Yay for Irony. Another Coffee Shop Story.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

From the Archives as I am working on school crap and a big mega post that requires some time and research. Be patient.

So as Rob has so eloquently put it, I am a magnet for stupid people. I may find myself to be surrounded by only normal people, yet in a trice The Stupids will always hunt me down somehow. But this time... this time it was just fantastic.

So in the same coffee shop, I'm waiting in line behind Coffee Nut berating New Coffee Girl (Starbucks is a rotating door of employees it seems).

"Can you be sure to actually steam the milk this time? Last time is was ice cold!" he screamed, taking a moment away from his current cell phone conversation. He was irate with a red face, not from the cold outside, but likely from stress which will no doubt end his overly important life prematurely.

"Sorry, I only heat it to what I'm supposed to legally heat it too," which is between 150-160 F if you were curious. Yep, you never forget working in a cafe. I also know how to make a heart and a Christmas tree with the milk. Great resume' builder that.

"Yeah well, heat it more. Last time it was fucking cold." Swearing is always a great way to garner good will from those preparing your food; remember, you don't see the way them cookies are baking before you eat 'em.

"Yes, sir," the poor New Coffee Girl conceeded, as it is in her job description to do so. "The Customer Is Always Right" is at times the biggest crock of shit ever. Yet, over a cup of coffee for someone you'll possibly never see again, riding these customers out is just the lightest path to tread.

He waved away her subservience and went back to his cell conversation. Apparently his manners also extended to cutting her off, and getting back to his cell as he had probably cut them off to yell at poor New Coffee Girl.

Now having worked at a coffee shop this little legal temperature is a bunch of hooey. Really, that temp does kill EVERYTHING that might be in your milk. But assuming the milk is fresh, it shouldn't be a problem anyways. And even if the milk was bad, steaming it to 150-160 F is just going to making steaming hot bad milk. At that tongue searing temperature, you are actually destroying the flavor.

I watched as she steamed the milk, a process which should normally take about 15 seconds for a large latte. She had the steaming wand buried at the bottom for a good minute it seemed. This amount of time should bring the milk to a balmy 190 F.

Excellent. Now class, who wants to guess what happens next?

"Here you are sir. As hot as I could get it."

"As hot as you can humanly make it on that machine, right?"

"Yes, the temperature is very hot. You may actually want to wait a min-"

Coffee Nut then immediately took a drink, only to yelp as his tongue turned to a scalding strip of boiled flesh. And as he pulled it away, the coffee spilled out of the cup and onto his hand. Another inaudible yelp, I think he said "ow" but who knows with his mouth now useless, and the drink, cup-and-all, splattered on the floor.

"Are you okay!?" asked the coffee girl.


Yay for irony.


  1. In french he would be a "dumass"

  2. What an amazing display of stupidity. Yay for just desserts.

  3. I thought that would be La dumass? In any event, thank you for that story. It just made my dreary day, a nice day.



    I want to know what happened next... did he continue giving her a hard time?

  5. I wonder if he can pronounce the word "kharma" with that seared tongue?

  6. tee-hee-hee! I'm going to hell for laughing out aloud, but it was worth it! Thanks for the story.

  7. What a jackass! I hope he was sufficiently embarrassed, but somehow I doubt it. I wish her manager had overheard and kicked the guy out for swearing or something.

  8. People that act like total douches are bad but LOUD douches deserve bamboo shoots under their fingernails!

  9. What a wanker. I can just see it now, I would have been laughing my ass off. Naughty me ;)

  10. As someone who works at Wholefoods, I see this 15 times a day. Not this exact scenario, but you know, same thing. Every day I wonder how these people were brought up, and if they ever stop to think that the people waiting on them are real people? Jerks. People want a half a pound of something and then SCREAM that it's too much. I'm lucky my boss follows the "employees are people too" rule instead of "whatever the customer wants, right away" rule.

  11. Typical! And too funny, Garrett.

    Karma is a bitch. ;) xoxo

  12. Too bad no one gave a loud standing ovation over his scalding tongue and hands after making the poor girl suffer from his abuse. I hope folks were willing to stand up and be counted so that the probable pending lawsuit would be tossed out over following his explict orders. Me, I love my barristas and their talent.

  13. Recently stumbled across your site and have to say - the story is - Oh just too good and too true, too often! :)

  14. i used to work in a coffee shop, i think i know that customer!!!a

  15. Wow, I'm utterly amazed at how rude people can be. I guess what goes around really comes come around. That's karma for you. :)

  16. That. Is. Hilarious.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  17. I work part time at Peet's Coffee. There are days when I swear if some of these customers were gazelles, they'd have been eaten by now!

  18. just wait - now that guy's gonna sue! ;-)

  19. as a former barista - perfecto!

  20. Anyone who has ever worked any sort of lower-level customer service job knows that "The customer is always right is the biggest crock of shit ever." It's always the worst customers that bring it up too. Bravo.

  21. Oh people. My husband and I both work in a pizza place at a mall that seems to be frequented by the worst sorts of customers. I have never harmed a persons food, but when we get those ass hole customers yelling at us I always want to inform them they have probably eaten an ungoddly amount of waiter/waitress spit in their lives. Just so they realize they are the kind of customers servers exact revenge on.
    One of the most frequent jerk moves goes like this. A customer walks up and says I want a slice of combo. You take a slice and put it in the oven, when the person says "I don't want that one, I want this one here. It looks bigger". This happens all day, and can get quite irritating. One of my coworkers has perfected the act of smilingly picking up the new slice, saying "of course sir, no problem" and then accidentally dropping the new slice so that the customer then has to take the first slice. And he always manages to make it look accidental. The rest of us have a hard time keeping a straight face.
    It's the small things that get you through the day

  22. I am a cashier at a grocery store, and I absolutely despise when people use their cell phones while I'm checking their items. It's completely rude. They expect me not to use my cell phone while I'm scanning their groceries, so they should be just as polite and not use their phone so I can ask them about their groceries if need be.

    Poor coffee girl... I feel for her.


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