Baristas are these great people who are well versed in the art of coffee. Either by studying it or learning by working as a barista, that nice person has turned itself in your morning friend without knowing it.
The responsibility held by a barista is barbaric, you know. A little mistake, an order that was wrongly written, can cost that person in front of the expresso machine lots of insults and angriness.
Morning after morning, afternoon after afternoon, people have gathered at Coffee Shops around the world to enjoy a cup of fresh revitalizing coffee. Make no mistakes. I am one of those people. But I also was a barista a few years ago.
As a barista, there are things we do really hate. But who wouldn't? Let me share some of those bad habits with you:
People yelling at you over the phone
PLEASE!!!! I cannot stress this too much! When you order your drink and expect to receive it as perfect as you would want it, leave your phone aside. Don't yell at your barista that you want a macchiato with extra milk, no flavor, -wait for a second, "yes, babe, I told you already"- three shots of expresso extra, without froth, no milk, -wait. "I can't understand you. There's this noob at the coffee shop who doesn't understand anything I'm saying!" -and make it a decaf.
Getting angry because of dumb stuff
You expected three napkins and your barista gave you just one? He or she is following a standard procedure from their company. If you want more napkins is this easy: Can you give me two more napkins? Thanks! Don't yell at them because they didn't meet your secret expectations. They are there to serve you coffee. Tell them exactly what you want!
Telling them your sad life story
Come on! Your barista doesn't really care that you have traveled the world tasting different coffees or visiting Victoria's Secret runways. They don't care if you drank too much last night and don't even remember how you make it here in the first place. They are behind that counter to make your coffee. That's it.
Telling them what the rich and famous are doing right now
Don't get mad because your barista isn't excited about Dwayne Johnson breaking his home gate because he was without electricity. They don't care if Cardi B wears too much makeup. And definitely, they don't care a thing about Bad Bunny's new mustache. Poor thing! If they give you a laugh is just because they are trying to be nice with you. And a nice barista can get a nice tip. Not more gossip.
Ordering from somewhere else menu
Big franchises give especial names to their sizes. And that's great. Is good marketing for them. But it doesn't mean that a local coffee shop has to keep the franchise sizing and menu (that, my friends, is stealing too!). Is totally annoying when a customer comes to a local coffee shop to ask for a Starbuck's size of coffee. You know, probably your local barista doesn't even visit Starbucks, because... well... they work at a coffee shop and probably get free or discounted coffee. Or just because the local coffee shop owner decided to name his drinks and sizes in his/her own personal way.
Blaming the barista because they don't offer what you want
Every coffee shop is unique. Some offer desserts to have with your coffee. Others offer some kind of finger foods, pastries, and maybe sandwiches and salads. Your barista doesn't make the menu, he or she just follow orders. Don't turn your anger towards them because the other coffee shop you visited in Rome had this little thingy that tasted just like a little cloud but was a red-colored spongy sweet you know nothing about, like the name for example. It is great you've been to Rome and they have exquisite things that taste like heaven and things like that, but here's all we have. You're not in Rome anymore.
I just want a coffee
Baristas don't make just coffee. They make your coffee! The one you want with the amounts of everything you want. For a barista, the "I just want a coffee" phrase is like a spit in the face. Be specific. Do you want a latte? Do you want an espresso? Say it, for the love of GOD!
What do you recommend?
Is not that Baristas hate to give recommendations. On the contrary, Baristas love to share their creative power with its customers. But is so tedious when a customer comes like this:
Customer: "I don't know what to have! What you recommend?"
Barista: "Well, I would have a frozen caramel macchiato double."
Customer: "Yuck! I don't like anything frozen!"
Barista: "Then a pumpkin spice latte with whip and cinnamon will do. Is perfect for the season!"
Customer: "I don't like pumpkin or anything seasonal."
Barista: "What about a chai?"
Customer: "I hate chai. Just give me a lemonade."
See? Many customers get a recommendation and order it right away, or modify it to their liking. Others know they don't like tea, don't like frozen drinks, don't like ice coffee, they don't even like coffee, and yet ask for recommendations. What you want me to recommend? Water?
Are you listening to me?
Yes, I was. But you went back to your phone and I'm just waiting patiently for you to finish your order to continue with the line of customers piling up behind you. I am listening. Are you ordering already or Hanna there on the phone want something too?
