Monthly Archives: August 2011

We Interrupt This Broadcast…


…to bring you something nice that happened at work:

Today, as Barbara Freakin’ Streisand (yeah, I thought she was dead, too) was crooning on the playlist, I looked up to see a twenty-something couple in line. Dancing. And kissing. Like they might have been out on the town instead of at a coffee shop.

It might have been the sweetest thing I’ve seen on the job, ever. And I thanked them for it when I gave them their drinks.

We now return you to your previously scheduled griping.

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Filed under *The Coffee Shop Days*, Just Stuff, Just Wow

Beauty Can’t Erase Stupid


I see a lot of people in my job. It’s actually the main thing I do, seeing people. For a someone like me who loves to observe the human animal in its natural habitat, you might say it’s the perfect job. I’d be hard pressed to disagree with you. On any given day I am likely to see the best and the worst that our species has to offer and, honestly, you people never cease to astound me.

Today I’m gonna talk about stupid, of which there is sadly no shortage in my line of work. Some of my favorite encounters with stupid occur at the drink pick up area. I can’t tell you how many times a day this happens:

Me (setting a drink on the pick up counter): “A Giant Steamed Milk With A Little Bit Of Coffee In It.”

Customer who’s been hovering impatiently and loudly talking on his phone (reaching for the drink, frowning): “This isn’t what I ordered.”

Me: “That’s correct, sir. But it is what the customer ahead of you ordered.”

Protip: If you try to remember what you ordered, you can avoid looking like a complete dipshit. Also, put the goddamned phone away.

Yesterday I was on the bar in the morning as we got into the heart of our morning rush. When we get enough drinks on the bar we usually double-bar, meaning two of us will make drinks together. Barista 1 will make drinks 1, 3, 5, 7, etc., while barista 2 will make drinks 2, 4, 6, 8 and so on. This way the drinks arrive at the pick up area quickly and roughly as ordered. My supervisor was barista 2 so I was the one calling drinks out for pick up. We had probably ten or twelve people lined up waiting to get their drinks and things were moving pretty smoothly, so I knew it was just a matter of time.

I put out a couple of drinks and called them out for pick up, followed closely by another pair. A tall woman walked up and looked at the drinks on the counter.

Tall Woman: “Is this a Generic Coffee Drink?”

Me (looking at the drink in her hand): “Yep, that’s a Largish Generic Coffee Drink With Soy Milk.”

Tall Woman: “Okay. And this?”

Me (looking at the other drink she’s pointing to): “That’s a Giant Iced Really Sweet Coffee Drink. Is that what you ordered?”

At this point I hear my supervisor quietly say “I have her drink right here.” I see that he’s got a Giant Really Sweet Coffee Drink in process, noting that it’s hot, not iced. Tall Woman is picking up the iced drink with an odd expression on her face.

I should note that she’s not unattractive, though not at all the type of woman I’m attracted to. She’s one of those women that certain types of men find attractive and she clearly knows this. She speaks in that kind of baby girl whisper/lisp that guys like that seem to like. In other words, she’s not the sharpest bulb in the toolbox.

She picks up the iced drink and starts to walk away.

Me: “Did you order yours iced? I don’t think that one is yours.”

Tall Woman (smiling): “This is fine.”

Me: “But did you order it iced or hot? I’m pretty sure that one isn’t yours.”

Tall Woman (handing the drink to her boyfriend): “It’s okay, this is fine.” I see her boyfriend looking at the drink, then at her with a “Seriously? Are you really this dumb?” look. He tells her that it’s not his drink.

At this point her actual drink is ready and the customer who’d ordered the iced one has decided to speak up: “Yeah, I ordered an iced one. That’s mine.”

Tall Woman (still, somehow, not getting it): “No, it’s okay. This is fine.”

Me (holding her drink up for her to see): “Yeah, see, you ordered a hot one, right? That one isn’t yours. This one is yours.”

She did finally relinquish the iced drink to its owner and her boyfriend got what he ordered.

Unfortunately for him, he got exactly what he ordered in the girlfriend department, too.

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Filed under *The Coffee Shop Days*, Just Wow, Oh The Humanity!, Retail Rant

Bits And Bobs


I know what you’re thinking. “That Boochen,” you’re thinking, “is a serious blog-slacker.” And right you are. I throw myself at the feet of my tiny audience and beg mercy. I’ve got no excuse other than sheer laziness.

A few weeks ago, I got not one but two shout-outs from bloggers I like. Who, it would seem, also like me. “Boo,” I said to myself, “you really must post something about that before you forget and a few weeks go by.” Oops. Well, better late than never, right?

First up was Tinman, who listed this blog as one his 15 favorites when he received a Blog Love award from one of his fans. That was awfully nice, as Tinman and I don’t know each other beyond liking each others’ writing. Check him out; he’s a funny guy. And Irish, too.

Then, not even a week later, Geek Ergo Sum (an Englishman) listed me in his “friends who blog” post. He describes my blog as “another blog that combines anger at stupid people (aka the customer) with humour. Again I wish I could a) write this funny and b) as much. There is also a c) I want to know which shop this guy works at and go and be the bestest and politest customer ever.” I’m embarrassed that he wishes he could write “as much” as I do, as I’m clearly not. Writing much. (For the record, if you’re reading this GES, if you’re ever in the upper left corner of the United States, you might wanna be on your best behavior.)

So, thanks guys. I appreciate the recognition, especially from bloggers who inspire me to be better at this stuff. If I were to list other favorites or suggestions, I would say go read Thag’s blog for consistently humorous posts, John’s blog for consistently interesting movie-related posts and Dyson Logos’ blog for some of the coolest role-playing game maps around. And, to round out this list, two very funny women who write better than me. And less often. Don’t Make That Face shares her insane family with the world. And finally, the first blog I found when I came to WordPress, Miz Parker continues to provide the kind of writing I aspire to in my blog, amusing us with her observations of people and the dumb things they do in public.

So that’s about that. Before I go, a short work story:

Customer, wallet in hand and ready to pay: “You take Euros, yes?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, we don’t.”

Customer, frowning and holding a wad of big white bills out to me: “You don’t take Euros? Really? You don’t?”

Me: “Sorry, our system isn’t set up to take most foreign currency.”

Customer, pulling some other bills from his wallet: “How about British Pounds?”

Me, shaking my head and smiling: “I’m sorry, we don’t. We can take Canadian dollars or, of course, US dollars. But no other foreign currency.”

Customer, looking at me and shaking his head as if I’m just picking on him: “No? How about the Euros? Everyone takes them, yes?”

Me: “I’m sorry, no. Our registers aren’t set up to convert from Euros or Pounds or, really, anything other than Canadian dollars.”

Customer, frowning and sighing heavily: “Really? Are you sure?”

Yeah, you got me. I just don’t want to do it because I don’t like your accent.

Me: “Yeah, really. I know it seems odd, but it’s true. Here in the US, we don’t take Euros. Credit cards work, if you want to use one.”

Customer, still shaking his head like I’m just holding up this long line to torment him: “Fine, I guess. Doesn’t make sense, but if you say so.”

Just so you know, we also don’t take Yen, Pesos, Krona, Francs, Marks, Rupees, Rubles, Lira, Dinars, beads, chickens or daughters.

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Filed under *The Coffee Shop Days*, Humor, Just Stuff