10.03.2007

bux, rotten bux

i know, i know - brat has been MIA for awhile.
i have to be honest. the past couple weeks at bux have been rough. after dealing with another rash of newbies, an assistant manager who freaks out on an hourly basis, and the crazy after-school rushes, i've been less than enthusiastic about keeping my green apron on while i'm off the clock.

in fact, lately i've been dreading going to work at bux at all. i still love all my bux friends, and most our customers still brighten my day, but when you spend each and every shift training (or RE-training) someone how to make a latte, ring up a pastry, or even how to double bag a trash can, well, it can get tiresomely redundant.
and when our district manager comes in and micro-manages every aspect of our store operations (even down to what color marker we use for the coffee tags), it not only interrupts the natural flow of the store, but puts every barista on edge as well.
but the worse of the worst has to be mr. split personality assistant manager.

now you may recall that mr. split personality and i have some mutual friends, which immediately meant i was mr. split's bff at bux. believe it or not, mr. split is a really cool guy. yeah, he's a bit awkward socially, and sometimes he can be clingy, but for the most part people genuinely like him - except for when he's wearing his green apron.

maybe it's because mr. split personality is one of those types who can't handle stress, or maybe it's because he's the kind of guy that lets the smallest thing ruin his whole day - no matter the cause, the effect is that every single barista HATES working with him.

"how's your day been so far?" i asked a shiny newbie her second day on the job.
"well..." she started slowly, choosing her words carefully. "when i work with you, or with the other baristas, everything is cool and fun. but when i work with mr. split my shoulders touch my ears because i'm so stressed and freaked out."
"uh, yeah," i wrinkled my nose. "he has that effect on everyone."
"thank god - because i thought it was just me." she breathed a sigh of relief. "i was afraid i was so bad that i was throwing him off his game."
"unfortunately," i rolled my eyes, "that IS his game."

i was talking with super lead (formerly known as awesomely amazing barista) about mr. split and we've come to this conclusion: this job is not for him.

yes, he WANTS to be a good assistant manager.
and yes, he REALLY tries to do a good job, but the problem is that he is not equipped to handle the high volume, high workload, and high expectations of his position (although i've heard from many parties that he wasn't all that qualified to be a barista, either). and when someone, be it our manager or a barista, tries to let him know how to be more effective at his job,or points out something he didn't do to standard, he gets defensive and pissy.
now mind you - this is the guy that was angry and depressed for three days straight when he found out a girl he'd met on eharmony was thirty pounds heavier than her picture portrayed her to be. imagine what he's like when a barista has to correct his cup markings.

the flip side is that when he's not stressed, not messing up, and not making our jobs more difficult, he's very upbeat and fun (although he is often reminiscent of a tag along sibling).
i get the impression that he knows his position in our store is on the line - that all parties involved know he's not up to task. it remains to be seen if that will get him to shape up, or if he will go completely mental.

barista rant: do not blame me for your mistake. if you are stupid enough to take someone else's drink when i call it out, don't assume i'm stupid enough to believe it was my fault - no matter what excuse you make. don't tell me that i called the drink out wrong. don't tell the other customer that i mixed up the order of the drinks. don't explain to me how i set the drink in front of you, called out your name and beverage, yet handed you a drink that belonged to a totally different customer. and don't expect me to apologize, or use my sweet barista voice, when i set you straight.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

(Hope you are not too angry if
i place this entry in your blog.
This is a kind of a life insurance
for an internet activist who is
seen as radical.)


To the New York Times Editor:

Ms Maureen Dowd in her 3/10/07 column,
quoting some sexy philosopher,
says that who fights with monsters
becomes a monster her/himself.

Even a child of eight would see
the faulty reasoning of this quote.

And agree that the person
who does NOT fight with monsters
and thus teams with them
becomes a monster her/himself.

Sincerely,

Gul Ramani

ps. Good luck writing your Blog and wish you lots of creativity.

KateT said...

Yay! Glad you're back, Brat!

Anonymous said...

Missed you, Brat! Was getting worried and, of course, had no way to check!

clevelandbux said...

Firstly, Woo-Hoo Brat's back! Secondly Mr. Split sounds crazy, I feel sorry for shiny newbie. (I know I do this alot) But Mr. Split sort of reminds me of one of my old shift supervisors. Probably about my second day or third day with the BUX I got stuck opening with this guy. He wasn't really a Mr. Split he was more of a Mr. Meany. Long story short I ended up outside crying on my 10 cause he was such a jerk and when another barista asked if I was alright I told them what had happened and they said "OH yeah he does that alot". I am sorry that you have to deal with a Mr. Split he sounds like he's alittle superficial too (the eharmony thing) seriously? wow. And the mistake about customers taking the wrong drink. HATE THAT!

GLAD YOU ARE BACK!
sorry you have had such a crappy few weeks.

Jennifer said...

Brat is back! Missed you so much, but can totally understand wanting to leave work at work. Are they doing this online-survey-feedback thing nationwide?

Lorraine said...

Good to see you, Brat. Sorry work is slumpy.

Seth said...

Seriously? What color marker you use on the cups? That is the definition of micro-managing. Oooh, is that marker blue? Starbucks is more of a green company so if you could go ahead and throw that blue marker away, that would be great. Mmmmkay?

