Tag Archives: The Monster Book of Customers

Mal-Kum the Dangerous Weirdo

It’s Sunday and y’all know the deal. Another customer exposé, hot off the presses, here for you.

You might want to strap in and buckle up for this one.

Bob from Bob's Burgers saying "buckle it up" as he buckles his seat belt in the car.

An Introduction:

Now, Mal-Kum has been a customer at my store for as long as I have been working there. (He’s probably been a regular for longer, but who really knows?) He’s a multi-visit kind of guy – he comes at least twice a day, every day – once in the morning and once in the evening. He also sits in most of the time. His visits can span between five minutes and eight hours.

When I first started, I thought Mal-Kum was an alright guy. Awkward, yes, but I thought that might have been my fault. I’m awkward as frick and still have trouble with small-talk these days. But over the last few weeks, I have realized that Mal-Kum is weird, pompous, and may, possibly, be dangerous.

Mal-Kum orders, without fail, a medium chai latte and a slice of banana bread in the mornings, followed by multiple chai lattes at night. When I say multiple, I mean more than three. This guy once bought five chai lattes in one sitting. And before you ask, no, he did not finish them. He often drinks things until they are half full, and then orders another because it is no longer at optimal drinking temperature.

You know what he said when I asked him why he bought so many?

“When money is no object, you can just spend as much as you want.”

Alright, Mr. Rich Guy.  Most of us don’t have that privilege, but GoOd FoR yOu.

*cue intense eye roll*

Mal-Kum has also been caught trying to recruit some of my male coworkers for the armed forces. I don’t know why he does it, considering he works as a security guard, but given that most of the male baristas at my store are pacifists and relatively peaceful guys, it doesn’t make sense for him to do so.

See? Weird.

The First Signs of Trouble:

Mal-Kum has this tendency to stick his card where it doesn’t belong. While I’m grabbing his pastry and preparing his drink, he will stick it in the slot located at the top of my cash register. At first, I thought it was helpful. The card would be ready for me to swipe when I got back from gathering everything. But over the years, this habit has gotten a little unnerving. Nobody else does it. And nobody looks as smug as Mal-Kum does.

It’s annoying now. Just why? Why. Hand the card over like a normal person man.

In for a Penny, out for a Pound:

Normally, Mal-Kum and I don’t really talk. I usually ask him a generic question about his weekend, he will reply that he is working 12-hour days and that his 4-day weekend is coming up, and then he will leave.
Last week, Mal-Kum strayed from our typical line of conversation.

It was both weird and terrible.

The conversation began normally. I asked him whether he had begun his weekend yet, and he answered with a negative. THEN, he launched into a tirade of how terrible my job must be and how shitty my pay is. He MAN-splained my situation to me …

I mean, both of those are true. BUT, it’s the principle of the matter. The only person that can call this job shitty is me. And my co-workers. And other baristas. Mal-Kum needs to hush it. He’s never worked in customer service, and he has expressed a deep desire to never do so.

Since he knows nothing about customer service, he needs to stop talking as if he does.

He’s told my coworkers that he makes roughly $4,000 on a bi-weekly basis. That’s great for him. But we know we make minimum wage. He doesn’t need to rub it in.

The Review:

Mal-Kum has also written a review of our coffee shop on the internet. Some of us managed to find it and you best believe it was circulated real fast amongst us.

Let me tell you what was in this review. Mal-Kum explained that he had been a long-time customer at our store, had enjoyed the service there, but then experienced something strange.

He claimed that one night, my coworker Bunny and an ex-coworker Wilson had slipped something nefarious into his drink.

I mean, nobody actually did anything. And nobody pretended like they did anything either. So why he made such a hullabaloo about it in-store and online is something we will never understand.

You might say…. it’s inconcievable.

INCONCEIVABLE (from the Princess Bride)

The Instagram Life:

The weirdest part about Mal-Kum is his Instagram page. Now, granted, none of my coworkers follow him on this particular social media site, but we do look at it.

It’s really interesting. And if I could guarantee that Mal-Kum wouldn’t know, I would name drop his instagram SO Y’ALL COULD CHECK IT OUT. But alas, I still need my job.

Anyway, Mal-Kum is the type of person that separates words so that they are their #own #separate #hashtags. He is also the type of person that has his own photographer to follow him around, posts videos of himself brushing his teeth in a rather vigorous manner, and demonstrates a level of weird that is unmatched in the world.

He cuts his own hair every Thursday people. And they’re not good haircuts. He also has a photo of himself scaling a fence to stick his head up and peer over it. And calls this moment one that allows him to #think #outside #the #box.

It’s… uh. It’s definitely a moment.

He has footage of himself flicking open a rather dangerous and large switch-blade out in public, and has sat in our store with the weapon proudly on display. He is as smug about his knife as some Americans are about the Second Amendment. Let me tell you, it is NOT a pretty look.

His rationale? He needs to be prepared. If any day could be your last, then one must be prepared. I guess it makes sense if you think coffee shops are places of immediate danger.  He’s ARMED and he’s dangerous.

man grabs head with two hands - holds temples out of sheer exasperation

Anyway, he recently took a picture of our store and wrote an extensive post that explained why opening a coffee shop is a smart investment (which, I will give him, it is), and why he refuses to follow the business plan that our store follows. In the post, he cites those reasons being the #stupid customers, the shitty pay, and the #retarded baristas. He also calls my job a #shitty #ass #job.

Now, I don’t know about you, but someone calling you retarded? That’s offensive. My coworker Bunny commented on his post, asking him to explain what he meant by the “retarded” hashtag.

He meant the “coffee shop employees, who cause workplace dramas [. Employees] who backsta[b] other employees behind their backs, [and] who purposefully make other employees look bad in order to deflect their own mistakes and to lift themselves up in front other fellow baristas and managers.”

I think Mal-Kum needs to look up the definition of retarded again because he definitely does not have it down.

We’re currently in the process of trying to get him banned from the store.

I will let you know if that ends up ever happening.

Have a great week y’all,


The post Mal-Kum the Dangerous Weirdo appeared first on Beleaguered Barista.

