Being a barista is one of the best jobs you can have, while in college. You can get great tips, meet the best people, meet the funniest people, and you can drink coffee all day long. Which is amazing when pulling all nighters. Unfortunately there are some down sides to being a barista, you meet the cheapest people, you meet the rudest people, and you meet people who obviously have never had a sip of coffee in their entire lives.
- The Cheapos. These guys are number one on my hit list. Every day I get a man who is very short, has a lazy eye, and asks for water, well this would be fine but we charge .50 cents for water. This sounds ridiculous but California is going through a drought, and I could get fired by not charging for the water. Every morning this man, takes out .25 cents. I always tell him it isn’t enough. So he goes and BEGS all my other customers for money. After about 30 minute he comes back with a $1.75 which is enough for a small tea with a discount. I give him the discount even though he doesn’t have one because it’s easier than arguing with him. I give him his tea and he drinks it all up in about ten minutes, and comes back for a refill, now the refill is also .50 cents. He has the .50 cents on him but he asks me for a different drink, he always asks me for a small refill on a coffee. Every morning I explain to him that, this is not the way refills work, I can get him the same drink for .50 cents. After explaining this carefully, I give him his last tea for the day.
- The Rude Ones. These people might just be the worst. Who knew coffee could make someone so angry. The very first day on this job, I was ringing a lady up, and I was a little slow because I didn’t know how to ring up what she wanted, I had never worked with coffee before. I looked at her and smiled, told her sorry for the inconvenience I was new and learning. She looked at me and said “Make sure someone else makes my drink, I don’t need you fucking up.” Yes she really threw the F BOMB out there like that, and my face was bright red with embarrassment. I have never had a customer talk to me like that before, but when dealing with the public, you have to be prepared for this reaction. However rare it may be, people like this come up to you all the time. Being a barista teaches you to have more confidence in yourself.
- The Clueless Ones. These people are the least of my worries, If I talk to them for five minutes and it is clear they have no idea what they are talking about, I make the decision for them. One lady came up to me asking me for a hot Frappuccino, of course I explained those drinks were cold but I could make the same flavor she wanted as a latte. The answer I got from her was “Not what I want.” She really needed that hot Frappuccino. Another one of my customers came up to me one day and asked me for a cappuccino with no foam. Now the entire point of a cappuccino is to have extra foam, some people even ask for a spoon to eat all the foam. I told this customer that a latte would be cheaper, and it is exactly what she wanted. Unfortunately she insisted on being charged for a cappuccino, but with absolutely no foam. She even checked the receipt to make sure I charged her for the cappuccino.
Even with all these weird, rude customers, I really love my job. I have had some pretty cool jobs with fancy tittles, but none have taught me as many skills as this job has. I have learned to talk to people, not take shit from people, and reach my goals in sales. I have made great connections to people, that I probably would have never met with out this job, and I know my worth. These are invaluable skills that I never had from my other jobs. I am now a lead, working my way up to assistant manager, and it is tough work. I’ve never had a job where there is room for growth, and now that I have this opportunity, there is absolutely no way I will give it up. So if you ever get this chance to be a barista, do it, and don’t regret it.