Friday, March 02, 2007

Oh look, it's Friday! Unfortunately, I don't have a day off this weekend. I don't have a day off until next Saturday, when I plan to do nothing but sit about in my pajamas and watch the Netflix that have been gathering dust on the shelf.

At the moment am working 41 hours a week at the barista gig, and another 12-14 at the store. That is a lot of hours and I am very tired. As of this weekend, however, I am shifting down to something like 6-8 hours a week at the store.

Cast on the Violet's Pink Ribbon I acquired from Lisa Souza a while back. Don't have much to show for it but most of a toe, as I am getting most of my knitting in during downtimes at the cafe (read, not much) but a toe is indeed slowly emerging and it is pink and stripey and speckled with lime n violet and I lurves it, I does.

Life is pretty decent. The Ex Mr. YP and I are getting along well, the kids are mostly adjusting (well, ok, we have a major drop in grades but that is not unexpected and they're both working on getting them back up there) and there is a mostly low drama level overall. Yay!

I do have a minor rant about one thing.

Dear My Customers,

Please dear customers, please. Tip. The. Baristas. Who. Make. Your. Coffee. Please. and by "tip" I do not mean "toss the $.11 change you got when you ordered into the tip jar." 15% is nice, 20% is nicer. I pull a damn fine latte full of love, kids, this is not crappy Starbucks chain coffee, no, I work for the Empire Records of local coffeehouses. I make all manner of complex drinks for picky, sleepy people. I also do little things like cook *everything* (and we offer a full breakfast and lunch menu) when people order food. When not pulling coffee or preparing food, I am washing dishes, bussing, stocking, prepping, grilling and working my ASS off at every single job in the cafe. See, your average server in a small cafe may not have the luxury of a cook, busboy, dishwasher, servers, or any kind of backup other than whoever else is pulling coffee alongside. And great, that's fine, I love my job, I love to work hard, I revel in it. It's fun, most days, except when it isn't.

The SUCK factor right now lies in the fact that on an average day, I only take home an extra $1 per hour in tips. If I'm lucky. That is pathetic and it is because it is counter service so people don't think about tipping. The dining public is, in some part at least, trained to tip a decent percentage of the check when getting table service. And the killer is, I STILL give freaking table service. I do table service because that is just how I roll. I go the extra mile. I am the barista who will hook you up with the free refill, who will give you a side of jam with your croissant, who will add whipped cream to your cocoa even though you did not pony up the extra $.50 to get it. I remember that you like a 16 oz. non fat caramel latte no foam even if it has been two weeks since you were last in the cafe. If you are one of my regulars and I see you coming across the street, I might have your drink ready for you when you get in the door. I remember you, I like to make you feel special and I do these things so that you will come back. I do these things to make you happy, to get you out the door feeling good.

I definitely remember lousy tippers. They do not merit extra jam, whipped cream and they pay for every refill.

People bitch about how customer service is the pits these days and yeah, it really is. Part of this is because people take good service for granted and don't realize it is absolutely a two way street. Be courteous. Tip your local barista well. It is a kindness and shows good manners. Some of us are single parents who do laundry, buy milk for our kids and gas up our cars on those precious extra dollars we get at the end of each day.

Thank you, customers of my cafe and coffee drinkers everywhere. Love and kisses, c'est moi.

5 comments:

Cambria said...

as a former nail tech/ single mom... i second that motion! that's the one thing i really miss about my old job is the tips.

sopranospinner said...

I find myself wishing you were a barista nearer to Burbank! We go to Western Bagel every day (DS and I) as it's next door to the grocery store.

Sympathies from here, though! My DH works as a bartender and also delivers food from restaurants that don't have their own delivery services. And sometimes the tips are great (seldom) and often awful to nothing. But those tips are what lets me go to the grocery store...

Mouse said...

If you made my coffee.. I would totally tip you well. :)

People don't understand tipping now days.. and it sucks.

Roxie said...

I used to be a waitress. I know how hard you have to work and how lousy the pay is. I ALWAYS tip 20% (easier to figure than 15 anyhow) and often more. I'll have Earl Grey tea with two shots of almond syrup, please. Here's a five. Keep the change. You've earned it.

I used to belong to Mensa. Those guys are the cheapest tippers I have ever seen. I used to give the waitress $10 for a club soda with lime and explain that I was embarassed for all the cheapskates around me. I have ditched guys for not tipping. Skinflint penny-pinchers earn bad karma. They will encounter a similar lack of generosity when they need it.

Ragnar said...

Here here barista queen! Bad tippers get a special place in hell where there IS NO COFFEE. What would black beard do to their latte?