." i responded, hoping he really wasn't considering screwing his other job over.
"it's boring there - all i do is stand around," he sighed. "they won't miss me anyway."

so three days later i was quite upset when i'd heard he called my manager ten minutes before his shift was supposed to start, claiming he had food poisoning. especially since he'd been trying to get that shift covered so he could go to a concert. over the next week i'd heard complaints about him from every barista i worked with.

"he says he's the fastest barista, but that's because he doesn't give a shit about standards anymore!"
"we were left with only two people during the rush because his sister needed his car 'for an emergency'. yeah right."
"he called in on sunday and said he had to take his mother to the airport, but when we phoned his house his mother said he was supposed to be at work!"

the last straw for this barista brat came two days ago.
"aw crud, brat! do you see who we're working with tomorrow?" he asked while looking over the schedule.
when i found out doobie newbie would be with us for most our shift, i looked at the slacking barista and said VERY clearly, "don't even think about flaking out on me tomorrow."
"oh, i wouldn't do that to you!" he smiled. "it's just gonna suck because i'm gonna have to work so much harder!"

although pissed, i was not surprised when i walked into work the next day and found out that he was a no call/no show for his shift. actually - he did call.
he called hours earlier to verify the start time of his shift, and then never bothered to show. he didn't answer his phone and didn't return any of our calls, either.

today i was informed that he made an appearance in our bux this morning - claiming the reason he didn't show up for his shift was because he had to take his cousin to the hospital, and he didn't have his phone to call us and let us know.
yeah, hospitals are notorious for not having any phones, right?

i really, really, REALLY hope my manager fires this barista. yeah, it sucks when a barista isn't pulling their weight, but when they totally disrespect their fellow partners by not even showing up (and then creating the lamest excuses on the planet) repeatedly, then it's time to hang up the green apron and call it a day.

the worst part is he used to be so cool. he was fun to work with, and generally a great guy to be around. if he'd always been a jerk, a slacker and a no-show, then it wouldn't be so frustrating, or feel so disrespectful. i don't know of any barista who thinks he should be able to keep his job (not that it appears he even wants it), and i hope that he's asked to leave before he has the chance to bail on his other shifts.

barista rant: please listen to the words that come out of my mouth. if i ask you 'what size?' don't sigh heavily, roll your eyes and spit 'COLD!'. don't repeat the phrase 'i want it COLD. COLD!' when i again ask you 'WHAT SIZE?'. don't look at my barista buddy, shake your head and ask 'can you let her know i want it COLD?'. and when he asks you 'what size' don't pretend that it was the first time you heard that question all day!

17 comments:

Eric said...

Yeah that guys is just suffering from burnout. The job no longer interests him and he is better off leaving.
I would say have a frank talk with him about how you all used to be friends but his behavior is impacting not only other people who have to pick up his slack but that they are reevaluating their views of him as a person and as consequence the friendships.

Manuel said...

Gotta go, no question. He is no a liability. You are better of being 1 short on the shift than working with him. Go get him girl....

Moxie said...

Burnout is a bitch. I hope your manager has the cojones to fire slacker guy. My experience is that the manager usually shines on the long-timers. May that not be the case for you and your fellow baristas.

Gardenwife said...

It sucks when someone ditches like that and sticks others with his work. We're fortunate to have reliable people at our store, plus our manager insists that she be called directly if you're calling off. She must approve all shift trades, too. She's a great manager and, I think, people respect her enough they don't want to let her down. I've worked with slackers like you mention, and it does indeed stink!

I agree with manuel - you're better off being short than having someone like that working there.

the other Tivo said...

Ugh I hate it when people get lazy.

I don't work, but I think group projects at school are the same :p good thing i'm good at bitching.

burd said...

sorry this is off-topic. i found you thru rice. she mentioned something about y'all going to an anime store in lubbock maybe? i am dying to know where it is please. :D

Nana said...

I hope that some one is documenting, documenting, documenting each and every problem. Makes it easier to fire a slacker...or to confront the manager about not firing.

Beth said...

He doesn't deserve the job. When you have scheduled shifts, you have to show. What an uncool jerk.

zoo said...

yea, slackers really get on your nerves. but there's one that gets on my nerves more, offers to do everything but does it all sub standard, sometimes even makes it worse which means i have to do it in the end anyway

really grates on me, that one

Sling said...

Oddly enough,we have a similar situation where I work.The guy was hired to do installs,AND help in the shop when there were no installs scheduled.Turns out that most of the time,when there aren't any installs,he calls in to work with one reason or another for not showing up.Really makes it tough on those of us that could use a break...That barista guy is obviously not concerned about his fellow employees...Hope he gets canned.

Liz said...

I really enjoy your posts!
Re: your rant. I hate it when I ask a guest if they'd like white, wheat or rye toast and they tell me sour dough. It works the same with dressing. I say ranch, blue cheese or french and they'll ask for honey mustard. Geez.

mellowlee said...

I haven't been by in a while, so I had a bit of reading to do! Great posts! I'm fortunate enough to work with a great group of people, but there is one lady who calls in sick a LOT. In fact, she hasn't been to work in two weeks!! One of our team members is stuck doing all her work on top of his. Not cool! I hope your team slacker problem is solved soon!

Hoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monica said...

hoodlum, it isn't entitlement. by agreeing to work at an establishment that pays WHATEVER it pays, you enter into an agreement to give those who patronize that establishment "legendary service". you also agree to do the job for the pay you're receiving. that's why it's 'at-will" employment. when you are ready to leave that agreement, you quit.

brat, about that rant... dude, that doesn't even make SENSE. "What size shoes do you wear?" "red"

Hoodlum said...

Monica, if you had paid attention to your 11th grade history class, you'd know we tried that way of thinking back in the 1800s. As any recent high school graduate should (in theory) be able to tell you, it didn't pan out so well for the working class.

In other words, stop being greed and entitled. Buying labor is like buying a car, if you pay Yugo prices don't feel entitled to a BMW.

Johnny Yen said...

'WHAT SIZE?'. don't look at my barista buddy, shake your head and ask 'can you let her know i want it COLD?'.

My version of this at the restaurant comes from customers:

Customer: I'd like a cheeseburger.
JY: What kind of cheese?
Customer: I'd like it medium rare.
JY: Oh. What kind of cheese would you like?
Customer: I'd like it with fries.
JY (with emphasis): Okay. Um, what kind of cheese did you want?
Customer: Oh, what kind of cheese?
JY: Uh, yeah, what kind of cheese would you like on your burger.

Maybe my question wasn't clear enough...

barista brat said...

eric - yeah, i agree. it's time for him to go.

manuel - it's true. it's easier to work one short, than with one slacker.

moxie - i think the manager wanted to fire him as well, but apparently the cousin called and confirmed (with a bill from the hospital) that he was telling the truth. i'm still not entirely convinced.

gardenwife - you're lucky to work with such good people.

the other tivo - and you know what sucks? you will find those same group project slackers in the workforce as well.

burd - i'm sorry, but i have no idea what you're talking about.

nana - from what i've heard they are collecting a nice file on the guy.

beth - tru dat

zoo - yeah, overzealous with little standards really sucks.

sling - ugh, yeah that really bites. how do you refrain from 'accidentally' hurting him with power tools?

liz - thanks! yeah, people think that if they want something a certain way, you will be able to magically make it appear out of nowhere.

mellowlee - i've missed you!

hoodlum - just curious - what exactly is the going rate for integrity? and the bux in my area pay more than two dollars over the federal minum wage, btw.

monica - i know. where was her head at?

johnny yen - i think we just served the same woman!