Behind-The-Counter and the Tip Jar

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Today at Seattle's Best, some nasty man was just yelling at the poor coffee-person-behind-the-counter. She was about to cry, she was scared, and it was probably her first day. He just went off, then stormed out the door, almost knocking a little kid down. In-ex-cuseable. She then looked down, she then looked very upset. He had stolen the tip jar when no one was looking.

I worked behind a coffee counter at a Seattle's Best and at a mom-n-pop shop. I loved working back there actually, and might still be doing so if the pay didn't suck so bad and people tipped like shit. I knew my regulars' orders and could have them hot and ready before they even got in the store. I loved going to work and working in food service. We all even knew how to make a heart in your cappuccino with the foam.

Thus, you can see why I have feelings and sympathy for the people who now work behind those counters and you can understand when I get pissed off when coffee gnomes come in and treat them like crap because their cappuccino w/ no foam (which is called a latte, btw) with extra espresso, two shots of caramel, soy milk, and an extra dose of anal is not exactly 102.4 degrees. Who knows why they're like this? Maybe they were picked last at kickball back in the day.

(Side note: No one likes the word "barista." It's gay. Rurl Gay. I'm gay. I'm allowed to say that. And "barista" is the gayest word ever. It's "coffee-person-behind-the-counter".)

I found an old rant I wrote after a particular foul day filled with such angry coffee gnomes yelling at me and the other coffee-people-behind-the-counter because of whatever piddly inexcuseable reason they had and after someone took the tip jar and ran out the door.

Here's the rant:
Anyways... I now smell like coffee. Literally, I now have espresso in my bloodstream, somehow absorbing it through my skin. And it's a good thing that everything smells like coffee, including myself, because it distracts me from the fact that people can be total idiots. For example, the tip jar is not a spot to throw extra pennies or TAKE quarters if you are short of change, or worse yet STEAL FROM it! Surprisingly, this maudlin state behind the counter has given me new respect for servers and the crap they put up with so that I will give a dollar if the service is decent, cause sometimes decent is very hard to muster for people, especially those who bitch about tax or want a drink re-made a zillion times because they're a neuvo riche, snobby, European, parvenue asshole. The tip jar makes me forget about the coffee smell, and reminds me that I am an appreciated human being. A human being! Not some slave with a Buddhist cursed apron which will cause me to burst into flames should I step out of the tile prison of the cafe'. So F*** you world. Damn your ignorance and horrid treatment of the tip jar. And clinique'... make something to cover up, or at least compliment the coffee smell I have unwillingly taken into my being. Thank you. Condiments and creamer are to your left. Have a nice day.

I was very angry that day...

A quick note on tip jar etiquette; I tip in the tip jar, you should to if the service is good. Not just my pennies either. Always 25 cents to a dollar, depending on the service. I rescently saw one jar that said, "Karma is a Boomerang," at a local coffee shop. "That is so true!" I said to myself as I passed my hand over the tip jar and placed my change in my pocket. I walked away in hurry since I was late, sipping my luke warm, incorrect order. If the service sucks. No tip. That simple.

Don't be one of those mean people. Be nice, be friendly, and let the coffee-person-behind-the-counter know you appreciate them. They'll learn your name, your drink, and go out of their way to make sure you're happy. Like free drinks.


  1. Hear, hear.

    This is really good advice, not only in a coffeeshop, but in a restaurant, or just for life in general. Just because someone is "serving" does not mean there is license to treat them as anything less than a human being.

    Sweet blog, by the way. I've been enjoying these posts!

  2. Thanks Eric, I'm glad you like the blog! I've seen yours too, and it's quality!
    If you get a chance check out Joy, the Restaurant Whore, she hearts the restaurant experience too!

  3. Yeah, her site is awesome! Not to mention the fact that her posts are frickin' hilarious, and full of the colorful language that really everyone needs a dose of, at least once a day. :)

  4. Hear, hear. I've worked in customer service almost my entire life and one of my pet peeves is seeing mistreatment of cashiers and the people who are serving you. Don't get me started on tipping!

    Are you from WA?? I'm originally from CA (monterey area) living up here in Bellingham, WA. (Rather be back in Ca...but ya know! :D)


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