Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why Chad Can Never Be a Barista . . . Again

Okay. Ordinarily I rule out career paths from simple observations I make while observing others. (Remember my AMAZING "Why I can never be a mailman" blog??)

Barista, however - is one that I have some hefty experience with.
I spent nearly half a decade working in coffee shops.

I loved it.

Well . . . I loved the atmosphere and the people I worked with.

The reason I can't ever be a barista again is for the good of mankind.

I'm going to need to break this down chronologically.

I was first hired as a barista when I was 19 at Peaberry Coffee.

I was incredible! Perky, talkative, and sucking down more iced florentines (chocolate milk and iced coffee) than I care to remember. My previous job was at Gunther Toody's Diner so I totally already had the training for dickhead customers. Smile while your serving their food that you sneezed on.

It's a simple gear shift from food to drinks. If you are a dickhead I can still get back at you - so don't.

We used to use Puro Caff to clean our milk pitchers and backflush our bar. A white, tasteless powder that strongly resembles vanilla powder when put in a shaker. It's meant to clean portafilters, steam wands, and bar heads - but it also gives people the wicked shits. Or as MSDS says: "gastro intestinal reaction. Do not induce vomiting if ingested."

I usually closed - but when i had to open I was not happy. (Usually because I had closed the night before)
When someone is hard at work so they can have everything primed and ready for your ass to come in before work or whatever - have some respect and don't be a prick. I had to get the bar primed, fill a pastry case, set out newspapers, clean whatever had to be soaked the previous night, fill 5 urns of drip coffee, count up two registers, do paperwork for the previous day's sales, God knows what else - all by 5 am. The least you could do is not coat the condiment bar in a fine layer of nutmeg and half & half.

ANYWAY - eventually I left my Peaberrys for a new one. A mall Peaberrys!! This was where I got an added benefit! In addition to my normal petty get-backs (like giving awful cheerleaders whole milk when they want skim or giving someone decaf shots when they bitch about how tired THEY are when I've been up since shortly after they went to sleep . . . )

What the hell was I talking about?

Oh yeah - my extended arsenal. In addition to Puro Caff we had a roach problem (thanks to the Wetzel's Pretzels next door)

Did I ever put live cockroaches in people's drinks? You bet your ass I did.

You see, Matt (who ALSO worked with me at Peaberrys) took the passive aggressive route. If someone asked Matt for a cappucino in a snooty way Matt would make it as dry as he could until it felt like an empty cup.

I've never been as good with the passive aggressive stuff.

Enter my roaches. We had a ton of drinks that came with crushed up Heath bar.

In the case of "Dan", the douchy shoe salesman from Dillards - he got a cup of frozen coffee treat, chocolate, caramel, heath bar, and an American cockroach.

Drink up, dick.

Admit it - you've either done the same thing to these assholes who have it coming or you've wanted to. Go ahead. Seriously consider it. . .

If, after really thinking it over, you haven't ever wanted to do this and you think its absolutely wrong no matter what - that probably means its because you're one of those asshats and you've probably consumed someone's bodily fluids without your knowledge.

And maybe a bug.


  1. Well I can honestly say I've only ever given someone caffienated when they asked for decaf. Nothing more sinister than that, but it's usually the rude people who come in thirty minutes before we close, order a pastry and continue to demolish this pastry by spreading its little children all of the floor I've just cleaned up. Say hello to sunrise because you haven't slept since the night before. Oh yeah...then there was Carlene... She was a hoot...I'll have to tell you about her sometime.

    However, typically I don't mess with people's drinks. Though I believe I'm a drug dealer at this point, a front man for the international crime organization known as Starbucks, I don't tend to mess around with what people order too much. I was mentored with my previous job to "kill them with kindness." It's oddly rewarding sometimes to KNOW I'm BETTER than those people without stooping to a low that could morally corrupt me or give me "bad" karma.

    However I may react to situations like this, I commend you. I try, with my all might, to be kind and respectful and friendly to people who serve me. I tip well and create conversation with anyone who handles things that I ingest. I don't trust most people, but I figure if I'm nice, they'll treat me with some semblance of morally sound respect... I hope at least...

    You don't think I'm a bitch do you? An asshole? Someone whose food has been messed with...much? Oh, I feel sick now that I think about it. Although it could be the six alcoholic beverages I've had tonight. (teehee)

  2. Ah, a young 19 year old Matt. Amazingly I never age, like Keanu Reeves...

  3. Oh my dear, that picture of you brings back such memories. I totally remember you with the Puro Caff. And how we were NEVER EVER given the same shift because we were too out of control together. Pretty much several lawsuits waiting to happen. Ah, good times. I like to think that, even roughly a decade later, we'd still be getting written up for inappropriate behavior.

    And - I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am SO glad I'm on your GOOD side.

  4. I'm so glad i don't drink coffee. . . serves 'em right

  5. Caffeinated instead of decaf?!?! Josh! What if they're allergic to caffeine?? You could kill someone!

    I'm just gross for my own little amusements! You? Are toying with people's lives my friend.

    Too far.

    (I'm just kidding around with you. You're not an asshole. You're tremendous and I love your guts)
    (please dont spit in my girlie drink)