Ohl-gah’s Menu Mishap

Happy Easter y’all.

I’m sorry I’ve stopped posting on Wednesdays. I recently got into a relationship, and Wednesdays are our date days.


Yo ho, it’s the single’s life for me! (In case y’all didn’t catch that… ’twas a riff on a Disney reference. 10 points of Gryffindor if someone can figure out which movie it’s from)

ANYWAYS, today’s post is (hopefully) going to be brief.

While toiling away at a 9 hour shift today, I had a customer come up to me ask me about our cold drinks. I did not get her name, so I have decided that she will be called Ohl-gah

“What cold drinks do you have?” she asked me.

Given that we have a whole feature menu devoted to different types of cold drinks, I told her she could take a quick peek at that and ask me questions if she had any.

“I know, but can you tell me what cold drinks you have?” she says.

Swallowing a deep beleaguered sigh, I give her ALL the options.
“If you’re looking for coffee, we have iced lattes, iced cappuccinos, iced espresso, iced coffee, and cold brew options. If you want tea, we have iced teas and tea lemonades as well. If you are looking for blended options, we also have those.”

“Okay,” she replies. “What type of flavours do you have?”

Note that at this point, a line has formed to the door, and this lady has decided that this the BEST moment for her to go spelunking through our menu.

G R E A T.

Like, I understand wanting to try something new, but if you have NO IDEA what you want to order and are obstructing my ability to service other customers… just WHY.

Squidward smashing his face into the cash register because Patrick is standing in front of him at the Krusty Krab going UHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

So after I painstakingly spend another few minutes walking her through ALL the syrup / flavouring options (there are at least 17), this woman seems to ponder her options.

“Hmmm,” she muses.

I look at her expectedly, ready to write down her order.

“I’ll just take a hot water, thanks.”

And then. SHE WALKS OFF.

Okay. I get it. If the options I have just given you do not appeal to you, TELL ME. Don’t let me just recite shit like it’s entertainment. I’m not a performer. I’m a barista.

Also. Why would you ask me to go through COLD drink options with you if all you wanted from the get-go was a HOT water. Those are drastically different temperatures lady. They do not sit the same way in your body.

On top of that, you stood there and let me spout information that you knew you did not want or need for at six minutes.

Here are some words of wisdom from the great Stephen Colbert.

All you have to do y’all, is KNOW your order. If you don’t know, DON’T WALK UP. Take your time, stare at the menu. Ponder an eternity away.

Also, do not make your friendly neighbourhood barista go through the hassle of having to explain the entire menu and then have the audacity to walk away with a free water. Chances are, that barista will hulk out at you.

Just saying.

The post Ohl-gah’s Menu Mishap appeared first on Beleaguered Barista.

Steev-uh the Stupid Solicitor

Happy Sunday y’all. It’s been a wild week for me, but I managed to post, so I count that as a win.

Steev-uh’s one of the creepy customers that come into my store. Apparently, he is harmless, but all the creeps start off that way… And given that he is a non-paying customer, I really just cannot be arsed to deal with him.

Being Followed from my car:

So one morning, 4:20 am, I exit my car to walk towards the entrance of the cafe. My opening supervisor had not yet arrived, but I usually like to feel the crisp cold air against my face and enjoy waiting a little bit outside the shop (yeah. I’m weird like that). As I am approaching the walkway, a man dressed in a hoodie and cargo shorts approaches me swiftly from the side.

“Good morning,” he aggressively greets me.

I am immediately on edge. He is not someone I recognize. His hood is drawn up and his face is obscured from view. His cargo shorts are also suspicious-looking.

Anxious, I choose not to reply to him and I speed up my walk. He too picks up his speed. He is quickly approaching me from behind. If I am outside the store, there is a chance the cameras in our store can pick up any nefarious interactions I experience. My phone is clenched in my hand, 911 pre-dialed in case I have any problems.

“Good morning,” he says again and again. Each time, he grows angrier and more aggressive.

I speed-walk to the door and pull out my phone. He stops and waits, glaring at me. I feel as though I am about to live out a Criminal Minds episode – in a bad way. No Penelope Garcia humour and wit to save me.

Luckily, at the same moment that he takes a step forward towards me, my manager pulls up in her car. He greets her, just as aggressively as he did me, but this time, he gets a response.

I am still feeling the adrenaline from being scared out of my wits. So I enter the store and lock the door before he can even ask if he can sit in the store before we open.

Every open after that, I refuse to leave my car until my opening supervisor has arrived and exits their car.

Steev-uh Solicits

Steev-uh usually waits a half hour outside our doors before we open so he can get an iced water. It’s strange and something I don’t quite understand, but it’s a thing that he does.

Recently though, Steev-uh has taken to soliciting other customers to pay for his coffee. He will wait outside, creepily chat up anybody that is also waiting for us to open, and then feign forgetting his wallet in order to elicit pity.

He even does the whole frantic pat-down of pants pockets. It’s quite ridiculous.

But every time, he gets a generous human being to buy him a coffee.

I hate it.  JUST BUY YOUR OWN DARN COFFEE. Also, soliciting is prohibited.

The post Steev-uh the Stupid Solicitor appeared first on Beleaguered Barista.

Dare-rell’s Debit Debacle

Another Sunday, another soul-shriveling customer to share with y’all.

Today, I introduce you to Dare-rell, a man completely incapable of using his own debit card and blames others for his own ineptitudes.

In comparison to some of the other foul humans that have graced this blog, Dare-rell isn’t all that bad. Sure, he’s a pleasant man (I think). He smiles rather than scowls, never gets mad if we run out of his preferred type of coffee, and can make okay small-talk.

His biggest problem is that he just can’t seem to use his debit card. He holds up lines and sometimes yells at you because he can’t read instructions or remember his own pin.

Maybe he’s afraid of the debit machine. Maybe he’s just dumb. Who knows?

Interacting with him is a whole lot of wanting to hit your face with your own hand out of exasperation.

