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Barista! The Return of Stupid

If my memory serves, my last posting found me quite delirious and tolerant of my customers. Yes, for that brief, fleeting moment, I acknowledged the possibility that not everyone was completely fucking stupid. But like I said . . . delirious and fleeting.

It wasn't two days after I wrote that kind post that I wanted to shit in no less than twenty people's coffees. It was almost as if the customers had read my nice words and subsequently united on a mission to return my life to a moderate-climate hell. They obviously didn't like the friendly Maude. Which I understand, because it was creeping me out too.

It was a Friday afternoon that snapped me out of my sun-inspired jolliness. Nothing makes the hairs on your neck stand alert like the ringing of the school bell that signifies the commencement of Spring Break. The pre-teens swarmed like locusts that day, buzzing so loud that I nearly lost my voice shouting over them to confirm drink orders.

Likewise, there was an abundance of semi-retarded moms who contributed to my disgust. For example, the woman who ordered two large lemonades (not on the menu) and then, after receiving her two large lemonades, thought it was the best time to ask for them to be sweetened and shaken. Of course, I should have just known that. Lucky for me, limousines came and swept most of the idiots away for the week. Just about every last one of them went to Florida.

Maybe I shouldn't put all the blame on my customers. I can also attribute a little of my increased blood pressure to the geniuses who supply the satellite station with music to be played in our stores. The holiday music selections are bad enough, but even worse is the Damien "I Want To Kill Myself" Rice playlist that someone actually imagined was a good idea for a coffee shop. Every so often, I catch myself self-loathing into the lattes, only to realize that Damien Rice has been playing in my subliminal background. For those of you who are not familiar with his music, here is a quote from a song that plays frequently in our store. It's called "Accidental Babies."

Well I know I make you cry
And I know sometimes you wanna die
But do you really feel alive without me?
If so, be free
If not, leave him for me
Before one of us has accidental babies
For we are in love

What is even more offensive than Damien Rice's own music is the fact that he took it upon himself to cover Radiohead's "Creep," which also plays at the store. What a pretentious prick to think he has a quarter of the talent required to even think about covering Radiohead. Just because you are angst-ridden and your mind is in a dark place does not mean you are somehow related to Thom Yorke. No matter what the circumstance, no matter how many empty marked cups adorn the top of my bar, no matter how many bubble-gum chewing youngsters are frothing for their fraps, I will leave the floor to change the music the very second I hear Damien Rice ruining Radiohead.

Which reminds me that we also get to hear some mediocre chick singer covering the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah" for the thousandth tired time. Covers of that should have been banned after Jeff Buckley made it truly heavenly.

But anyway, I digress. Simply because I get a real kick out of that crazy French press guy, I have another update in the story of his patronage. The company just had our annual brewing sale, which marked down all sorts and sizes of brewing equipment. From espresso machines, to coffee makers, to - you guessed it - French presses! French press guy's flighty wife was in one day and ordered her husband's ridiculous coffee (which now gets three pumps of white mocha added to it, further diluting the flavor of his specifically-ordered roast). I told her about the annual brewing sale and this prime opportunity to pick up their very own French press!

She laughed and said that they already had one - he just liked having us do it for him! I chuckled briefly while reaching behind her stupid bouffant and slamming her face straight into the countertop, rendering her unconscious and limp on the floor, Americano spilled and scalding across her body.

Well, that isn't exactly how the transaction ended, per se. I definitely didn't chuckle. After she walked away, Lillian asked me if I had tried to sell her a French press. She informed me that I wasn't the first to attempt that sale, which did make me laugh. Some people shall remain blissfully oblivious. Good for them.


Maude Perkins is The Beachwood Reporter's pseudononymous service industry affairs editor currently serving time as a store supervisor for a large, publicly-held corporate coffee chain. Catch up with the rest of her heartwarming tales from the front here.


Posted on April 11, 2007

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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