insult to injury

working at bux, you get used to people talking smack, running scams, and hurling insults your way. it's par for the course, and usually it's pretty easy to ignore/laugh off the stupidity you must endure each week, but occasionally there will be times when it will take every bit of self-control not to go off on someone.

this past week i had just such an encounter.

i've complained often about mr. whim and his never-ending drink complaints: "this is too foamy, it's not hot enough, there's not enough espresso, it tastes funny, too much ice, etc., etc."
but last week mr. whim went too far.

now, i know some of you might be thinking, "but brat, you've dealt with mr. whim countless times in the past. why was this time around so much more egregious?"
well, i'll tell you.

i greeted mr. whim as soon as he walked in the store and asked if he would be ordering his usual.
"yeah, thanks." he smiled and handed over his credit card to the register partner for payment.
knowing how picky he always is about his drinks, i steamed his milk to his desired temperature, making sure i did not over-aerate the milk. after his shots pulled, i made sure i had his attention as i poured the steamed milk into the cup.
"not too much foam, right?" i asked and made sure he gave his approval before i capped his drink and handed it to him.
as per his usual ritual, he finished reading the front page of the paper before taking his beverage to the condiment bar to "doctor it up". not one minute later he's back at the bar, but this time his demeanor was uptight and aggressive.
"this is WRONG." he made a face as he pushed his cup back towards me.

now, at this point i was already a bit pissed off. not only did i have a line of drinks in front of me, but i'd made sure to walk him through each step of the drink making process so that he'd be happy with his beverage. even though he'd given me the go ahead at each step, here he was - standing in front of my with a stinkface, demanding his drink be remade.

"gee, mr. whim," i didn't try to hard to hide my attitude, "it seems EVERY time you're in here there's a problem with your drink."
"what?" he gave me a goofy smile, as if that would somehow make me forget the million times he's had us remake his drink before. "i don't think so."
"oh yeah." i raised both eyebrows. "EVERY time - and it doesn't seem to matter how we make it at all. we can, like TODAY for instance, get your approval before handing the drink to you, and you will still say it's not right."
"well, sometimes you guys don't do it quite right - " he started to defend himself.
"it just seems REALLY odd that the problem is always with us, you know?" i'd given up on trying to sound even remotely polite. "that somehow NONE of us can get your drink right, even when you're watching us make it every step of the way."
"that's not true," he gave me a fake chuckle. "that guy there never messes it up." he said as he pointed to slacker barista. "he always makes it perfectly."

in that second i was so agitated i couldn't even see straight.
NEVER before had i ever been so insulted while wearing a green apron.
never had a stupid customer comment cut me to the core.
was mr. whim REALLY saying that slacker barista made better drinks than me? that slacker barista somehow could read mr. whim's many moods and fix his drinks accordingly? how could mr. whim not be able to tell the quality difference between freshly steamed milk, and resteamed, mixed milk made with a dirty steam wand?

i couldn't even respond to mr. whim, i was so upset. i told slacker barista to remake the beverage since he "always makes it perfectly" and then took a moment to bitch to a fellow barista brat about mr. whim. it was surprising that i couldn't shake my anger for the rest of the shift - especially since slacker barista wouldn't shut up about how he was the only one who could make mr. whim's drinks right on the first try.

the next day, slacker barista was still riding his high, when mr. whim showed up for his usual.
"brat, you want me to get this?" slacker barista asked, confident in his skills.
"be my guest." i shrugged and went back to prepping frappuccino bases.
can i tell you how satisfying it was to hear the words: "this is WRONG. you need to remake it!" come from mr. whim once slacker barista had handed over the beverage?
"but man, you said i always do it right." slacker barista said with a hint of hurt in his voice.
"well, not this time. there's too much foam - and it tastes funny." mr. whim responded flippantly.
"what an ass!" slacker barista hissed once mr. whim had finally gone.
the brat in me just smiled and felt the anger from the day before melt away.

barista rant: please listen up. it is never, never, NEVER funny to stick your hand in our tip jar, grab a fistfull of dollars and ask, "can i pay with this?". we baristas will never laugh when you do this. we will never give you a thumbs up and say, "good one!" we are not here to laugh at your dumb jokes, so don't get offended and pissy with us when we answer, "no, you can't pay with our tips. did you want to order anything else?" instead of giggling at your 'wit'. and if you insist on continuing to play this joke on us, we will be forced to hang on to your change and ask, "is this for us?" as well.