When I first meet Dare-rell…

the encounter is rather insignificant. He orders his medium coffee, informs me he is paying with his debit card, and goes about attempting to do so. Unfortunately, he pulls his card out the moment the machine tells him “Do not remove card.” Assuming he is just a little too excited to leave and drink his coffee, I prompt the machine again.

He does the exact same thing.

Sighing internally, I tell him to leave his card in. He (thankfully) listens to me, and merrily goes off on his way.

That’s the end of that, I thought.


When Dare-rell returns again the following week…

I expect things to be different. He orders a medium coffee, adds a medium latte, and then gestures to the debit machine so he can pay. He inserts his card with the confidence of a man who knows how to use it – he can’t.

Again, he pulls his card out too early and the piercing sounds of a machine beeping in protest alert me of his blunder. By then though, he has already walked off into the crowd, heading towards the condiment stand to pour some milk into his coffee.

I attempt to flag him down and get his payment, but he had left the store.

*deep sigh* 

The next time I see Dare-rell,

He still has not mastered using his debit card. He gestures to pay, inserts his card into the machine and accidentally (maybe? I’m not a mind-reader people) punches the red button that cancels the transaction.

I inform him that the payment has not gone through because he hit the red button. He vehemently disagrees with me, stating that he has paid, and refuses to be double-charged.

I print out the receipt for him, showing him that the transaction as indeed not gone through.

He huffs in annoyance, inserts his card again, and repeats the mistake. I tell him again, that he needs to be pressing the green button and then entering his pin. I suggest to him that he make use of the tap function on his card.

He glares at me and replies: “I know how to use my card, thanks.”

The passive-aggressiveness in his reply annoys me, but I say nothing. I prompt the machine again, watching carefully as he dithers between the two coloured buttons at the bottom of the machine.

Finally, he hits the green.

Congratulations, idiot, you can press a button after three tries. Great. The transaction goes through, and he exits the store, leaving behind a long line.

When I next hear of Dare-Rell,

He has just made Miranda (my co-worker) suffer. She is taking is order, prompts the machine for him and watches as he struggles to, once again, pay for his coffee.

After multiple attempts to enter his pin, Dare-rell gets frustrated and tells Miranda off, blaming her for his card troubles.

She informs him that she is not interfering with his payment and suggests he use the tap function. After all, he has been repeatedly entering his pin incorrectly and pulling his card out too early.

“You need to know your own card,” she tells him frankly.

There is a long line brewing behind him, but Dare-rell pays it no heed, instead, he raises his voice at Miranda. After finally paying, he angrily informs her: “I’m never coming back here again!”

I mean… that’s not the worse thing if he never comes back. I’d be standing at the door, smiling widely and waving BUH-BYE!


Alas, I see him the next day.

My manager, who finally found herself some motivational action, took his card from him and taps it for him as he is about to enter his blasted debit card into the machine.

She tells him that this method is much easier.

He nods.

AND JUST. LIKE. THAT. He learns how to use the tap function on his card. Something that I and my co-workers have informed him of MULTIPLE TIMES.

The post Dare-rell’s Debit Debacle appeared first on Beleaguered Barista.

Sigh-mon the Swamp Thing

For those of you still tuning in to this blog, thank you.

And I’m sorry. I missed my post on Wednesday. I mean, it’s not a big deal for you; you missed out on some unnecessary anger, exasperated face-palming, throwing holy water, and laughter.

But still, I am sorry. I found out that a writing project I have been working on for the last eight months (my thesis) is essentially turning me into a terrible writer (in the words of my supervising professor) and I need to, essentially, rewrite it. Yup. Life is fantastic. I’m just kind of in a mental panic. BUT THAT’S OKAY (maybe, hopefully?).

Besides, apologizing to y’all is much better than apologizing to the garbage can I just walked into earlier today.


Today is all about a customer I like to refer to as Swamp Thing. He doesn’t smell or anything, I don’t think. He might, but I tend not to spend a lot of time in his presence. But more because he looks like the character Swamp Thing from the 1997 film, Con Air. If you haven’t seen it yet, and have an hour or so to waste, GO DO IT. It’s hilarious. Nicholas Cage attempts a southern accent (keyword being attempts). John Cusack is in his prime. John Malkovich plays a crazy character.

Annddddd M.C. Gainey plays Swamp Thing. (Here’s an image for reference.)

Sigh-Mon looks like this. Just replace the golden locks for white, add a little bit of a curl to the mustache, and top everything off with an occasional cowboy hat and some weird jackets with fringe.

Now, Sigh-Mon is an asshat. Plain and simple. He’s rude, brusque, and interacting with him is quite similar to experiencing a nightmare.

His go-to drink is a regular drip coffee but in the 30 seconds of interaction you have with him, you’ll wish you never got out of bed that morning.

The First Encounter:

The first time I meet Sigh-Mon, I am working in the middle of another rush. The line is to the door, I am frantically trying to brew coffee, and my co-worker manning the cash register is still new. In shorter words: it was a mini gong show.

She takes Sigh-Mon’s order (the aforementioned drip coffee) and I grab it for her, placing the cup on the counter closest to me. All he has to do is shimmy to his left, grab his coffee, and go.

He doesn’t do that. Instead, Sigh-Mon gets angry at the fact that I have failed served him his coffee – that I have not brought it in front of him. I didn’t realize that signing my contract of employment meant signing a contract of servitude. My bad.

He says: “Hello. I am over here.”
I reply: “Hello. Your coffee is over here waiting for you.”

He rolls his eyes, frowns, and tells me off.

“I’m over here. You need to bring my coffee here. Why would you put it over there?”

He just saw the debacle that happened prior to him ordering. My co-worker backed into me as I was trying to deliver coffee to the customer in front of her. In my attempt to avoid spilling hot coffee on her, I spilled it on myself and on the floor. I put his coffee over on the other counter to avoid the same mistake. It’s not like he saw this entire incident go down or anything.

Oh wait, HE DID.

I bit my lip and just nodded, bringing his coffee over to him.

“Don’t let that happen again,” he says to me just before he leaves.

I turn my back to the customers so I can roll my eyes in peace.

