Wednesday, October 18, 2006

coffee talk

Being a barrista affords excellent people-watching opportunities, and provides great and profound insights into human nature. To wit:

  • you can tell alot about a person by how they treat minimum-wage-slaves such as myself. I like older folks because even if they don't tip, they're unfailingly nice and usually just want a straight-up cup of joe. Yuppies suck. Saints preserve me from Middle-Aged Ladies Getting Their Second Wind, also known as Soccer Moms Out on the Town. These are the people who want a non-fat mocha but also whipped cream, a bit self-defeating I would think. These are the people who think every coffee shop is a Starbucks and order something based on how sophisticated it sounds, then come back complaining that their cappuccino is nothing but espresso and foam. What they want is a latte, but that doesn't sound as cool as "cappucino". They're the ones who treat you like shit, give you their left over pennies as tip, and think you're deliberately trying to fuck them over if you make an honest mistake.
  • our customers are mostly foreign tourists, and I'm always nice as pie to them, because I know exactly how difficult it is to get food and drink in a country where you don't speak the language. We always get Germans coming in looking for beer at 11 o'clock in the morning, which kills me. Lots of Japanese tourists who forget their cameras. The Brits, surprise, mostly want tea. The only ones I don't like are the Italians, they swagger in and SPEAK ITALIAN AT YOU VERY LOUDLY and they think they invented cofffee (which may be true, I have no idea, but that's no excuse for bad manners).
  • why do people insist on arguing with me about the prices, on a completely unrelated note? I seriously don't understand this. Do they think I have some say in the matter? I get paid seven bucks an hour to work an espresso machine. If you think it's too expensive, go somewhere else. You're just wasting my time and pissing me off.
  • we do have a few local regulars, mostly the drivers and receptionists who work at the jeep tour company next door. They rock, we give them a discount, they give us a 50% tip. They're nice, friendly, easy-going. The drivers are mostly men in the 30-50s age bracket, but there's a woman driver I think of as Calamity Jane, because she's a cowboy through and through. She's 40ish and has a soft drawl, wears a wide-brimmed hat and a fantastic brown great coat. She usually just gets a black coffee, always has a wry smile and smart-ass remark. I have an eensy crush on Calamity Jane.
  • Then there's Creepy Dave; because it just wouldn't feel like work without some older perv sexually harassing you. Creepy Dave is another driver and has a thing for girls half his age, whether or not they're legal. He makes my skin crawl. He says my name too much, always giving me lines ("What can I get you?" I asked once. "Is there another one of you?" he replied), winks at me, just....ugh. He's two thirds total creep and one third loser, always trying to sound cool and hip or whatever. Creepy Dave gives four dollar tips on a 99 cent cup of coffee, which is why we put up with him, but I wish he'd go have his mid-life crisis somewhere else.
  • all in all, it's probably the best job I've had, even though I'm working too many hours. The pay's good (basically live off tips), I feel very cool working the espresso machine, the view is incredible, and my manager Stephanie has a little puppy dog named Zoe who comes and visits us when it's slow. And I've invented the Nerds smoothie too (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and apple juice. Tastes exactly like Nerds candy).


Post a Comment

<< Home