I had an interesting, and indeed, mind-baffling encounter with a barista at Starbucks today. I know what you’re thinking… how could an interaction with a barista possibly be considered mind-baffling? Surely you exaggerate!
And I’ll concede, my story doesn’t relate the experience of witnessing a dinosaur ordering a mocha, which would be absolutely amazing. Or anything else equally outrageous. But it is right up there. Let me tell you.
It starts innocently enough, I’m waiting in a stupidly long line brimming with other coffee-addicts also willing to drop five hard earned dollars on mediocre (let’s be honest) coffee. As I wait amongst the well organised herd, I pretend that this moment isn’t a complete waste of time by fiddling around on my phone checking all my very important non-emails. I inch closer and closer to the front of the line until finally I hear someone say they can take my order.
I’m at the university Starbucks, so I know I better keep it simple. They have a very hard time maintaining their attention spans long enough to make drinks correctly there. You’re lucky if you get someone who actually reads the letters on the bottom of the cup, usually it’s like playing the coffee lottery. Sometimes you win, but usually you lose.
“I’ll have a green tea latte, please. With soy.”
She proceeds to write that down and then passes the cup to the bar. Now I cross my fingers and hope for the best.
An irrationally long period of time passes which I feel will never end. I stand at the end of the bar awaiting my drink with at least ten other saps. All of us have been sucked into the void that is this university Starbucks, and it’ll be a miracle if we get our drinks before we’re dead. I see seven or eight barely-past-their-teens employees giggling away like little school girls, oblivious to the drink orders piling up and doing NOTHING. I wonder how this place stays in business with employees who don’t do anything, and hate myself for continuing to return day after day. Following that I cry a little inside when I realise that another twenty minutes of my life has been frittered away here in coffee hell, and I imagine I must look like some sort of doll devoid of substance to the passers-by who still have lives. Pity me, humans, for my life no longer has meaning.
But finally the light at the tunnel, and the reason why I’m suckered into coming back– my drink is called and placed out for me.
I walk over like a hopeful squirrel, and am thoroughly disappointed when I stare into my cup and see that it has been made wrong, yet again. I’ve been presented with a cup of steamed milk without any green tea in it whatsoever.
Sigh. I catch the attention of the barista who made my drink.
“I’m sorry, I ordered a green tea latte,” I say.
“That IS a green tea latte,” she replies in annoyance.
I let her tone pass, and continue.
“You forgot to put green tea in it, I’m afraid.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did. This is just a cup of steamed soy milk.”
“Look, I know how I made the drink,” she says incredulous. “It’s a green tea.”
Fucking bullshit, I think.
“No, no” I say aloud, and rather irritated. “This drink would need to be a different colour to be correct. Green to be specific.”
Finally she takes the half second required to glance into my drink, and see despairingly that I’m right.
“Oh” she says simply. Not even an ounce of humour in her voice. “Well, what? You want me to remake it, I guess?”
You guess? Damn right you better remake that shit.
“Yes, if you don’t mind.”
She then proceeds to very dramatically pour the contents of the steamed milk out and then sighs as she gets started making the drink once more. Heaven forbid someone demand the drink they spent five dollars on. You’d think she wasn’t getting paid to do it, like I had asked her to give me her firstborn to sacrifice.
The worst part is I know I’ll go there again. Never learning, and doomed to repeat the same mistake over and over again in pursuit of green tea lattes.