The Second Encounter:

When I see Sigh-Mon next, he’s wearing an oversized cowboy hat and a putrid brown leather jacket with some horrendous fringe.

Though his outfit has changed, he is still ridiculously rude. He slams his money onto the counter and mutters: “Gimme a medium”

Obviously, his mother never told him “Gimme gimme never gets.” If she did, he definitely failed to listen to a rudimentary motto of life.

I restrained myself from rolling my eyes, looked at the amount and knew he was getting a drip coffee. But I did not want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that I knew his drink. Call me petty.

Instead, I looked at him, an expectant expression on my face.

He says it again: “I want a medium.”

I nod and gesture to the coffees. “We have three types sir, which one would you prefer?”

He scoffs at me, and grinds out: “a medium medium.”

There was such derision in his voice, I couldn’t help but laugh about it later.

I retrieved his coffee and watched as he rudely made a mess of the condiment stand. He grabs a handful of sugars, opens some and pours them straight onto the counter. Then opens some more packets and puts them into his own coffee. When he finally leaves, there is a pile of sugar wrappers and a separate pile of granules on the counter – which I have to go clean up.


The Third Encounter:

Sigh-Mon comes in one morning and decides to begrudgingly provide me with his order.

“Medium medium,” he says to me.

I nod, turn around the fetch his coffee, place it on the counter in front of him, and then tell him that it costs $2.55.

He looks at me, furrowed brows and mad frown on his face.

“It’s $2.57. Get it right.”

Guess how much he paid in cash y’all. $2.55.

The Fourth Encounter:

My brilliant co-worker Miranda, who you’ve met in the Kristophur saga, also had to deal with this asshat.

Sigh-Mon does his usual grumpy ordering of coffee, and slams down his money on the counter.

Miranda eyes the money, noting that the nickel has been placed on top, and places the money into the cash register.

Sigh-Mon, suddenly enraged, demands that she give him back his change. He paid exactly $2.55.

He placed the nickel on top. AND he always pays in exact change. Why would he think he paid differently?

Though Miranda informed him that he had not paid $2.75, he refused to listen. Instead, he moves off to the condiment stand and proceeds to make a mess in retaliation.

Great. An asshat child disguised as a cowboy. Wonderful.

man grabs head with two hands - holds temples out of sheer exasperation

The Fifth Encounter:

At this point, Swamp Thing doesn’t have the greatest reputation at our store. He’s just absolutely awful to deal with. But his interaction with my also-phenomenal co-worker Nakia really takes the cake.

Nakia is a stone-cold bad-ass. She handles pressure with so much grace and composure, takes no shit from rude customers, and her eye-rolls give me life. She’s fantastic. Anyway, love-fest aside, Nakia had to recently suffer the indignity of dealing with Sigh-Mon.

After Sigh-Mon receives his coffee, he stomps off to the condiment stand to throw in his daily dose of sugar. Unfortunately for us, he comes back, anger in his eyes, and displeasure written across his face.

“Where’s the white sugar? There’s no white sugar!” he yells at Nakia.

Nakia informs him that we didn’t have any.

“Fine,” he states. “I want a refund. I can’t drink it without sugar – I’m not getting my money’s worth.”

Let’s just stop there for a second. WE’RE A COFFEE SHOP. NOT A SUGAR SHOP.

We also have 4 other types of sugar and honey available for use.

Does anyone go to a restaurant, grab some fries and demand a refund because there isn’t any ketchup? I think not. You might be mildly disappointed, but you make do. Also, if you actually do go and demand a refund, shame on you.

Anyway, my point is, sugar is a privilege, not a right.

After he was through yelling at Nakia, another one of my co-workers luckily found him some packets of sugar hiding away at the bar. He grabbed them and stormed off.

I wish I could say it was the last time he came into the store. It would be nice, to simply say to him that we’re happy to never see him again. It would also be nice if he met the same fate as Gainey’s character in the Con Air movie or stepped on some legos barefoot.

Unfortunately for us, it looks like Swamp Thing is here to stay.


Daynah’s Environmental Disaster

Hello y’all. I hope everyone had a good week, and for those of you that celebrated it, a wonderful Chinese New Year. It’s Monday, which means, I procrastinated and didn’t get a post to you yesterday night. Unfortunately, the opportunity to re-watch Trevor Noah slay the stand-up game was too good of one to pass up, hence why you’re getting this post today. Apologies.

Today’s post features Daynah, a woman who makes you wish mute buttons actually worked in real life.

First Encounter:

I first meet Daynah over the phone. It’s 4:45 in the morning, the store has yet to open, and I am setting up the pastry display when the phone begins to ring incessantly. As I answer it, the customer on the line (who later gives her name as Daynah) begins demanding I set aside a box of our “gingerbread square things.”

Given that we don’t sell those, I was particularly confused.

“Sorry,” I say. “We don’t sell gingerbread squares. We do have gingerbread loaves – ”

“NO!” she shouts, cutting me off. “I don’t want gingerbread loaves. It’s a box of gingerbread somethings.”

“The gingerbread cookies?” I suggested.

She grunted in annoyance. “I can’t believe you don’t know what I’m talking about. The box of squares with gingerbread you can buy and share with a lot of people?”

Already annoyed at her rudeness and impatience, I took a wild guess. “The berry bars?” I suggested.

YES! THOSE!” She shouts in exasperated triumph.

Let’s just stop there. There’s absolutely no correlation between gingerbread and berries. How do you even mix those things up? Those are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS and do not sound REMOTELY the same. At all.

She tells me to hold a box for her and informs me that she will be coming by in a few minutes to pick it up.

Seeing Daynah:

Ten minutes after hanging up with Daynah, she walks into the store.

For those of you that have worked in service or retail before, this is the customer that has the “I need to speak to a manager” face permanently plastered on. With scraggly brown hair, plastic red-rimmed glasses, a naturally frowning mouth, and a witch-like nose, I knew the moment I laid eyes on Daynah that our encounter would be unpleasant.

I was right.

“Hi, I called in earlier about the gingerbread squares,” she says to me.

“Yeah. I’ve got them here, the berry bars.” I replied.

