perpetual grind


i can't believe it's been almost a month since i last posted. i can assure you its not because things have been dull and boring, that's for certain.

let me start with the biggest news of all - howard schultz has again taken control of our company. this news has made several partners and share holders ecstatic. in fact, when the news broke my store was abuzz with hopeful chatter of rising stocks and disappearing ovens.
so, has this rotation of power actually changed anything?
well, not yet.

BUT the company IS going to finally do something about the ovens!
well, not exactly to do with the ovens but their horrendous output of stink.
bux, in all it's infinite wisdom, has decided that customers and partners have a valid complaint! in fact, bux apparently wholeheartedly agrees that burnt cheese and pre-cooked eggs are no substitute for the olfactory heaven that is brewed coffee.
so, to combat the stench of the ovens, baristas will no longer be opening pre-packs of ground coffee to brew. oh no. we will now have to grind pounds upon pounds of beans for our daily brew.

pounds upon POUNDS!

now, a pre-packed case of ground coffee comes in units of 28. my store goes through at least two cases a day. that's 56 packs. 56.
a full batch of coffee that we grind weighs .56 pounds (wow, what a strange coincidence!)
so, let's do the math. 56 packs multiplied by .56 pounds equals 31.36 pounds.
did you read that?!?!?
we have to grind a minimum of thirty-one pounds of beans a day! not only will it take an insane amount of labor to grind these beans, we also have to portion each batch out!
guess how many extra hours bux has given us for this huge daily task?


somehow, some way, we are going to have to squeeze the extra labor from our milk-stained aprons.
now, for those of you who have been loyal bux customers for more than ten years, you might be saying to yourself: "what the hell is brat complaining about?!? i remember the baristas used to ALWAYS grind the coffee themselves!"
and i will respond with this: "but those baristas back in the day didn't have sandwiches (warmed or pre-packed), dozens of frappuccino combinations, extra machines to clean (more than one bar, the frappuccino dispenser, and two ovens), an insane amount of syrups, and friggen' shaken ice teas!!!!"

the modern bux barista has more duties, more customers, and less time to accomplish all their tasks. and now, our beloved siren has made sure that there will be no such thing as 'down time'. that there will be no pauses in the customer flow where we can catch up on prepping, cleaning and training.

and for those of you that think "well, i get lattes anyway so my drink won't be affected by this." - think again.

grinding 31 pounds of coffee means one less person on the bar to make your drink.
BUT that's not the only issue you'll encounter!
bux has ALSO decided that our espresso machines don't give off enough of an espresso aroma, so now all our machines will be retooled to pull longer shots. that's right - they are 'fixing' our espresso bars so that they too can combat the horrid stench from the ovens.
that means it will take longer to prepare your drinks. mind you, the whole reason we have these automatic bars is because the manual ones were "not efficient enough".
but bux is only 'fixing' one bar at a time, so if you order two tall lattes, one will taste significantly stronger than the other - meaning ordering your bar drinks is basically a crapshoot. it might be too strong, it might be too weak, but the one thing you can count on is that you'll be waiting longer for your caffeine fix.

all i can say is that these latest corporate "improvements" have made me very happy that my non-barista life has been so very productive and lucrative.

barista rant: if you're going to use 'fancy lingo' to order your drink, then know what the hell it is you're ordering!!! if you ask for a 'skinny vanilla latte' that's what you're going to get. we have posters all around the store explaining what a skinny vanilla latte is. so when we call it out, please don't take a sip and pretend to gag, claiming splenda makes you ill and you specifically did not order sugar-free vanilla. don't then ask for a skinny mocha to be made with regular mocha and percent milk. and don't argue with your barista when he tries to educate you!