12.28.2007

fa-la-la-la-blah

first, i hope everyone had a great holiday.

now, on to the griping:
this wasn't a great christmas for my bux. in fact, we barely even noticed it was the holiday season. there were some good things that happened, like barista buddy coming back, and surprise gifts from customers, but all in all my store lacked cheer.
part of it was our district manager who came in often to point out every microscopic flaw my bux had. another part of it was the virus that attacked many of our baristas, causing a lot of shifts to be run short.
but the biggest thorn in our collective side is our newest newbie, crack junior.

now, i'm sure you all remember my rants about mr. 'cracks-under-pressure' newbie who forgot his partner numbers, couldn't remember recipes, and had a non-existent attention span.
well...crack junior is all that and more.
in fact, the first time i saw crack junior i said to superlead "doesn't he remind you of mr. 'cracks-under-pressure'"?
unfortunately the resemblance isn't just physical.

crack junior has been at my bux for weeks and still doesn't know how to make a single drink. he isn't friendly to customers, mis-marks cups, and does not listen at all to anyone. everyday i come to work there are new crack junior stories from my fellow baristas.
"yesterday he knocked over the trash, and instead of cleaning it up he just looked at it like it was a newborn baby."
"i sent him back to do dishes and very plainly told him to ask me where everything went so he wouldn't have to pile it all up on the shelf. i go back to check up on him and sure enough everything is piled up. when i reminded him he was supposed to ask me where to put things, he just looked at me."
"i taught him how to prep the whipped cream containers and made sure he knew to use WHIPPING CREAM and not HALF&HALF. of course, every single one he prepped was made with half&half."
"the lead sent him on a trash run and told crack junior to empty all the trash cans in the lobby. he even pointed out where each and every trash can was. so after crack junior comes back and says he's done, the lead asks him 'you got all the lobby trash?' and crack junior says 'uh, that's the one next to the milk and sugar?' and the lead says 'yeeeeaaaaaahhh, but you were supposed to get ALL the lobby trash - like the ones near the doors and in the bathroom.' crack junior shrugged his shoulders and says 'uh, no. i didn't know i was supposed to get those too'."

everyone has a crack junior story and everyone is at their limit with him.
and even though he is just as useless as his predecessor, there is something different about him that really rubs everyone the wrong way.
a fellow barista brat thinks it's just we have no more patience for such stupidity. that we were ecstatic the other newbie quit, and we now have no tolerance for people who can't catch on.
i think it's a bit more than that.
crack junior doesn't act clueless when he works. he acts like he couldn't care less. in fact, he acts like he's above wearing the green apron.
apparently crack junior is a recent graduate of famous university where he had a very high gpa. and apparently working at bux was the last thing he wanted to do with his life after receiving his diploma.
i'm fine with that.
if you think wearing a green apron lowers your status, then DON'T WEAR THE FRIGGEN' GREEN APRON! go find a job that fits your self-worth and be good at it, instead of 'settling' for bux and making your co-workers lives harder because they have to pick up your slack.

this weekend i have two shifts with crack junior.
wish me luck.

customer rant: don't lie to customers about drink recipes. just don't. when i order a chai latte, i expect a chai latte. not a chai latte with an added shot of espresso. when i inform you that there's espresso in my chai, don't lie to me and say, 'oh! i accidentally used the old recipe. the one where we used to put coffee in the chais. they recently changed it, but i'll make you a new one!" believe me, i'll respect you more if you just cop to the fact that you made a mistake, instead of making up a story about drink recipes changing.

27 comments:

Rambling Mom said...

You know what -- with all that college education all that that hoity toity GPA - what is it going to look like when creck junior goes out to get a real job and his employer calls for references and discovers that he can't even manage to work at bux. Yeah -- that'll be getting him on the fast track to nowhere.

erin said...

I'm a partner and I have a fairly simple drink: a grande hazelnut two-thirds full water first Americano. The number of times it has been made wrong, and when I ask for it to be remade, been given some bullshit "reason" just pisses me off. I agree - admit you made it wrong, and make it properly. Syrup, water in the cup, three shots of espresso, top with a little more water if needed.

Anonymous said...

You should recomened crack junior read the book
"How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else"

http://www.amazon.com/How-Starbucks-Saved-Life-Privilege/dp/1592402860/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198878418&sr=1-1

From Booklist
*Starred Review* Yale graduate, prosperous ad exec: Gill has it all. Then he turns 60 and finds himself precipitously bounced from his job and saddled with the triple threats of a ruined marriage, an unexpected newborn, and a brain tumor. Despairing at the prospect of looming poverty, he stops at a Manhattan Starbucks to comfort himself with a latte. By chance he sits down next to Crystal, a young African American woman recruiting new workers for the coffee giant, and she offers him a job. Almost as an act of desperation, he accepts, and he dons the uniform of a barista-in-training at an Upper West Side Starbucks. This son of privilege who had hobnobbed with Queen Elizabeth, T. S. Eliot, and Jackie Onassis, now keeps daily company with a diverse crew of brash young New Yorkers for whom Starbucks' progressive employee benefits and demanding, inspiring standards of public service offer hope. Gill starts at the bottom, cleaning the bathroom, and he has trouble mastering the cash register. Over the months he learns to deeply respect Crystal, to appreciate the mutual support of his coworkers, and to genuinely cherish the passing parade of customers, each unique. To his own astonishment, he realizes that he actually looks forward joyfully to every hectic, exhausting workday. Other corporate giants can only envy the sheer goodwill that this memoir will inevitably generate for Starbucks. What a read. Knoblauch, Mark

David Hepburn said...