“Whatever,” she retorts and waves her hand in annoyance.

I ring in the bars and ask her if she wants anything else. She nods, and tells me she’s getting a coffee.

Then she opens her mouth.

“I’m getting a 1/3 decaf, nonfat, half sweet, no foam, no whip, extra sprinkles, cinnamon latte.”

Repressing the urge to roll my eyes, I write down her order and head over to the bar to make it. I prompt the debit machine for her before I leave, and inform her she can pay.

As I’m halfway from finishing her drink, she requests that I place her “latte” (if we’re going to call this concoction a latte), into one of the reusable cups we sell. However, considering I have nearly finished her drink and have poured the milk halfway into the cup already, it seems rather moot to put the latte into a reusable cup and have to throw out the paper one.

In the same instant that she is asking I place her drink into a reusable cup, she begins to lecture me about the use of paper cups.

“I just disagree with your store policy about paper cups. I hate paper cups. That’s why I buy so many reusable cups.”

A) Did I ask for your life story? No. No I did not.
B) She may have bought a lot of reusable cups, but she sure as heck has not been using them, especially since she walked in that morning without one.

I get it. I hate that my store does not yet use compostable paper cups. I hate that our waste is so high. I go through our recycling and compost bins when it is not busy to make sure people are properly throwing their trash and waste away into the proper corresponding bags. BUT. How self-unaware can you be to reach this level of idiocy?

At the end of her lecture, she realizes that I have finished making her drink, and decides against getting the reusable cup.

“It’s pointless now anyway. You’ve already put my latte in the garbage cup.”

If you have such a moral objection to our store… WHY ARE YOU HERE? GO HOME! I sure as heck didn’t want to start my shift off with a long-ass lecture from a hypocritical customer.

Since Daynah seems to dislike coming into my store so much, I expect to never see her again.


Daynah Won’t Go:

I see her twice that same week. Both times, I get the same exact lecture about environmental responsibility. Both times, she grabs a plastic cup of water, downs it, and proceeds to throw it into the garbage.

Our cups are number five plastics. They’re recyclable.

One day, she lectures my co-worker about our cup policy, I interrupt to tell her that our plastic cups are recyclable.

“So?” She snorts.
“Well, you’ve been throwing your water cup in the garbage, so I just thought I would let you know.” I reply.
“Whatever. Your paper cups are still not compostable. So I don’t agree with your cup policy. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Then she leaves the store in a huff.

I see her again that week. Just. Ugh. *pinches bridge of nose.*


The post Daynah’s Environmental Disaster appeared first on Beleaguered Barista.

Kristophur: The Mocha Dick (Part 2)

It’s Wednesday, which means your resident beleaguered barista is back again with another post. But today also happens to be Valentine’s Day, so I just wanted to wish a happy love day to all the singles, couples, trios, etc. out there. May your days be great and your hearts be full. And if love’s not your thing, today is also the 89th anniversary of the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day massacre. So, uh, there’s that going for you.

For those of you just joining in, this is the second part of the Kristophur saga (read Part I here). It’s going to be another long one, and you’ll probably have to strap in and grab some more chocolate, or maybe some holy water to throw at your screen.

Episode IV: A New Low

It’s Christmas, and Kris’s present to me and my coworkers is to grace us with his presence. I guess Santa thought we all deserved a lump of coal that year. Given that we’re one of the only coffee shops to be open on Christmas, the store is horrifically busy when he enters, which means the chances of a short interaction have just vanished from existence.

As I’m making his drink, he leans over the counter, intent on chatting us up. I put my head down to work, hoping that my lack of eye contact will be taken as a signal that I do not want to talk. Rather than take the hint, Kris asks a general question.

“Are you gals doing any ho-ho-ho-ing today?”

I know. On digital paper, it doesn’t seem that gross. Some of you might be sitting there wondering why I’m so mad. Let me tell you why. Kris wasn’t asking us if we were celebrating Christmas. If you add in the perverted inflection and the disgusting eyebrow waggle he gave us, what he really meant by that question was something sexual, and something that made my skin crawl.

(If you don’t know what he meant, I’ll spell out for you: he’s asking us if we’re engaging in any sexual activities AND implying that we’re hoes.)

A) Any sexual activity we engage in is NONE OF HIS BEESWAX (I mean, we didn’t, but that’s beside the point)

B) Slut-shaming is the stupidest shit I’ve ever heard of. If someone has properly consented to sex and happens to like having it with different partners, then good on them. If that’s what they enjoy, then who gives a damn? They’re out living their best life. Are you? Or are you busy being stupidly judgemental over someone else’s life and policing what they do with their body?

C) EW.

He leaves after we tell him: “No, we’re just working today.”

Episode V: The Mocha Dick Strikes Back

One morning, Kris walks in, a leering smile plastered on his face, and eyes lit up with mischief. Already, I’m on edge. It’s too early for him to start with his particular brand of disgustingness, and I am not caffeinated enough to deal with him.

Unfortunately, my manager is watching me, and I cannot be anything by overly nice to him as he approaches my cash register. I greet him and ask him what I can get him for that day.

He says: “You know what I want.”

I do, but I do not want to give him the satisfaction of him knowing that I know his drink by heart.

“Sorry,” I say. “You’ll have to remind me.”

He rattles off his drink, a little annoyed that he has to actually order. As I’m going off to make his drink, I (stupidly) attempt to make conversation with him.

“It’s nice outside today,” I muse.
“It’s nicer inside,” he says, looking pointedly at me. “In fact, it’s beautiful, I’d say”
“Yeah, it’s warmer inside, but the weather is beautiful,” I reply, oblivious.
“I wasn’t talking about the weather,” he says. He pushes his glasses up higher onto the bridge of his nose, and he’s biting his lip as he stares at me.

I am grossed out and panic. “I was,” I say.

The conversation dies real fast after that. When he grabs his drink, he leaves silently, and I think (hope) it’s the last time I will see him.

I was wrong.

