A Barista’s Tale

by Will Martin

“Hey! I paid for a Grande, not a Tall in a Grande cup!”

I know it’s far from the worst job on the planet. Some days it feels like the worst job on the planet. But hey— it’s my job, and the customer wants me to fill her latte to the top. So I steam a little more milk, top her off, and wish her well.

“Oh, great, you watered it down. Pour it out and make me a fresh one—and do it right this time! I don’t have all day.”

It’s definitely the worst job on the planet.

Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe you’ve had this customer yourself. Or maybe you’ve seen this customer. Maybe you’ve even been this customer.  The story ends happily—but for now, she’s spoiling for a fight.

“I don’t like your attitude. Go get your manager!”

It’s really not a good time for Chris, my boss. I’m interrupting him in the middle of the supply order.  He hates doing the supply order. Getting up, he mutters something under his breath and pushes past me to the front.

“I’m the Store Manager, ma’am. How can I help?”

“I paid for a Grande latte, but he gave me a Tall! I asked him nicely to remake it— twice!— but he disrespected me both times.”

Great.

“No problem, ma’am. I’ll have someone else make your drink. It’s on the house.”

“No, there is a problem. I want you to take him in back and teach him some manners.”

Chris turns to me and says, “Get in the back. Now. ” I wonder if I’ll lose my job. Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad, right? I hate this stupid job, anyway!

But a minute or two later, when Chris arrives, he doesn’t yell at me. To my surprise, he gives me a hug. “Sorry about that,” he says. Then, seeing how frustrated I am, adds, “Why don’t you take a little break? I’ll cover for you until you feel better.”

It’s funny how far a little bit of empathy can go. Maybe this job isn’t so bad after all.

Or maybe I just have a great boss.

 

 

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