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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Barista's Handbook

Ben's List of the Top Ten Ways to Frighten, Annoy, or Otherwise Mess With Customers

1. Sing the theme song from the television show Firefly at them loudly over and over until they leave.
2. If someone pays for his or her drink with a twenty, ring them up, announce how much change they are to receive, and then proceed to count out pennies from the change drawer. Ignore any comments they may make (unless they tell you to keep the change).
3. For drink orders that contain more than two or three modifiers, inform the customer that all your heard was "blah blah blah coffee". If they complain that this was, in fact, not what they had said, politely inform them that if an order is longer than a Louisa May Alcott novel, you tend to tune it out. If they request to speak with your manager, point out that they have said quite enough today and advise them to leave. (courtesy of Pearls Before Swine)
4. When a customer steps up to the counter to order accost them with a knife whilst wearing a ski mask. Demand that they give you all the money in the register. If they point out that you work there, look confused and run away.
5. Complete your entire transaction with a customer without ever turning to face them.
6. Pretend to be blind. Wear dark sunglasses and feel your way around the bar while making the drink. For cold drinks, occasionally mistake a bottle of windex for the milk and make the drink with that instead.
7. When a customer approaches pretend to be involved in playing the "knife and finger game". Do so in such a way that your actual hand is hidden from their view. Ignore them until they say something, at which point pretend to stab yourself and run to the back room screaming and cursing. Return with a massive bandage on your hand and complete the transaction like nothing happened.
8. Ask the customer if they would like a complementary barf bag with their drink.
9. If someone comes into the shop who has never been there before, pretend they are a regular and ring them up for their "usual", a complicated and unusual drink order that you make up. Ignore and protests they make.
10. When working alone, pretend to have an imaginary co-worker. Ring up the customer and inform your invented co-worker of their order. Stand around and talk with your customer while you apparently wait for your non-existant partner to make the drink. If the customer tries to tell you that there is no one there, act confused and point out that you can clearly see your partner making their drink. If they persist, act insulted and call your imaginary friend over, put an arm over his or her imaginary shoulders, and introduce him or her to your customer. Proceed to go get something from the back room.

And that's all folks. I know, I know. You're thinking "I waited how many months and this is what I get?!" Well, yes. Yes it is. I'm sorry. Go eat a bagel or something. You'll feel better. I promise.