Episode VI: Return of the Mocha Dick

During a rush, Kris is chit-chatting with Bunny at her cash register. What they talk about, I’m not sure, but as I’m walking by them to place a drink on the bar, I overhear this absolutely horrific question exit his mouth: “do you like pussies? Cuz I do.”

Bunny looks at me, and I do a quick double-take. Did he seriously just ask her that? Yes. Yes, this incredibly perverted asshat did.

If y’all are confused. He. Wasn’t. Referring. To. Cats.

Again, the perverted inflection and disgusting lecherous grin on his face was a dead giveaway for what he was actually referring to.

At this point, we would have been happy if Kris got some of the treatment the burglars did in Home Alone.

Exhibit A)

Exhibit B)


Episode VII: The Mocha Dick Awakens

Last week, Kris hits the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. As Bunny is cleaning part of the store, he joins her at the stand where all the milk and sugar is kept and touches her without her consent.

He feels her neck and caresses her hair, and makes her completely and irrevocably uncomfortable and unsafe. To top it all off, before he puts his hands on her, he says: “Don’t worry, my hands are clean.”

Uhm. No. Nope. No, they are not you fricken sleazebag. They are disgusting hands and you have just sexually harassed a girl in plain view of everyone.

It’s upsetting to hear about, especially since Bunny is usually the unshakeable one at work. But that day, she was visibly affected by the incident and went home in shock.

A couple of days later, my brilliant coworker Miranda (who you’ll be hearing more about in the future because she is a bad-ass), confronts Kris as he walks into the store. She calls attention to his unacceptable behaviour (aka his non-consensual grope of Bunny) and asks that he apologize for his actions.

Rather than admit to his mistake, Kris takes the coward’s way out. He states that he didn’t know and that he thought it was okay since Bunny did not say anything to him. He says he didn’t mean anything bad by it.

Well, honey. The road to hell is paved with “good” intentions.

A few days later, he came in and begrudgingly apologized, repeating his earlier statements of no-harm-intended and general lack of knowledge. Though it was overall unsatisfactory, it was a step.

Just so you know, we’ll be monitoring Kris from now on. If he escalates or repeats his behaviour again, we’re probably going to call HR on his stupid ass. And then we’ll never have to see him again. Which, I think would be a brilliant victory.

So that concludes Mocha Dick’s saga for now. Let’s just hope it stays that way.

The post Kristophur: The Mocha Dick (Part 2) appeared first on Beleaguered Barista.

Kristophur: The Mocha Dick (PART 1)

Happy Sunday y’all.

This week, I introduce you to Kristophur: The Mocha Dick. I’m going to be splitting up the saga of his patronage at my café into two parts. Part one will cover his aggressive and asshat behaviour, while part two will tell the tale of his inappropriate sexual advances. Fun stuff, I know.

Fair warning to you though.  This might be a long one. So, sit down, grab some chocolate (and maybe find some emotional zen) because this customer is probably going to make you mad – or, at least, mildly annoyed.

But before I start, here is a FUN FACT for y’all: Mocha Dick (see the title of this post) is an actual thing. It happens to be the name of the sperm whale that Herman Melville’s well-known book, Moby Dick, is based on; this massive whale terrorized the Pacific Ocean during the early 19th century.

Anyway, Kristophur buys mochas AND he’s a colossal dick. Hence, mocha dick. Let’s get started.

For those of you who’ve been reading, Kristophur is very similar to Mykel. They both suck any semblance of joy, hope, and happiness from the air just by walking into the store. Ergo: another dementor.

So what does this terror look like? Imagine a corpulent Elmer Fudd, minus the charming desire to hunt wabbits and the endearing speech impediment. Add in thick-set glasses, an obnoxiously red hoodie that never seems to get washed, and a disgustingly leering smile.

Behold! The glory that is Kristophur.

Episode I: The Mocha menace

The first time I meet Kris, it also happens to be my first time working as a barista. It’s the middle of a morning rush when he walks in and says: “Are you new? I have never seen you before in life.”
“Yes,” I reply. “It’s my first day.”
To which he says (more like shouts/demands): “I’m getting my regular drink.”

Let’s stop there first. Given that he is obviously a regular and has never seen me before PLUS, has confirmed that I am new to the store, why would he expect me to know his drink? WHY? I don’t know what his drink is at this point. I’M NEW.

Kris releases a frustrated sigh of discontent and then proceeds to rattle off his drink.

“I get a large, decaf, nonfat, no foam, no whip, mocha.”

As I’m fumbling to write down the order and ring it in, he chimes in again: “make sure you remember it for next time. You should know it. I come in a lot. Also, it’s decaf. Don’t you dare make it caffeinated.”

I nod, hand the drink to the barista making drinks, and pray to heavens that I never have to see him again.

No such luck there.


The second time I see Kris, I have worked a total of seven days at my café and still have no idea how to make drinks. Unfortunately for me, he walks in, orders his drink, and I’m tasked with the gift (see: curse) of having to make that monstrosity.

The problem is, the cup literally has KRIS written on it. There is no indication as to what the drink is. His royal corpulence walks up to me at the end of the bar and leans over to ask me loudly if I have remembered his drink yet.

I have not.

He gets visibly angry that I have not done so, despite these facts:
a) I am still new
b) I have a life outside of work – it involves school, getting yelled at by my mother, watching British documentaries, procrastinating and a whole lot of NOT BEING A BARISTA.
c) See how the above fact does NOT include memorizing asshat customers and their weird drinks?

Finally, after a disappointed sigh, he takes pity on me and tells me his drink again. What he fails to do is inform me that he does not want any foam on his “coffee.” So I make the drink he has told me to make, but with foam.

He goes apoplectic.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” He explodes. He then looks over at my manager and gestures to me.

“Can you do something about this? This is unacceptable. Just unbelievable.”

I’m standing there, pitcher in my hand and bewilderment in my heart.

“What did I do wrong?” I ask him. He scoffs and just rolls his eyes.

My manager takes one look at him and then glances at the drink that I have managed to produce.

“Oh, you gave him foam. He didn’t want any.”

Great. Thanks for that heads up. Thanks so so much. I remake the drink and hand it off to him.