Something big is about to happen. I can feel it Brat. Press onward!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Brat is back, and posting! We love your stories, even if they aren't fun to actually live through! Please keep posting!
(that is 3 exclamation points from someone who isn't usually so effusive. just shows you how much I really mean it)
Shannon

Keith Kennedy said...

Yes, your loyal readers missed you. We were thinking that doobie newbie may have taken you off somewhere.

Glad you're back.

Eric said...

Hey Brat. Ditto the above

Urban Chick said...

Welcome back brat. Sorry to hear that it's been so rough at the bux. Hopefully it will take a turn for the better in the near future.

Steph said...

Will the asst. manager get fired?

jp said...

Sometimes life has to suck so that we can get good blog entries out of it. It's a win-win.

Now, don't ever leave us like that again.

Anonymous said...

Yay you're back! PLEASE start posting regularly again!!!

starr01 said...

O wow Brat i can unfortunately relate too well to a manager that micro-manages, flips out and generally makes it hard to work when you get busy. Mine does that and coincidently has been getting worse lately as yours has been. I can understand wanting to leave the problems behind at work when you are home. The only problem for me is the manager is my dad as I work in a family business. If it weren't for the mostly nice customers I'd have stopped caring long ago.

Ya Looblue said...

vent away Brat! we missed you!

mellowlee said...

Urgh! I really hope things pick up at work for you soon!

Proto said...

Maybe start charging for re-training...
and e-harmony sucks.

Parnella said...

Hi Brat, Im a new reader and a fellow bux partner from Singapore. I have to say, I can definitely relate to most of your entries and Im sorry you've had such a hard few weeks at bux. We're having a rash of newbies as well so, Im biting my lip and taking it slow. Not everyone's made for this job, right? Anyway, Im glad you're back and I hope you're doing fine! =D

Much love,
Nell

Johnny Yen said...

When I was still at the downtown restaurant, we had an assistant manager like him-- everything was an emergency. I took to calling him "Chicken Little."

What is it with customers who don't want to admit their mistakes? I repeat everything back to people-- sometimes I do hear things wrong and that's a surefire way to catch those things. And you'll bring the dish and they'll swear to god they ordered something different. The funny thing is watching the embarassed looks of the other people at their table who know that the mistake was theirs, and don't want to say anything.

Mike Free said...

barista:... I missed you...feel so less alone in my customer service toil

slskenyon said...

In general, lower-level managers are the worst to deal with. They are literally one step--maybe less than that--above you, and yet somehow they presume to associate themselves with people in the upper-strata of company management. Poor guy. Try tranquilizers.

Vin De Vine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vin De Vine said...

Sounds ike you mr split is out of his league. Maybe a different work environment could make him whole again.
WB and BTW you are tagged @
You have been tagged @:

http://recipeflg.blogspot.com/2007/10/tag-im-it.html

why does tagging feel like serving a summons?

Boringscreenname said...

Welcome back! Your assistant manager could be my boss, because he's the same way. He freaks out over stupid little stuff but when several employees make huge mistakes, he just brushes them off. We go through an entire package of paper a week because he's always printing out stupid memos and covering every surface in paper.

Thom said...

Why is it the season right after the kiddies go back to school is so damn tough? It's gotta be something to do with the shortened hours of daylight.

Keep up your strength, and your health, and prepare for Christmas!!

Maybe Santa will bring you a new Ass.Man. :)

-Thom

Anonymous said...

I have just deleted this blog from my favorites.

Thanks for the good posts in the past.

Brynne said...

Wait. Did that person really just delete your blog from their favorites?? you're kidding right? (you can delete this comment if you want cause seriously I'm just venting)

Manuel said...

Re that person deleting their link, lets hunt em down.....what an odd thing to do..

Allan said...

You write very well, have a great eye for character and tell hilarious stories...it would be interesting to hear your take on life outside bux .

Spoon said...

I could understand not stopping by here anymore, the posts are so infrequent.

Brynne said...

I understand that the posts are infrequent, but to post a comment that says they are deleting her from their list. People have things to do outside of cyberland. We don't all have time to be on a computer all the time or possibly don't want to have to be on a computer after work. You got to cut Brat some slack being a barista is not an easy job. (I in no way want you to think I am being rude if I have come across that way I apolgize)

Anonymous said...

See, this is why I love feedreaders like bloglines or googlereader: When there's a new post, it just shows up. Yes, I feel a quick tinge of "gosh, I wish there were a new post; she must be busy" when I glance through my roll and don't see her feed bolded with a number next to it. However, that's it, and it's only momentarily as I go on to read other blogs on my roll.

If you find yourself checking blogs often, I highly recommend a blog roll/feed reader/whatever you want to call it.

mellowlee said...

Miss ya Brat! Hope all is well with you! :O)

Anonymous said...

how much does a starbucks barista with your experience make per hour? if you don't mind me asking.

Anonymous said...

Don't Feel Bad Brat... I Work for Bux too. We've been so busy, this is the first time I've been able to read your Blog in awhile. It is always a pleasure to read. Thank you for taking the time!

realmacchiato said...

It's so nice to read such similar grievances to my own.

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