12.05.2007

thanksgiving came late

in the past couple weeks there's been a few events at my bux that have made the brat very, very happy:

1. doobie newbie is finally getting the hang of being a barista.

as you well know, it's been a looooooong journey getting doobie newbie on track. constant on the job training didn't work. warnings that his status as a barista was in danger didn't work either. amazingly, the only thing to light a fire under his apron was working with mr. 'cracks under pressure' newbie.
that's right. apparently all doobie newbie needed to get in line was to work with someone who performed just as poorly as he did.
"what is wrong with this guy?" doobie newbie complained to me. "he can't remember anything! he doesn't even know how to make a latte!"
"uh, yeah." i tried to reply evenly. "see how your job becomes twice as hard when you work with someone who can't perform basic barista duties?"
"oh my god." he shook his head, sensing not an ounce of irony. "he so useless! why does he even work here?"
with every shift he shared with mr. 'cracks under pressure', doobie newbie improved exponentially. he's now a completely different barista than he was three weeks ago, and although there's always room for improvement, he's no longer the one guy everyone hates to work with.

2. mr. 'cracks under pressure' finally got a clue.

i'm not sure if it was due to the constant coaching from all his fellow baristas, the constant complaints from customers, or the constant bouts of "forgetfulness" but mr. 'cracks under pressure' finally realized bux was not the place for him. let me tell you, not one barista was sad to hear that he'd put in his two week notice. and i wasn't even upset when he did a no-call/no-show on my shift. as i told my manager - it was easier to work my shift one barista short than to have to spend the night babysitting the newbie. i wish him all the best and hope he finds a job more suitable for him.

3. barista buddy is back!

i had the pleasure and privilege to work with barista buddy when i started at my current bux. he is one of the greatest guys i've ever met, and our store was heartbroken when he was transferred out of our district. well now he's back, and my fellow baristas and i couldn't be happier. customers are also happy to see him back which hopefully means are tips will be better as well.

so now, as we are heavily into the red cup season, i have several reasons to be enthusiastic about my bux. we are finally pulling out of that dreadful downward spiral, and things are definitely looking up. yes, we still have those horrid ovens, and yes some of our customers are certifiable, but at least we exchanged one bad egg for a good one, and a formerly failing barista is now doing his green apron justice.

partner rant: why is there james taylor on our holiday cd?!? last year our cd was filled with christmas, hanukkah and seasonal music. now, just as we get into the holiday mood, non-holiday music pipes through our speakers and makes it feel like it's just an ordinary week at bux. even customers have asked "where's the christmas music?"

21 comments:

Manuel said...

Christmas Music eh? Be careful what you ask for.....5 o 6 hours of Christmas music can make the sanest person go postal.....Glad things are looking up for you guys......

georg said...

The Kissmoose music started so early, I wanted an AK-47 to spread the holiday cheer. I'm *happier* without it.

Scott Jones said...

I don't really have a huge problem with the oven. Of course my store's had it for over a year and a half, so I guess I'm just used to it. I don't remember people complaining when we got it though. Of course, we also had a month or so to sample all the delicious sandwiches, so we'd often make huge meat filled ones!

Glad to see things area looking up, hope your store isn't getting too crazy from all the shoppers yet.

Christine Fletcher said...

I'd rather have non-stop Christmas music than James Taylor. Seriously. He's like cilantro -- overwhelming any surrounding goodness with a bad taste. (Just MHO, no offense to diehard fans of either JT -- or cilantro.)

But for all the good news -- whoo hoo, brat!

Moxie said...

Hell, I just want them to turn down the volume at Bux. I'm not there to listen to music, I'm there for a latte/mocha and to get away from my boyfriend's loud mouth for a while.

Glad to hear that things are looking up for you, Brat. You seemed pretty unhappy for a while there.

James UK said...

You see... I'm with Georg on this...

If you visit your local Starbucks every week, or every day, you get sick to death of hearing the same Christmas music, especially when it's played so loud you can't have a conversation with someone.

Please, if anyone "official" from Starbucks is reading this, drop any and ALL background "muzak", thanks!

Debbie said...

Hey. I love your blog and was just waiting for a new post to write a little comment. Ok, the day I found your blog I literally spent 8 million hours reading every post from beginning to end. And I nuts? Well, let's just say your writing, much like my favorite drink- Bux grande cup-a-chino- is addictive. But a reason too, is that I'm an expat American living in Europe and I really miss Starbucks, my favorite drink, the atmosphere... well you know. And the other thing is that I once worked in a bar in Prague and man, the other workers, the customers, well when you write about your guys, it really brings me back to those heady days. Blah, blah, sorry for so much commenting. In short: Just want to tell you that your blog is awesome goodness.

Anonymous said...

great to have you back, brat! I missed you.

Angela said...

I wish my name was doobie newbie. I just do

Anonymous said...

The music at Starbucks is a huge part of the experience. Even more so, music is a huge part of the holiday season. There's no way that they should get rid of music at Starbucks. I can't stand when my fellow baristas don't have it loud enough to hear at all. What's the point of having it on if you can't hear it.

Eric said...

Glad to see you back brat, I think I speak for all when I say I was getting worried.

SkippyMom said...

Whew...was starting to think I was going to have to use my Christmas Club money for bail again....hee ;P
[like I should talk, eh?]

So glad [estatic actually] that you are back and things are looking better!

Big Skippy Hugs to you!

chaichick said...

this is random, baristabrat. but do you know if starbucks retail stores sell chai tea latte concentrate? i would love to get it with my partner discount but can't seem to find a store that sells it in chicago.

Johnny Yen said...

Glad to hear that things are better. Life sucks when you dread going into work.

You know, I was actually pretty tired of Christmas music here in Chicago because they started playing it way too soon. But for some reason I'm actually now enjoying it. I think it's because this year in general has been better than last year. I'm spending lots less this year on gifts because I have a lot less, but as we all know, that's not what the season's about. Happy Holidays, B.B.!

angiecita said...

We've had an oven for a while too, and while sometimes customer's requests are annoying, the sale of breakfast sandwiches has really helped my store out. It seems odd that you guys are sustaining so many injuries. Maybe your oven is in an awkward place?

love the ranting. thanks for saying the things i'm too wimpy to put in a blog

mellowlee said...

Yay!!! I'm so happy that things are turning around for you at work :O)

Anonymous said...

i once found some chai tea concentrate, but it was in the supermarket.

Kelly

Anonymous said...

Are you going to start posting more regularly?

Meghan said...

chaichick: you can buy Oregon Chai concentrate at grocery stores and it's just as good (better, in my opinion) than Starbucks chai. Usually it's in the natural/organic foods section, and is packaged in a purple and yellow carton.

Allan said...

Happy Holidays Brat!

Manuel said...

as above happy hols brat....