He takes it and then tells my manager this before he leaves: “You know, she’s not very smart, is she? Got a lot to learn, she does.”


Over the next couple of months, I have limited interaction with Kris. Which turn out to be some of the best months of my time as a barista.

Then, one miserable day, he comes in and destroys all that joy and happiness in an instant.

The moment Kris walks in, I cannot help but stand at attention.
The red hoodie, his signature top of choice, acted as a warning sign of impending doom from the other side of the parking lot. Kind of like Princess Leia when she encounters Governor Tarkin. Minus the presence of a young Harrison Ford.

Princess Leia saying: I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.

Immediately, Kris comments on the number of people that are working.

“Wow, Sapphire (my manager), must be slacking. There are so many of you working. Weird.”

Yes, Kris. Completely weird that people must work to earn a living. What a concept. I definitely don’t have bills and tuition to pay, groceries to buy, money to save for a house I won’t ever be able to buy because of the economy. Yup. No need to work here at all. Cue the intense eye rolls. (Also if y’all did not pick up on that sarcasm… I can’t help you.)

Anyhow, moving on. Kris orders and receives his drink with little to no problems. It is when he attempts (keyword being attempt) to put the lid on his cup that he encounters trouble. For some reason, his sausage fingers are unable to deftly place the plastic lid on top of the cup, and he ends up spilling his drink across the bar.

Rather than apologize for making a mess, he looks at me and informs me loudly that I have made him spill his drink.

Excuse me? I’ve been behind his giant stone counter for the last five minutes. Also, I did not hold a weapon to your head and demand you spill your stupid drink across the counter. I did not MAKE you do anything!

Rather than say any of that to him, I tell him that I will make him a new drink.

“You better. You’re the one that spilled it.”

Again, I choose to stay silent; I bite my tongue.  I proceed to make him his drink and hope that he leaves. INSTEAD, this asshat has the audacity to slam open the door to our back room, locate my manager who is doing admin work there, and shouts at her that I have spilled his drink and need to clean up the mess I made, and then leaves.

Just. Nope. I hope this man steps on some legos. Barefoot. And then falls on them. Or just disappears off the face of the planet.


So that’s it for this (very long) post. Catch the second part of Kristophur’s epic journey up on Wednesday at 9:30pm.

Hope y’all have as good a Monday as you can,


The post Kristophur: The Mocha Dick (PART 1) appeared first on Beleaguered Barista.

Hairold and the Disguised Latte

Basilisks aren’t a lot of fun. In the words of J.K. Rowling:

Of the many fearsome beasts and monsters that roam our land, there is none more curious or more deadly than the Basilisk, known also as the King of Serpents. This snake, which may reach gigantic size, and live many hundreds of years, is born from a chicken’s egg, hatched beneath a toad. Its methods of killing are most wondrous, for aside from its deadly and venomous fangs, the Basilisk has a murderous stare, and all who are fixed with the beam of its eye shall suffer instant death.

To sum up: basilisks are kind of like massive and deadly pet peeves. One, they’re really big snakes, and two, the basilisk featured in the second Harry Potter film (and novel) was most definitely a pet-like creature for the horcruxed (yup, that’s 100% an adjective) Voldemort / Tom Riddle. Plus, pet peeves really do kill you – spiritually, emotionally, and sometimes physically.

If we’re going by this definition, Hairold is a big ol’ basilisk.

Now, Hairold is one of those regulars that you have to be nice to because your manager is looking at you and you need to keep your job. He’s a pleasant enough man (by that, I really mean not-at-all pleasant), severely round around the belly, balding, hairy, loud, rude, and all-around insufferable. Just seeing him makes your eyes retreat into the back of your head.

Hairold comes in on my shifts and orders a small doppio espresso macchiato with no foam in a medium cup. Some of you may be sitting there scratching your heads wondering why the heck I’m so bitter about this. Let me explain. An espresso macchiato (or café macchiato – which it’s also called) is simply espresso with a LITTLE BIT of milk, usually foamed.  So, this order simply makes no sense. It’s like ordering a cappuccino with no foam – stupid and nonsensical.

Anyway, back to Hairold. I was confused with his order, and asked him to clarify what he meant by no foam. Did he simply want a doppio espresso?

Alas, no.

Hairold wanted me to fill the medium cup to the top with steamed milk. In other words, he wanted a bloody MEDIUM LATTE and didn’t want to pay for it. The first time he pulled this on me, I let him slide. I get it. Coffee is a very expensive addiction to feed, and my store isn’t known for selling cheap drinks. But Hairold consistently does this. And it drives me up the wall because he gets increasingly rude about it.  He will peer over the bar and shout at me:
“Make sure you pour the milk all the way to the top!”
“I don’t want any foam on that drink, ya hear?”
“There better not be a drop of foam on that drink!”
“The milk better be at the top when I get that drink!”

If ever there was a customer I would tell to go to hell, it would be Hairold. Yelling at your barista because you don’t know how to be inside like a functional human being is:
a) incredibly rude
b) incredibly condescending
c)  incredibly irritating
d) incredibly stupid – I control what goes into your drink man. You might end up with decaf.

On top of ordering his disguised latte, Hairold also likes to buy our bottled coffee and add shots of espresso to it.

One morning, he walks in and demands that we throw in two shots of espresso into the glass bottle he just picked up from the refrigerated section of the store. He screws open the lid and looks at me expectantly.

I ring in the bottle and push the button on the POS that adds the two shots to his drink. Apparently that was a mistake. He immediately takes one look at the price and throws a temper tantrum about it.

“That’s NOT what I get charged. What is wrong with you? I normally pay $3.40. Not what you’ve charged me”

Uhm other than the fact that I have to serve you? Nothing. I wish I could have said that to him. Or pulled a Rihanna and rolled my window up on his serpentine ass. 

Rihanna rolling up a car window looking shady

Hairold keeps shouting that I have wrongly charged him for his espresso, and ask that I do it “properly” and “right.”
Exasperated with my supposed incompetence, Hairold calls out:

“Where’s Ted’s wife?! She knows how I’m supposed to be charged!”

