Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Get It

The other night, I went to have drinks with Kristin, her lovely blogless cousin, and Christy to a bar near my house. It's the type of place that when you come in you immediately realize that you are interrupting the waitress with your unglamouressness and desire to sit with friends and have a drink and relax and enjoy yourself, because obviously, she, the waitress, is super talented and gorgeous and young and "what can I get you?" And then if you ask for a some water along with your drink, she won't bring it, because she has two hands only and the extra trip is exhausting, so when you go up to the bar and ask for the water please, you are really parched, she'll nod dismissively and then bring exactly one glass for you, so that they people sitting with you can get hydrated by association.

But I get it. Waitresses in NYC are different from you and me. They're all talented, struggling artists, gorgeous, whatever. If you don't like attitude, go to the Olive Garden. When you're there, you're family, which as an aside, always seemed more like an ominous warning than a enticing welcome.

I do, however, draw the line at Starbucks. I absolutely fucking refuse to get attitude from a Starbucks person. Which is really bad news for me, because that's exactly what I've been getting.

First, I order my signature coffee, a half-caf (half decaf, half regular) and then I watch them make it. Often they give me all caffeinated, which is not what I want and which can have a very bad effect on everyone who will be IN MY WAY FOR THE NEXT TWO HOPURS. So, I say, "Half DECAF, please" and wordlessly, they fix the order. No "I'm sorry!" no "I apologize" no "I am not worthy to serve you coffee, thank you for gracing our Starbucks with your loveliness". And then, when I thank them, I get either nothing (see rant immediately above) or a "you're welcome".

Second, I'm not a smiley person myself, but I think if you work at Starbucks, you should spend a few seconds every morning adjusting to your facial expression from "smell sour shit on upper lip" to "fit for human interaction."

Third, when I get my coffee, they put it right by the register, so that I have to boardinghouse reach (expression courtesy of John) all the way across to retrieve it. I'm guessing that they do this because they want me to do some calisthenics every morning, but it's fucking annoying.

By the way, there are wonderful Starbucks employees who have been helpful, efficient and polite. I love them. But they make for dull blog posts.



Blogger Maureen@IslandRoar said...

I absolutely HATE when people in jobs serving the public cop attitude. HELLO, it's your job. Even when people are rude, it's your job.

When I worked in the hospital as an RN, people could be at their worst; they were ill, stressed, worried. But if I'd acted anything less than understanding and polite, I would have been fired.
I want the same courtesey!
Marinka, even at your rudest, I am sure you are far too nice!

August 9, 2009 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

So, there are no real coffee houses in NYC? You have to go to a Starbucks?

August 9, 2009 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

I hate this "better-than-thou" attitude from people whose job is to serve you. I also hate the "sweety-we're-pals-from-gindergarten" attitude. That's when you sit at a restaurant, and the waitress, 10 years younger than you' asks you and your mom "what will you GIRLS want to drink?" and other service people who call you honey and sweety on the phone, when you call with nurder in your voice because the new washing machine you just bought from them isn't working.

I also hate the summer vacation. there. said it.

wow. did I blah all that?

August 9, 2009 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

wait, you forgot the part when they call you ma'am. or maybe that's just me.

August 9, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger C (Kid Things) said...

I wonder what it says about me that I've never been to a Starbucks. I can't decide if that wpuld be a good or very bad thing.

August 9, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

It sounds like you need to start going to the Starbucks across the street.

August 9, 2009 at 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't those people working in the SERVICE industry? Maybe you should have John bring in your morning coffee.

August 9, 2009 at 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having worked in a service industry for years... I have no tolerance for those who do, and give me a fucking attitude.


August 9, 2009 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

See, that's what you get for being a big city girl. Out here on da border of I-DA-HO, we gots ourselves drive thru Starbucks. No aspiring actors/actresses and limited human interaction. Yay suburbs!

August 9, 2009 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger kristine said...

I usd to work at starbucks, and i have the following things to say:

1. I was one of the nice ones
2. I dont go to starbucks. At least not the one on the strand in London. I advise you to do the same.

