Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A story about an extremely slow barista.

Have you ever had a barista who moved painfully slow? That's like the worst thing when you're in a caffeine slump. I just had that experience today in the campus coffee shop.

"Yes, I'd like a tall house coffee."

"House coffee? ... Okay... no problem..."

"Great thanks," I said as I handed her my debit card.

She slowly reached her hand out for it... slowly... okay she had it... then she ran the card... slowly... then she stared at the register like she forgot what she was doing.

I stretched my customer punch card towards her with hopes that she'd speed up and get to the giving me coffee part.

She looked up... slowly...

"Would you like your receipt?"

"No thanks."

"No... Okay..." She was still holding the receipt in her hands and then seemed to remember that I needed to sign one copy... She slowly handed it towards me... "Here... You'll need to sign this one..."

"Great thanks and I have this too," I said hurriedly as I lay my punch card on the register while I signed her copy of the receipt. 'See, I can multi-task', I thought to myself, wishing she'd hurry up.

She held the punch card and looked at it... she seemed to be lost... maybe I'd interrupted her train of thought... she found the special hole-puncher... slowly lined it up with the next available spot to be punched... she was eyeing it good now, making sure it lined up...

I stood there...

Eyes glazing over...

Watching life pass me by...

She finally got the punch card punched...

Then she handed me...

The hole-puncher...

I blinked... slightly befuddled. What was going on here? My brain couldn't comprehend the situation. I just wanted my coffee!

Instead of reaching for the hole-puncher, I handed her back the signed receipt. She took it... slowly... then laughed... slowly. She mumbled something about how I probably didn't want the hole-puncher and then handed me the punch card instead. I faked a smile and tried to focus my caffeine-deprived brain on what she was saying.

I took my debit card and punch card and jammed them back into my wallet. She started to walk away. Visions of never getting coffee flashed through my mind.

Almost as an afterthought, she paused in mid-stride... stopped... turned... picked a tall cup off the stack... handed it to me... started to walk away again...

"Thanks can I have some cream too?" I blurted out before she could get too far.

"Cream... you don't want chai, right?"


She was looking at me for confirmation...

"Right, cream," I repeated, wondering how chai had barged it's way into the conversation.

She reached into the mini-fridge below the register... slowly... pulled out the half-n-half... slowly. I took it and poured a bit in my cup faster than she could close the fridge door. The next customer was starting to recite her order already and the barista was still staring at the half-n-half like she wasn't quite sure what to do next.

Thankfully her next move was not my concern and I was now free to move as fast as I wanted to. I went to the self-serve station and filled my cup up with the warm magical liquid, marveling at how long that whole interaction had taken. Maybe she was new... maybe she was just having a bad day... but it made me really appreciative of the super fast, super bubbly Starbucks baristas.

Maybe one of them should come work here...


  1. Wow! Sounds like someone ELSE didn't have their morning cup of coffee yet, either. :P

  2. I really just lol'd! I think my daughter would have leapt across the counter to throttle her!

  3. This is hilarious! I was laughing out loud... hahaha


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