The fact that this man doesn’t even know the barista’s name and has to identify her based on her marital status is pretty sad. She’s more than someone’s wife you idiot. She’s an actual human with a name… just saying.

My manager, hearing the commotion from the back, comes out and looks to ameliorate the situation. She clears the transaction and tries again to ring it in the way he wants it – it doesn’t happen.

He gets increasingly frustrated, until I magically find out that ringing in a cup of water and adding in the two espresso shots after produces the price that Hairold wants to pay for his coffee. Thank the lord. After that, he pays for his drink and leaves.

Yesterday, I saw Harold again. It was superbly painful and just all-around not fun. He must be a wizard at this point, given how much he keeps ordering those damned disguised lattes.

Just. Ugh. Someone needs to sick Fawkes on this guy’s ass so the regal phoenix can poke this snake’s eyes out.
Fawkes the Phoenix poking the basilisk's eyes out



The Drama with Sellmah

In the words of Professor Remus J. Lupin:

Nobody knows what a boggart looks like when he is alone, but when I let him out, he will immediately become whatever each of us most fears.

If a boggart summed up is your worst nightmare, then a freaky clown would probably be the form the boggart takes if I ever encounter one. If you’re laughing, see Bill Skarsgård playing Pennywise the Clown in the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s It (no seriously, go see that movie, because it’s absolutely fantastic). Actually, it might be a spider – or a bee (see also: insects, great heights, zombies, moldy cheese, conservative Republicans).

But one of the other forms it could take would be that of the formidable Sellmah. With beady eyes, a rather buxom figure, chipped teeth, grey spaghetti-string hair, and clothing that seems to have missed washing by just several months ago, Sellmah is a sight to behold. But what’s even better is the sound of her voice: like nails on chalk, metal knives on porcelain, the screeches of the Nazgul…  Needless to say, seeing and interacting with Sellmah is not a very pleasant encounter.

One day, in the middle of an insane rush, Sellmah orders a blended mocha, and (angrily) asks if the wait will be long. Given that the store was full of people, the line out the door and circling around the block corner, I’d say she didn’t really need an answer to that pointless question. YES. The wait would be more than 5 bloody minutes. My co-worker rang in her order on the POS and then handed off the drink to be made. As I was starting on her drink, Sellmah had pushed her way to the bar area, and was glaring intently at me as I gathered ingredients. Milk. Chocolate. Coffee. Ice…

It was the moment I was scooping the ice into her drink that Sellmah cried out: “YOU MADE IT WRONG. IT’S TOO WATERY. DON’T YOU DARE MAKE MY DRINK WATERY. YOU BETTER PUT THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ICE IN THERE!”

Swallowing a retort and an frustrated sigh, I turned around, put on the best possible smile I could manage, and told her I understood. I put more ice in the scoop and moved to put it into the blender, until the Sellmah’s awful voice screeched out again: “That’s not enough ice! You’re trying to give me water. This is unbelievable!”

woman asks if she can mute someone. Points tv remote towards this person and presses button.

I could feel my anger boiling up to the surface, a geyser of unhappiness that could no longer be contained. I hate backseat-baristas with a passion. They’re the worst. No seriously. It’s grating and humiliating. Besides, if you have such a passion to “teach” baristas how to make drinks, GO AND WORK IN A COFFEE SHOP. Or better yet, make them at home, so nobody else has to live through an insufferable encounter with you.

I have to admit that I lost my temper. I threw the ice scoop in my hand violently into the sink, grabbed the biggest one I could find, filled it, and then aggressively chucked the contents into the blender. Afterwards, I turned around, held up the pitcher and asked her with gritted teeth if what I had was the correct amount of ice. She assented, and I blended her concoction, eager to relieve myself of her presence. Alas, it was not to be. After she got her drink, she took a singular sip and announced to the world that I was “incompetent” and had put too much water in the drink. Which I found really surprising, since the drink was so thick she couldn’t even suck anything up through the straw. Yeah. I paid that much attention to her.

Ice is frozen water. Let’s all just take a moment and remember that. Ice is frozen water.

Because this is a customer-driven business, I swallowed my pride and anger, and took her drink back, apologizing and promising to make her drink properly this time. After reaching the ice stage again, Sellmah yells out that she wants me to put in a middle-sized scoop of ice. THE. ORIGINAL. SIZED. SCOOP. OF. ICE. I. HAD. GRABBED. 

Yeah. I was angry. So angry I had to physically bite my tongue to keep from saying anything to her. I finished her drink and she left the store without another incident – for that day at least.

It was a week after this backseat-barista moment that Sellmah returned to our store, ordered another blended mocha and began another nightmare-inducing interaction.

This time round, Sellmah orders and receives her drink without any problems. However, after drinking everything BUT a tiny bit of whip cream, she returns to the cash register to tell us that her drink was “disgusting” and “undrinkable.”

Let’s stop there. If her drink was so “undrinkable,” why on earth did she DRINK THE WHOLE THING???!??

man grabs head with two hands - holds temples out of sheer exasperation

Because we couldn’t really deny her, (see the awful maxim: “The customer is always right”) she got another drink. For free.

Two days later, Sellmah entered the store to request a (free) iced water. As I headed over to the bar to get the ice and cold water, she yells a singular: “are you serious?” I turn to her, absolutely taken aback. There was no way I could have managed to screw up an ice water. Except I did.

Sellmah scoffed at me, rolled her beady little eyes and said to me: “I can’t believe you don’t know how to make an iced water. You’re supposed to put the ice in first!”

She crossed her arms smugly. As if she had just taught me the most important lesson in the universe.

Just so you know, there’s no actual correct way to “make” an iced water. There was never a moment where I wished I was a powerful witch more than that one. Can you imagine the satisfaction of waving a wand, saying the incantation Ridduklus, and watching this awful creature turn into a joke of itself?  

To add insult to injury, the next time I saw Sellmah, which was a couple days after the iced water debacle, my manager whispered these words to me: “Oh, I love Sellmah. She’s one of my favourites because just so sweet!”

Just nope. Nope.