August 9, 2009 at 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I see-all the polite Starbuck employees work in Manhattan, the rudeasses must work in Jersey, as they CONSISTENTLY ask me if I'd like whipped cream on my SKINNY (non fat, sugar free for you non starbuckers) latte. If I fucking wanted whipped cream, you think I'd forgotten that delicious order nugget as I call out 'grande sugar free, non fat, caramel latte'?!?! have to taunt the phase 1 South Beach Psycho with WHIPPED FUCKING CREAM?!

August 9, 2009 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Nothing like paying $5 for $.79 worth of coffee with a side of attitude.

August 9, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

I thought about getting a job at Starbucks, but then I remembered I drink only decaf and I don't even put sugar in my coffee. What the hell do I know about making yuppie coffee?

Now that I realize I'd also have to be NICE while doing, to hell with it. I'm not working there.

August 9, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

I worked at a restaurant when I was in college in NY, and I know exactly what you mean. I was young and impressionable and just followed the lead of the waitresses who trained me. There were very few smiles for the people I waited on...but it WAS brunch and I WAS in college and most likely really hung over and operating on three hours of sleep (after my subway ride from the Bronx) - so I'm going to give myself that. No acting talent involved.

Now that I live in the burbs, I'm horribly spoiled by the smiley service staff at my various Starbucks with few deviations (depends on the corner). But I had to take my son into DC for an appointment this weekend and got the full downtown DC treatment of total disinterest at a CVS. There didn't seem to be ANY working registers for 10 minutes, and there was very little concern over this coming from the five clerks standing there impersonating cows. I had DMV flashbacks from my youth - which was kind of nice since I'm a sucker for nostalgia.

August 9, 2009 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

Please don't get me started on Starbucks. I swear our local one has some kind of freaky Star Trek space/time mixup thing going on. It has only the one employee, who obviously shape changes, sometimes even into a woman, but who mimics my accent every damn time.
(Because surely there wouldn't be nothing but losers there? Surely?)

August 10, 2009 at 1:05 AM  
Blogger Nanny Goats In Panties said...

HAHA! As soon as I saw the guy say "You're welcome", I swear I heard a collective gasp as heads turned to bear witness to your wrath.

I find service to be a mixed bag these days. More and more people have improved their attitudes which I find disappointing because, Why did it take a "bad economy" for you to do something (i.e. smile) that never COST YOU ANYTHING in the first place? Now you just look desperate.

August 10, 2009 at 5:07 AM  
Blogger Vicki said...

The screw you attitude is just a part of the authentic Starbucks experience. Jeph Jacques covers this extensively in his lovely comic Questionable Content and the Coffee of Doom coffeeshop: and here

August 10, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

my pet peeve about starbuck's is that they won't put the milk in a plain cup of coffee. service, people! i want service.

August 10, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Maura said...

Clearly, it's you, it's not them. :-P

August 10, 2009 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger KC said...

If I had to work at Starbucks as my full-time job, I might be smelling that sour shit on my upper lip too.

August 10, 2009 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

You'd think the Starbuck's peeps would be super perky with all the yummy coffee you could drink.

August 10, 2009 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Holy shit. I just laughed and then peed a little at that Olive Garden line. Honestly, you gotta warn me before you spring a one-liner like that. I've birthed 3 children and my bladder control ain't what it used to be.

More ominous than enticing... Holy holy holy...

August 10, 2009 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

In Nashville the Starbucks staff tend toward the super duper bright smiley and bouncy, which before your coffee is actually annoying as hell.

August 11, 2009 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Elenka said...

ha ha you crack me up!!

August 11, 2009 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

You, with this brilliant post, have just answered a question I never dared ask: what's with the half-caf? Thank you for illuminating us :-) You obviously care way more about being bitchy to other people than I do ;-)

August 11, 2009 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger ♥ Braja said...

They were put on this planet to mess with your freakin' head. Seriously. Spill the coffee, that'll wake 'em up...

August 11, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger p-huong said...

That's why I hated being a cashier at Coffee Bean. I like making the drinks. And if I mess up, I blame it on the cashiers for being lazy, incompetent, and down right stupid for not taking down the order correctly. It's never my fault.

August 16, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

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