Thursday, May 26, 2005

Starbucks Performance Art

Sometimes, the urban performance artist just has to take a chance, and stuff happens that you simply could not plan.

I walk into the Starbucks. It could be anywhere. Male employees all have hipster facial hair but no obvious nonear piercings.

Order a large coffee (I refuse to say, "Venti Grando Fat Marlon Brando, or whatever froufrou name they use for large). Also a paper, for my daily dose of WaPo disinfo.

Barristo rings up $2.63, I hand him a five spot. So far, so good.

But then I hear a sharp intake of breath. The kid has rung up $10.00, with change of $7.37. (Extra credit: is this actually a problem? Hint: no)

Without thinking, I go for it. "Oh, god, now you've done it. Do you need to call the manager?"

Barristo: "No, I can't, I've already screwed up today. He'll fire me."

Me (not believing my good luck, and going for broke): "How about I give you a ten. Then you can give me the change correctly?"

Barristo: (ridiculously relieved) "Oh, could you? That would be great!"

Me (ignoring the ten in my wallet): "Gosh, I don't have a ten. Can I give you another five?"

Barristo: "Yes, that's perfect." Takes the five, puts it in the register, gets ready to give me the SAME FIVE back as part of the ten that I never gave him. Sensing a problem, he does what any other moron would do, and totally freezes up, staring at the register drawer.

Me (working a hunch): "Can you make sure and give me back the same five? That bill has been in my family for generations, and we really like it."

Barristo: (catatonic...so much information... HEAD....REALLY....HURTS ....finally, he whispers, I swear): "I'll have to ask the manager." Waves to manager.

Manager: "What's up?"

Me: "The bill was 2-something and I gave him a five but he rang up ten so he made me gave him another five but now I want that same five back and he won't give it to me."

Manager looks at Barristo, eyebrows raised.

Barristo:

Manager: Stares at register, then at money tray. Picks up five like it is a dead cockroach, gives it to me. (warmly) "Sorry for the wait, sir." (not so warmly) "(Barristo NAME), can we talk for a minute, in back?"

Kgrease..dedicated to bringing equilibrium to employment markets everywhere.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great, some 16 year old kid is out of a job and living off his parents again because you're too cute

mungowits said...

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin....

He was 25.
He had an IQ of 80.
and *HE* called the manager over, not me.

In the gene pool of life, there are swimmers, and there are sinkers. This guy was a sinker.

Anonymous said...

but can he hit the 12-6 curve?

Brandon Thomson said...

Hahaha! You rock, dude. Seriously. I found your blog searching on an unrelated topic, but this just hits home. I worked as a head cashier in a waterpark for three summers, and almost EVERY SINGLE CASHIER we hired ran into this problem at one time or another, some of them many, many times. Trying to even explain the concept of "It's okay, ignore what the computer says, just give them the correct change" only evoked cries of "But my drawer won't match up!" yada yada yada like they couldn't understand simple subtraction.

Yeesh. I belly-laughed for a while when I read you writing about the same phenomenon. Good show, by the way!