Battle of the Barista – Part I

As stated in the Work Sucks section of this blog, I have had many jobs.  This is mainly because I refuse to settle.  Life is too short to be unhappy and taking shit from complete strangers on a daily basis is enough to make anyone seriously unhappy.

I have only ever been fired once (fuck you PWA), but every other time I have left on my own terms and in the grandest of fashions.  I’m usually able to make a huge scene because at every job there is always one manager that I really connect with and I have never wanted for a reference.

However, I will say this – at pretty much every single job…I’ve always come really close to getting fired (like the time I almost beat the shit out of my childhood friend at Barnes and Noble).  What follows is one such tale and it all started with a woman named Rita…


Every Starbucks has a Rita…you know, that woman who always asks if the coffee is fresh “because yesterday I came here and it wasn’t fresh”.  She says things like “Well, they know me here” and “they always do it for me” when you explain that extra syrup constitutes more syrup than the normal amount required and since the amount of syrup is more the cost is more.  And the reason there are people like Rita is because there are people like Dan.

Dan was a twenty-six year old man who once told me that I was one of the “most talented baristas” he had and that I was throwing away my potential by not caring enough about lattes.  Dan took his role as manager super seriously and always strove to make assholes like Rita happy.

That’s one thing that always sucked about retail or any customer service related job – the manager never has your back.  They give you rules to follow and are always the first to jump on you when something isn’t by the book but when you say “no” to a customer they are the first to jump in and bend the rules.  That’s why I think every manager on this god damn planet should see Band of Brothers and learn a little something about camaraderie.  But anyway, back to the story…

So yeah, I hated Rita and she hated me.  And one fine day I waged an epic battle the likes of which had never been seen before…and it all started with a penny…



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