Last week, we explained why you might be getting sorry service when you dine out: treating the hostess like a subhuman creature, whether as a sewer-dwelling mutant with no education or as a hot piece of ass there purely for your carnal desires.
This week, we interviewed several baristas in the Houston area to find out why you might be getting a side of stink-eye with your strawberry Frappucino. If you're going into a coffee shop every morning, don't you think it would behoove you to treat the people who wait on you every morning -- the people who provide you with the magical elixir necessary to get through your day -- with at least a little respect? Most baristas love their regular customers and treat them like family; it's the antics below that can ruin everyone's day -- including all the other customers in the shop who have to bear witness to your boorish behavior.
Michael Roos, longtime barista at Starbucks stores throughout the Houston area, and two baristas who asked not to be identified weighed in on customer quirks that make them want to throw hot coffee on the next person who pisses them off.
Why Your Barista Hates You
1) Being a cheapskate.
"Only order a couple of shots of espresso in a large cup filled with ice. Then go to the condiment bar and empty our milk carafes. So they end up paying half of the price for a large iced latte." -- Michael Roos
"No, I won't serve you shots of espresso over ice in a large cup. Why not? Because I'd rather you not take all of my half-n-half from the canister on the side bar to make yourself a ghetto latte, that's why." -- Anonymous #1
"IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO TIP YOUR BARISTA THEN YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE HABIT!!! (That goes for anything, if you can't afford to tip then you can't afford to eat out.)" -- Michael Roos
"Please don't make snide comments about tipping. I understand that you could have made some drip coffee for yourself at home, but you didn't. That's why you came to see me. Do not blame me for you sleeping late or being lazy." -- Anonymous #1
2) Ordering something unnecessarily complicated.
"Half caf five shot venti half non fat half soy two Sweet n Low a half Equal extra hot well stirred caramel macchiatto. That's a real order." -- Michael Roos
"I want a grande half-skinny half-1 percent extra hot split quad shot (three shots decaf, one regular shot) latte with whip." -- Anonymous #2
3) Complaining about the intrinsic nature of the beverage you ordered.
"This coffee is too hot!" -- Michael Roos
"I ordered this coffee extra hot and it's burning my lips. I didn't order a molten lava coffee!" -- Anonymous #2
4) Ordering drinks that aren't on the menu.
"No, I will not make you a Frappuccino. Do you see that on my menu? No, you don't. There are 11,000 Starbucks in this country, two of which face each other on the corner of West Gray and Shepherd. Why don't you go there instead?" -- Anonymous #1
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SHOW ME HOW
5) Treating your barista like an idiot.
"Yes, I do have a bachelor's degree in a Social Science discipline, and yes, I chose this job because I like it. So no, you cannot treat me like a second-class citizen just because I don't work a traditional corporate job. Please return to the poorly parked sports car (or over-size truck-type thing) that you left idling in the parking lot." -- Anonymous #1
"Please do not tell me how to make your beverage. I heard your order, repeated it back to you, and you confirmed. Now it's time for me to make that drink so that you can be on your merry way (and out of my shop)." -- Anonymous #1
Interestingly, none of the baristas weighed in with what was one my personal pet peeves when I worked in a coffee shop nearly 13 years ago: treating the shop as if it was your living room, and us as if we were your maids. Have baristas simply become desensitized to this behavior over the years? Weigh in below.