Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

February 5—

A customer yelled at me today for not making their drink fast enough, which isn’t all that unusual but is not a situation that happens too often.

Most customers are understanding because they can see with their own two eyes that we are busy and that I am trying my best. But not this guy. Upon him yelling at me, I immediately burst into tears.

The customer got really weirded out and obviously did not know how to handle this new situation, so he ended up leaving. Once again, tears have been proven to put a stop to customer complaints.

I have tested this theory on multiple occasions and have constantly proven that seeing an employee cry is upsetting to angry customers, and they end up feeling too bad to actually issue a formal complaint to the manager.

And I felt like crying anyway, because we were super busy so two birds, one stone. You have to know how to play the system in order to survive this place.

March 22—

I spilled a white chocolate mocha all over my apron, and now my shirt is sticky. I should have learned from the last time, but I’m a fool. I didn’t bring a spare shirt.

And even if I were to switch aprons, the drink spill has already seeped through to my shirt. I’m stuck being sticky either way. Such is the life of a barista; being sticky is just an unfortunate part of the job.

That, and finding mocha in strange places. One time, I found mocha on my leg after coming home from work. I have absolutely no idea how it ended up there. Maybe there’s a mocha monster that lurks in the store, trying to dirty unsuspecting baristas.

Or maybe I spilled it on myself and didn’t notice.

Either way, I’m questioning my sanity and also debating on taking some time off because I don’t know if I can handle another sticky situation.

July 21—

Frap slaps are actually the most draining experience of my entire life. These situations occur when the promotion “buy one frappuccino, get the second one free” are running.

It’s a huge hassle because you have to wash each pitcher before using it again and there are two machines so you can only make two frappuccinos at a time.

Why was this stupid promotion put in place?

And why does management want their employees to suffer? Frappuccino madness has set in. It’s been ages since I’ve been at the hot bar. I sometimes look over there longingly, yearning to return to the place where I belong.

I can’t remember what it was like to make hot drinks, like a mocha or just a plain old latte.

I’m stranded, stranded in a sea of double chocolaty chip and vanilla bean goop, trying desperately to be rescued by the simplicity of an Americano.

September 18—

I dreamt about my job the other night. That’s when you know it’s time to take some time off. I was late for work in the dream.

I pulled up and the store was completely engulfed in flames, but there were still people in line.

The line was spilling out the door and wrapped around the store. Why were they trying to get coffee when the store was visibly on fire?

I asked and all they said was that they needed coffee to start the day. Instead of trying to save the people, I walked through the flames, behind the counter and started making people drinks.

Then I woke up and realized that’s pretty much what it feels like when someone calls out of their morning shift and we’re left understaffed.

Dana Bader is a student at West Chester University. ✉ DB826615@wcupa.edu.

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