Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Only two things are infinite. The Universe and human stupidity. I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein

What Albert said.

Today we continue our coffeehouse series with a couple of common gaffes made by coffeehouse patrons.

1. Get. Off. Your. Cell. Phone.
Please. I mean, really. Would you sit and yack on the cell phone while engaged in conversation with someone you considered to be an actual person? Wait, don't answer that. This is LA, after all, land of the cell phone in inappropriate places. Okay ace, here's the deal. It's rude to engage in a phone conversation while simultaneously engaging in a real-time face to face interaction. So put the phone down. Or, if you can't, simply excuse yourself to the person on the other end of the line, order, pay, and then resume your discussion. It helps if you say "Excuse me." to your barista as well. It makes us feel like real people who are worthy of consideration. It makes us feel less like leaping over the counter and shaking you like a bad, bad donkey, ok?

2. Please and Thank You! Not just for books and television anymore!
There are a few key phrases that are really helpful when dealing with other human beings. One of them is "please" and the other is "thank you." When you use the word "please" this indicates that you are making a respectful request that someone do something for you. It indicates your appreciation of this act beforehand and acts a little bit like WD40 in terms of greasing the interaction along smoothly. "Thank you." is commonly used at the end of an interaction in which someone has given you something or done something nice for you. It indicates that you appreciate what has been undertaken on your behalf. It means that you don't take it for granted, like a big AllAboutMe McEntitlementPants. It's also something that reflects well on one's parents and indicates positive things about one's upbringing in general. You don't want people to think you were raised in a barn, do you?

3. Tip. Just like you would in a restaurant. It means that my kids get organic soymilk on a regular basis because you can't imagine that I make enough to pay rent and feed my children at this job, can you?

This concludes today's Notes From Your Barista. There will be a pop quiz.

In other news, I am so nearly done with that st st sock I started in Lorna's "Iris" lo these many moons ago. I am making it a point to knit daily. And I am mentally preparing myself to be gungho and make it to the WeHo SnB this Thursday instead of staying home like a big hermity knitting thing.

Have y'all seen that Crazy Aunt Purl wrote a book??? I bought mine. Where's yours? Go, go, buy your copy now! She like totally cracked the top 50 on Amazon yesterday. It's really very exciting!

ETA: I should like to add that I worked 3 hours of overtime today. Yes, that's right. I worked from 6:30 this morning until 5 this evening and we don't get to clock out for lunches or take breaks (we do take breaks, just not 15 minute breaks where we can chill - if customer comes in, we have to get up and help them. Meh.) I am very, very, very tired. Happily, the majority of my customers in the afternoon seem to have studied and they all said please, thank you and tipped very nicely. Go them!

We're having take out for dinner, hell yes we are.


Lucia said...

Gaaah. You wouldn't think you would have to tell people this stuff. (I know someone who actually refrains from saying "please" and "thank you" to people paid to serve her because, well, they're already being paid to serve her. Gaaah.)

I also ordered CAP's book. (4 copies.) Yay Laurie!

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

Lucia, wow! Your friend really does that? That makes SO little sense to me. My grandmother, a real lady of the kind that they don't make anymore, always said that one had to be extra gracious to those paid to serve us - waiters, servers, maids, etc., because that was the mark of real manners. She always said that you could tell a lot about a person's character by the way they treated the people who were in service positions.

Gosh I miss her.

geogrrl said...

Definitely. That's one of the reasons execs or bosses take interviewees at certain levels out for lunch. They want to see how they'll treat the "help".

I tend to get my requests for fixing dead lightbulbs and ornery computers filled faster by maintenance and by IT because I talk to them like they're real people.

I don't recall where I read this, but I've always remembered the saying, "Be nice to people on the way up; you'll meet them again on the way down."

Obsidian Kitten said...

hehhehhheh! i'm a recovering espresso bar barista (only the place i worked wasn't so fancy that we were called "baristas", basically i jerked coffee for minimum wage and tips that were all in small change [and i mean coins])

ennyhoo--the latte art thing was already cracking me up, then i get to this post. (i had really wanted a button that said "Your cell phone makes you twice as annoying." but i was afraid that that would just cut into the tips--and this was on the East Coast, so not to worry, rudeness is not just an LA thing)

we had a 50-cent button on the register for the syrups and used it liberally on bad customers--like the ones that didn't use the complex please-thank you vocabulary you so eloquently describe in your tuitorial. it was called the Idiot Button. (yeah, you know who you are...like you noticed the extra 50 cents we charged you for the half-caf triple soy mocha while you were shouting into your cell...feh!)