Working in the service industry gets me front row tickets to as many displays of dysfunctional human behavior as I could possibly want (usually more). The most amusing parts of my work day are generally provided by a somewhat unwitting party: my customers. People come to my cafe thinking they’re after a good cup of coffee, not auditioning for my blog.
Hello! I’m L, and I’ll be your barista.
Today, in the middle of my shift, a man and his young daughter (maybe four or five years old? I am really terrible at figuring out kid’s ages) scurried out of the cold and into my web….er coffee shop.
“Daddy? Can I please have a hot chocolate?” the little girl implored.
Oh cute! I’m thinking. I love little kids who don’t completely ignore their parents when they’re asked what they want to drink. Unfortunately, the girl’s father didn’t find it nearly as cute.
“No!” he snapped, “You can have a steamed milk with a little bit of chocolate.”
Oh my. Rough day? Now, I get that kids can definitely try the patience. But be nice. Please? And on a slightly different note, what the deuce is the difference between a hot chocolate and steamed milk with a little chcolate. As the barista, I ask you. For serious. (Answer: nnnooootttthhhiiiinnnngg)
Instead of asking me (le barista) for this beverage, the man gave me a very pointed look as if to say, “Why haven’t you rung me up yet? Clearly you should be eavesdropping on the conversation I’m having, a good five feet from the register.” (Just because I was doesn’t mean I think I should be held accountable for it.)
Deciding the point wasn’t worth arguing (as it rarely is with the disgruntled customer) I rang him up.
Once we accomplish this task, he wanted something else: a croissant. Okay, easy enough. Here you go.
“Oh,” crinkling his nose and picking up the plate, “warm it up.” Right. Because, you know, I am completely incapable of picking up the plate I just set down on the counter. Oh, dont’ worry, I understand. You can’t stand having it anywhere near your face until it’s warmed up. Okay.
Once this charming transaction was completed, the daughter has been shooed away to a nearby table, and her father is happily munching on a hot croissant, I am free to procure the beverage.
In my happy coffee-making place, I scoop a bit of chocolate into a cup.
“Not too much chocolate!”
Jolted from my reverie, I notice that instead of seating himself, the most recent addition to my hit list has decided to lurk. And, Espresso help me, I do hate lurkers.
Shooting my most disgruntled look, I attempted not to make a kill. Wouldn’t want to scar the little girl. But what I really wanted to do was make that cute, quiet, little girl a bloody delicious hot chocolate with loads of whipped cream, slap her father, and then imbibe a much needed cup of earl grey tea. Maybe next time.