Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is anyone back there? Up there? Or am I just as dumb as I look?

Old white men (and women, for whom I have a special name, WOACAs) are probably the bane of retail workers everywhere. Especially if they're wealthy, semi-wealthy or just downright parsimonious.

Ain't nothing worse than an old-age pensioner trying to stretch the hide right off a buffalo nickel. God forbid you charge her two cents more on a can of peas. That crone will STAND IN LINE for 20 minutes at the customer service counter on a Sunday for those two pennies, then demand that you walk over to the ice cream freezer and get her a new gallon of Blue Bunny ice cream because hers melted while she was standing in line for that dime. Been there, done that, blogged about it. Old people suck.

Where was I? Old white men.

Unless they're wealthy enough to buy half of Greece (Aristotle Onassis), or in line for a crown (Charles, the Prince of Wales), you should look elsewhere ladies. That is sage advice.

Tonight's barista pair is Quiet Quinn and Super Cindy. And I swear that Quiet Quinn flirted with me. He could have just been looking for a tip though. Or his feet might have hurt. Or he was bored. Who the hell knows.

I get a mocha and a donut, take a photo of the comfy chair and settle in to write. The baristas are cleaning and the place is dead, dead, dead. I'm starting to wonder if getting here at 8 p.m. is such a wise move, because all the drama seems to happen around 9ish or later - not that I have a life to live outside this. Where was I?

The place is slow, although the atmosphere is magnificent. There's some spectacular jazz mix playing on the CD and they must have just finished grinding coffee beans a few minutes ago. The cafe is just entirely filled with the smell of ground coffee - which I adore. It just fills the air and makes everything so wonderful. My whole terrible, horrible, too-stressful day melts away and I feel creative and intelligent.

I'm just getting the Internet started on my computer and the baristas have ducked into the back to get cleaning supplies or something. I dunno. Maybe Quiet Quinn and Super Cindy were making little mochachinos or something. It ain't none of my business. They weren't back there that long though.

So this old fat white dude comes in. Navy shorts and an ugly yellow and green print Tommy Bahama-esque top. (Why is it ALWAYS a Tommy Bahama top? Don't they have wives? girlfriends? boyfriends? hookers? maids? daughters? anything?) He just screams entitled, monied, rude, self-important snob from every angle of the room. I knew I had a post before he ever opened his mouth! And thusly, he did not disappoint!

He looks at the register. He looks at the pastry case. He gets up on his sockless loafered toes and peers over BEHIND the register, as if they're hiding from him, then he looks at me, like I'm going to hop up and serve him a coffee. As if.

Then he decides that the best way to get some service is to holler.

What pops out of his lips but "IS ANYBODY BACK THERE?"

Now, I once read somewhere that you should never ask a question that you don't already know the answer to.

And let's think about this. If there truly WAS no one back there, would you REALLY want to know what happened? Some tragic blender/grinder/sink accident? A Starbucks Via mutation that gained sentience and claimed the lives of every barista in town? Maybe the warming oven got tired of the stink of the egg sandwiches and walked away. Maybe the baristas REALLY ARE making little mochachinos.

My point is that Willard there knew very well that the baristas were occupied, that they were engaged in gainful occupation, and they were undoubtedly on their way back out. But he darn well wasn't going to wait another fourteen seconds for them to come back out. He was going to get that cup of drip coffee RIGHT BIGOD NOW!

Instead of walking across the street to the Mobil station and getting it for a quarter and serving himself and talking to the supremely friendly Haitian woman that works there. Instead he decided to heap abuse on Super Cindy and Quiet Quinn.

They hear him and stick their heads out from around the back and apologize. They're holding a mop and cleaning supplies. He doesn't care. "ABOUT TIME" he screams.

Super Cindy is trying to wash her hands while he's barking out an order - because I know that I want MY coffee to come smelling like floor polish or whatever.

I'd have served him a cup of drip coffee - with room for cream, sugar and Orange-Glo!


  1. I was recently proposed marriage by a retire with a gubment pension and health insurance. He's not Onassis or Chuckles ... does the health insurance count for anything?

  2. I suppose Health Insurance *does* count for something. Although I've know health food freaks who swear by the curative powers of coffee enemas. Which is Starbucks Drama of another sort entirely.

  3. Brawhaha - this is great. Not to get on a soapbox, but I have a thing I am trying to get over - the self-entitlement of the baby boomer generation. Your account seems to be spot on.

    Try it on for size if you are in the medical industry as my wife works. The stories are horrors of bad behavior.

    Alas, I have observations that it will get worse as the boomers enter the crotchety elder years. Some of my observations (and shameless self promotion of my own blog):

    Delete the comment if you need to, but I hate type stuff twice.

  4. "...then he looks at me, like I'm going to hop up and serve him a coffee..."

    I truly uproariously LOL'd at that! I could see it in my mind! Awesome.