Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Tales of a (Budding) Barista

I remember writing the Starbucks Ramblings with a vague adoration for the store. I think everyone kind of experiences this little bit of intimacy with the place that satiates their caffeine addiction like an enabling girlfriend.

But I never once thought (Hoped, but, not thought), that I would don the green apron and affably yell what sounds like discontinued M&M flavors.

Yes, I serve food now.

I have handed my 2 weeks notice in to CVS, and have begun my transition to being the world renowned (Or quietly-despised) Starbucks barista.

I've so far gone through 4 days of training. The first day was physically underwhelming but mentally uplifting; it consisted mostly of my shock that SB's mission statement is kind of an exact shadow of my own. Howard Schultz's (CEO of Starbucks) quote comes to mind here:

"We’re in the people business serving coffee, not the coffee business serving people."

It's pretty much every I've ever asked for. Or maybe it's just CEO PC garbage.

Shut up shut up shut up shut up.

Still, it's likable.

Day two was simple. And by simple, I mean holy shit, tedious recipe memorization makes my frontal lobe ache.

Starbucks' core, ironically, is not in its actual coffee, but its lovely peripheral drinks. These involve lattes, teas, their iced counterparts, cappuccinos, frappuccinos, and smoothies, plus the variety of customized options, such as the shots of espresso, pumps of syrups, particular flavors of said syrup, the type of milk, inclusion/exclusion of whip cream and the amount of ice, where applicable.

No, I'm not a robot.

They haven't turned the chip on.

I've spent the last two days or so learning and practicing these recipes, on occasion being mobbed by uppity white customers out of nowhere and being forced to kick my speed into high gear. This happens a lot in this Starbucks; a lull often turns into two whites chicks terribly arguing over caramel macchiatos.

None of that was an exaggeration.

When I was handing off my very first caramel macchiato, the chick who very promptly grabbed it was immediately interrupted by some other chick. My trainer, who's an incredibly youthful and dedicated girl, immediately tried to settle it by saying "The next one's coming right up." She needed to say it twice, me joining in harmony the second time, because the two were passive aggressively debating who was first in line.

The lesson here is that you don't fuck with a white girl's caramel macchiato.

Or patience.

But really don't fuck with their shit.

Anyway, since then I've just been destroying frappuccinos with my legendarily terrible whip cream applications.

Seriously, Ghandi would hand my shit back.

But I've started memorizing the recipes and the basics have started entrenching themselves in my brain. Soon I'll start branding my personality onto the job. Which just means drawing dicks in the syrup boxes

I would just kinda sit around all day...and draw pictures of dicks.

The store and the atmosphere is an absolute 180 from CVS, with its undying obsession to customer service, and customers who are actually willing to reciprocate (SOME OF THEM REMEMBER MY NAME! PEOPLE ARE SO NICE!), and a pace like a 4 way intersection with traffic lights that change every 5 seconds.

Plus, the radio plays "Lazy Eye" by Silversun Pickups from time to time. Yes, the song is 2 minutes longer than it should be, but fuck me is that a massive improvement over whatever heartbreak Leona Lewis is throating again.

I'm pretty in love with Starbucks. And not just because Starbucks gives me free drinks. But because they stand for friendship, community, and best of all, humanity. And my first four days on the job has already proven that in a variety of ways, be it through the memorable and receptive customers, or through my dedicated co-workers.

Okay, mostly because they give me free drinks.

Okay, only because they give me free drinks.

No comments:

Post a Comment