Barista Business

latte-art.jpgDear Barista With the Dorothy Hamill Haircut,

I am having a hard day already. I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but you made it worse. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but there it is.

I hope that haircut is meant to be ironic. Some things aren’t meant to be brought back. Like fluorescent socks. Maybe your Dorothy Hamill haircut is supposed to be like hipster boys growing beards that are so sincerely frontier terrible that they must be ironic and therefore attractive. But most of them are so actually terrible that they double back over the irony attraction into well, just plain terrible.

Does your boyfriend have a beard?

See, Wednesdays are my Day to Get Things Done. They are the only day in the week when I have the whole day to attend to business. Writing mainly, multi-step projects that require some thought, lots of we-own-a-house-now business, some no-way-can-I-do-this-with-a-toddler errands. A day to be able to start a task and finish it. Wednesdays are my Day of Satisfaction.

Why are you wearing a nautical stripe shirt? I’m just asking. Not that I don’t like the shirt. It’s fine. It’s just there’s no boat, and I’m in a bad mood.

I should have just told you that my hot coffee was cold, that you didn’t heat the milk past just-below-room-temperature and I wanted you to make me another latte, but because I’m already having a rough day, that extra effort seems impossible right now. I’ll just sit here and steam like my milk didn’t.

I don’t book appointments on Wednesdays because having to be somewhere at a specific time disrupts the whole start-to-finish thing. Today I made an exception to that rule. Now there’s an unpleasant block interrupting the middle of my Day of No Interruptions. This was a mistake. Not yours, BWTDHH, I agree, but that first Mistake made your Bad Job the third Bad Thing in the day instead of the first. Keep in mind that your small straw might be the last small straw for someone else.

That’s something I’ll try and remember myself. Do your job well because you don’t know when someone else’s day might depend on it.

Competence Karma.

No, scratch that. It sounds like a cereal.

When I tried to get out of the house early, our green car glided from 10 mph to 2 mph a block from home and a big red exclamation point came up on one screen and a picture of a car with another big exclamation point over it appeared on the other screen.

I assume that that car in the picture is supposed to be our car even though our car is shorter. If the car in the picture were shorter though, I guess you wouldn’t be able to see it behind the giant exclamation point. Which might make the emergency seem worse, not being able to see your car for everything that’s wrong with it. It still seems pretty bad though. I should do something to make that exclamation point go away. Getting rid of exclamation points was not on Today’s Plan.

So that was the Second Thing.

None of this stuff is that big a deal if you’re on a roll, but I was not on a roll. I came by to get some coffee to get rolling. I just needed a cup of milk and espresso and some time at a table. It’s true I have the table. But an inaccessibly cold cup of coffee taunting me with its flattening foam isn’t the table companion I was hoping for.

Anyway, Dorothy Hamill, I hope you get better at your job. Today you did not deliver on your $3.75 commitment to serve hot coffee, which does seem like a basic job requirement for a job which involves serving hot coffee.

Maybe you’re a good person behind your poor milk management. Maybe. It’s just hard to see you behind the giant exclamation point that’s come up over the screen in my head.

Yours in passivity,

Me. I’m at the table window. I’m pretty sure I look really irritated. Yup, you see me now.


Categories: San Francisco (here)


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2 Comments on “Barista Business”

  1. em
    June 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Oooh, I feel your pain. I have suffered through many an inadequate drink/meal/dessert, not due to apathy as it seems you were wont to do, but I always fancy the chef/barista will feel insulted and therefore do something dreadfully vile to my remade item. After viewing an expose on such things (20/20 or Dateline or some such show a few years back) I daren’t return a thing. The same type show did a good bit about hotel rooms, too, now I always bring my Hammacher Schlemmer sheet sleeping bag with attached pillow case to hotels, along with towels and slippers. Makes for some daunting luggage, but the knowledge that my face is not being dried by the same towel as a stranger’s nether-regions does wonders for my sanity.

  2. Emma
    July 1, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Yeah, I’d see ’em if they messed with my re-made coffee at this cafe, so I’m safe on that front, but I think I may have to quit the place anyway. The music alternates between hipster pop, which sounds like an ailing whale song, and unnecessarily screechy rock. Neither is good for the nerves or writing. And then there’s these baristas. Different one this morning but she knows me and I ordered to go (as I always do) and she’s stoney enough to still have made the wrong drink. *sigh* Now I’m down to one of the four kiddies who work here who actually get a three-word order correct. How hard can that really be??? Really? Three words? Too much?

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