© 2015 Josh IMG_1803


Appetite for destruction, decent quality FLAC

In college, I was working a few days a week at a starbucks in a rich neighborhood. It was a slow store, it’s not there anymore, but it was a pretty great job.  Sometimes I’d get a little high, but for the most part I was good at my job, I made great fucking drinks and pulled perfect shots; this was before starbucks had the automatic espresso machines and every shot needed to be measured and timed. I don’t know how I would feel about using those fully automated ones they have now; I liked actually making the drinks.

Most days there were just two or three people working at any given time, if there was a third, it was usually just this drunk guy that hung out in the back the whole time, the supervisor.   The manager was like Mr. Fucking Starbucks, he took that shit crazy seriously, the company line was his necktie.   I never got along with people like that, but it didn’t matter really, I had no reason to talk to him and he didn’t have a reason to talk to me, except for this one time.

What I liked about the job was the ‘zone’, during the minute or so it took to construct someone’s drink, I was all focus. I’d get the perfect foam, pull the perfect shot, make nonsense small talk with the bored rich housewives.  During dead times the day would drag, but during those busy moments it was smooth and comfortable.  Sometimes you’d get an asshole, and this one time, I got the king of all assholes.

So I was alone, my co-worker was on her mandated break, getting pizza or something, and the drunk was passed out in the back.  I’ve got about three people lined up, I’m taking their orders and ringing them up before I start making their drinks, when the asshole walks in.  He’s browsing or something so I go over to the bar to start doing my thing, and the dude walks straight over to the register.  I’m on the first drink now, but I agknowledge him and tell him I’ll be right with him.  He scowls, and he’s just glaring at me while I’m handing off the first of three complicated bored housewife orders.

I can feel his impatience, so I assume he’s just getting a coffee, and I ask him if that’s the case. I can pour him a coffee and take his two bucks while the milk for the third drink is steaming.  He then looks up at the menu board, and starts reading it to himself.  I finish constructing drink number 2 and hand it off to the next woman.  The dude looks over at me and says “can i fucking order or what”?

I’m not really the kind of person you can just talk to like that, I don’t really deal with it well. I don’t rise to it though, So I just give him a “It’ll just be a minute, sir”.   To which he says “some of us are in a hurry”.   Okay. So my passive aggressive rebellion is now to take extra long with drink number three.  I’m a fucking teenager making $8 an hour, fuck you man.  I make the fuck out of this cappuccino, It’s like a work of art.  There was never a more perfect cappuccino ever served at any starbucks as the one I made for the order before the asshole’s order.

So anyway, asshole’s not having it, and decides to address me as “fuckhead” and demand I take his order.  I make a display of smoothing the foam with the back of the spoon before I carefully put the lid on this drink and hand it off to a sympathetic woman, who rolls her eyes in solidarity.  I wipe down the steamwand and give the guy the ‘one sec’ finger, actually indicating, whether he knew it or not, that he had one more chance to be a human being.

So having nothing else to disract me, I walk back to the register, and smile wide at the guy, indicating now that he had my full attention.  His opener “what the fuck, kid, can I fucking order now?”.  “Go ahead”.

Here’s where it gets fuzzy.  I was over the top polite, and I guess I didn’t really mask my contempt perfectly, and he unleashed a string of profanity that I wasn’t totally cool with, and this moment unfolded.

I was leaning pretty far over the counter, telling him to get the fuck out, while he was jabbing my chest with his stubby finger telling me how he was going to make sure I was fired for being rude to a customer.  I ripped my apron off and started walking around the counter at him.  At this moment, I was pretty much committed to quitting the job, because what I was about to do to this guy would have gotten me fired anyway.  I say as much to him as i’m rolling up my sleeves, inviting this guy to step outside with me.

That’s when my co-worker walks in, along with the manager, Mr. fucking starbucks; just in time to catch me about to lose my shit on this guy, red faced, fists clenched, teeth locked in a snarl. The guy had fifteen years and fifty pounds on me, one of those guys that’s used to being the guy in charge.  I had his number though, his clock would have been clean.

If there had been another 15 seconds of confrontation, I don’t doubt I would have done something criminal.  So I guess I’m glad that someone showed up to diffuse the situation; but sometimes, in my dreams, I smash that fucker’s face in.  I found a new job not long after.

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