Brat, that's really frustrating! Sorry you have to deal with that! Good luck on your next few shifts!

Manuel said...

Hey Brat, just a quick note to wish you a happy new year and all that jazz.....2008, things can only get better eh....

6th Floor blog said...

well Rambling Mom, I doubt he's going to be putting the job on his resume anyway. I understand the whole "don't want to work here, don't really care" Philosophy, and I'm fine with it, but to pull it off you have to at least do enough so that your coworkers don't have to do extra work because of you.

I don't understand what's going through that barista's mind to lie to someone that obviously knows her job intimately about something like a drink recipe. Unless that excuse is so ingrained from making it wrong so many times?

James UK said...

Honesty is always the best policy... why make up a lie to cover such a small / silly mistake? You only end up making another up to cover that, then another and another...

Crystal said...

I'm a server and sometimes you just have to lie, but at least make it sound believable!

Coffee in a tea beverage is just completely ridiculous! Can you imagine that barista telling a recently immigrated or visiting Indian family that Starbucks used to put espresso in their chai!

Meghan said...

I have a theory as to why a barista would do this: it's a defense mechanism against a customer getting all huffy and berating them for not knowing how to do their job. If you make it seem like the mistake was a bit more out of your control than it actually was, there's less of a chance of someone getting pissy at you and making a personal verbal attack. Not that lying to customers is OK or should be tolerated! Making up fake policies or procedures to cover your butt almost always leads to more trouble than it's worth, and it's just plain dishonest. But...I can see why a barista who's been verbally abused in the past by a customer who had no tolerance for an honest mistake would make stuff up in hopes of avoiding another tongue-lashing from a customer who may see ANY personal mistake as a sign of incompetence or laziness. Not that you'd do this as a customer, of course, Brat! But if the barista doesn't know you, they don't know how close you are to blowing your top :)

Anonymous said...

Seriously...Let me come do your hiring! Although, you might only have customers to blog about.

Ridonkulus said...

i'm surprised someone this pompous could hide his arrogance during the interview.

bagger boy said...

love this blog, totally can relate. Erin, i understand your frustration but that is a complicated drink to a new barista. If it was a single latte and they messed it up, yeah thats lame, but a triple shot americano with a flavor shot, is asking a lot of some people.

mellowlee said...

Good luck with those two shifts! Sorry to hear the holidays at work sucked! I hope you have a fabulous 2008! XOX

pilgrimchick said...

I always hated incomptetant coworkers when I worked behind the coffee bar. Sometimes, less is more.

Lorraine said...

Happy New Year, Brat! Ironically, JP and I opened a coffee shop...I'd offer you to come over and manage the place but, uh, we don't have any money. Damn virtual coffee shop.

misha said...

"but i will make you a new one"
-what a #$%^

Deutlich said...

I was a barista for 3 years. I loathed the newbs. Seriously.

Random Musings Of My Life said...

MUUHAAAA
Ok I have to laugh.. and almost vomit, and then giggle some more... I confess I used to manage a bux.. And OH MY this brings back memories...

Anonymous said...

that thing about the "old recipe for the chai w/espresso": we got an external hire manager who had actually been trained by a store in our district that a "chai latte" had a shot of espresso but a "chai" did not!!! i had to find the BRM to let him know he was wrong, bc he wouldn't believe me or any one else in the store that he was wrong. it wouldn't surprise me that people have been trained that way somewhere else...it's not the most uncommon order we get either. i have seen it on other coffee shop menus too.

Saffa Chick said...

Hi! I've just found out that it is delurking week in America... I'm in Australia but most of the blogs I read are in the USA, so in that spirit here's my de-lurk!

I read you most weeks - or whenever you post ;-).

I'm Saffa Chick (South African) living in Sydney, coming to terms with a new country and new(ish) man.

Hope to see you over on my blog. www.wanderingsaffachick.blogspot.com

Beth said...

From the second paragraph I thought, this jerk thinks he's too good for the job. Screw him. He took the job, and thus should treat it with respect.

Miss you, girl.

BNI Member said...

I hate incompetant employees! I just wish people would do their jobs and do them correctly!

lighterate said...

Hi there remember me! I write a blog called Splat for news.com.au! which you still kindly have on your blogroll!

I have just shot a video promo for the news blog and I reckon it will give you a laugh. now Jameson's whiskey is keen to offer me a sponsorship deal, for reasons which will become obvious!

Hope you like it!

Evan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN6a0W9ymOs

Anonymous said...

Hey Brat,

What's going on? You don't update your blog very often anymore.

SkippyMom said...

Okay - Query - How many weeks can you spend in jail without losing your job.

I am running out of bail money here, sweetheart....Chirstmas and all....

So you are paroled when? Oh and so you know...me and SKHusband are a certified Halfway House -

Well, we're certifiable anyway...giggle....

WHERE ARE YOU? Hugs...email me or let me know what's going on skippyaveo@hotmail.com.
Hugs

Anonymous said...

You really should just take this blog down if you aren't going to bother updating it. It used to be such a great blog! I used to check it every day to see what hilarious, new stories you would post.
I'm sorry if you are having personal problems & that's why you are not updating anymore.

Anonymous said...

there is a barista at my store nicknamed "man down" because even when he's there.. well... you get it eh?