What can I get for you this morning?

Image via bluemaize.net
Image via bluemaize.net

Why you should be nice to your barista

By Jillian McMullen, Staff Writer


Having spent the last two years serving humanity post-caffeine fix, I’ve dealt with every kind of unnecessary rudeness imaginable. I’ve had triple-shot, quarter-sweet, one-percent, no foam, 185-degree Caramel Macchiatos thrown at me because the drizzle “didn’t look right.” I’ve even had someone purposely urinate on the floor of the café because the line-up for the washrooms “was taking too long.”

While these examples are exceptional, saying your average barista must deal with a lot over the course of a shift would be an understatement. So, what I am going to suggest is—simply—be nice to the brave soul who has somehow ended up between you and your morning vice.

Baristas serve hundreds of people a day, most not even looking away from their phones to mumble their orders. We’re instructed to ask about grabbing you that blueberry muffin and we’re obligated to get a name for that cup. A polite “no thank you” and some eye contact makes having to confront the next half-asleep patron much less intimidating. In fact, if you’re one of the few people who remember our names—not because they’re on our aprons, but because you’ve taken the time to learn something about the person who serves you every morning—and asks how our days are going, you will reap the benefits of being one amongst a very small group. These benefits can range from something as simple as having your drink waiting for you at the bar when you walk in, to letting you sample new drinks and food before they’re made available to the public, even to getting your lunch on the house if you’ve had a rough day.

We want to make our customers as happy as possible. Making someone’s day is the best part of the job, and it makes dealing with the rude customers worth it. But everyone has their limits, so remember this: If you are the 164th random person to snap at us simply because you haven’t been caffeinated yet, there aren’t enough espresso shots in the world that can help you—because we will definitely decaf you.