It is funny but maddening when a customer comes and orders a "double espresso, decaf, but make it strong. I need the caffeine today.". Either you want the caffeine in it or you don't. This is one of the things that once done, cannot be reverted. You cannot take the caffeine out of the shot, or put caffeine inside a decaf. Make up your mind, please! (Yes, that picture is a latte art I made!)
Nothing makes a barista angrier than a customer who comes yelling, disrespectful, blaming you for being already late to whatever thing he/she was supposed to be doing and to make it even worse, they throw the money to the counter.
Keep the change
Getting tips is awesome. Every barista aims to get a nice amount of tips by the end of the shift. But when a customer says to keep the change in a $4.99 order... Thanks for the .01 tip. Some say better than nothing, but I think you better say nothing and leave! Not that tip is compulsory, but "keep the change" means this is your tip. don't break our hearts this way!
Complaining about the prices
The barista didn't price the items. The owners probably do. A coffee shop is not the right place for a cheap coffee. That's what fast foods and gas station deli are for. A coffee shop is a place dedicated to the art of coffee. Is art! Art costs because is beauty in a mug! Embrace it and enjoy it! A lot of pleasures in life costs us money. But is well-spent money!
Asking discounts with this phrase
"I know the owner!" "We went to college together!" "He was my boyfriend!" and so on. Surprise! I am the owner! I don't know you at all. I'm pretty sure we haven't met before. And it's impossible I was your boyfriend as I'm a lady! But anyway, enjoy your coffee!
The attention seeker customer
It's great when our customer is loud enough and clear. Baristas love customers who speak clear. But a tone of voice that's intentionally way too loud is something nobody appreciates. Baristas have learned to read people. Your high annoying voice only says: "I'm looking for someone with such low self-esteem to notice me!
The flirty customer
Nothing annoys the most than a customer who thinks he/she's so cute that even the Barista has to follow his/her lead down the seduction road. I've attended gentlemen who thought to be slick enough to write his cellphone in his business card just in case I needed any kind of help. Really? Do you cook? No. Do you bake? Do you make coffee? No. Do you, at least, know how to clean bathrooms properly? No. Then, why would I need your help? Thank you, next!
I had this one customer who came every Saturday and sat in the farthest table at the shop. From there, he would yell rubbish at me, just to call my attention. The good thing to work with your spouse is you can hide in the backroom and let them handle this kind of recurrent customer.
The psycho customer who doesn't understand a no
I'm actually laughing like a maniac at this one. Remember how I mentioned working with your spouse, right? Well, there was this lady who came to the shop every day at 1 pm. While her order was been prepared, she would lean over the counter and look at my husband like in a crazy limbo, talking things nobody understood. He was so scared of her, every time he saw her coming by, he volunteered to do another shore at the kitchen.
There was this crazy woman that probably was almost in her sixties. She would come with her underaged teen daughters asking for the owner every single time. In the beginning, that woman wanted her daughter to be hired at the coffee shop. Later, she just wanted the barista-owner-husband to notice her. To the extent that one day she came with green eye contacts, red lips, and very dark hair- just like me.
What's the wi-fi password?
This is a good one! Be the customer who enters the door. Go to the barista, ask a free glass of tap water and the wi-fi code. Then, go take a seat for 4 hours, and every once in a while come and ask for a refill of water. Did I call this person customer? Don't worry. He/she'll come back later that day, the nest day, and so on, and this time park right in front of the store to use free wi-fi with the free password you gave them with free water.
Talking out loud about your mad sex skills
Seriously, people! That's private. Not that baristas don't enjoy laughing at all the lies they know you're talking about. Your girlfriend was here this morning, trashing your winner with her bestie! Sadly, we overheard her too. Just kidding! We do enjoy to overheard the audacity of people talking sex with their friends!
Listening to your music or videos out loud
Last but not least, I beg you! Use your headphones! Usually, coffee shops have music. Your music is exactly that: yours! The funny Youtube videos you watch are probably funny just for you. And please, please, don't watch porn in a coffee shop. We can hear you. We can see you. Your screen is reflected in the windows and other surfaces. That in case the wild moans didn't give you away already.
Lots of love,