Indecent Espresso

Working Hard

Working Hard

A customer came in the other day demanding a latte. I was happy to make one yet his forcefulness and rapid mannerisms resembled those of a person in a hurry. He most certainly was, as he grabbed the finished product and ran out the door. I felt used, this customer came in wanting one thing, once he got it he ran away, only to be seen again when he wanted another hit.

 

Being in a rush is one thing, but jamming your demands down my throat as if I’m not fulfilling your request fast enough is another. I’m aware that I’m positioned in a give take relationship with customers, I take the money and they get a service, it’s how most businesses operate. But feeling used can sometimes manifest into a sleazy ordeal.

On that note, I came across an interesting little article the other day that reminded me of this experience, and the goods and services industry as a whole.

Basically, five baristas were charged with prostitution in the good ol’ state of Washington, US. They were apparently “charging up to $US80 ($A92) to strip down while fixing lattes and mochas.” This ‘grab-n-go’ business received numerous complaints throughout the year, yet the girls weren’t arrested, merely slapped on their latte-making wrists.

They were wearing bikinis and exchanged cash for short peep shows which on the upside boosted their male clientele. There wasn’t a brothel behind the bean, just an expensive flash, a mere give and take.

This isn’t the first controversial flesh display that has risen within the coffee community. In 2003, Playboy featured “Starbucks baristas” who “shed their aprons and everything else to make your fantasies a reality.” A business transaction at best, but I remember when this was going on, I happened to be working for Starbucks at the time, a few swarthy customers thought they were being clever asking for more service, puh-lease!

As classy as that all must sound, it seems like an exaggeration of my job along with others in hospitality. You order, we run around trying to accommodate your request in hopes that it’s satisfactory, then you leave and come back for the same service at your disposal. Yes, baristas and their service industry counterparts work hard for the money, some in less conventional ways, but it’s all the same, money in exchange for a pleasurable service, like…coffee. Just don’t expect to find the baristas in bikinis at Caffeine anytime soon, we’re a modest bunch.

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1 Response to “Indecent Espresso”


  1. 1 melbournegal September 30, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Hahaha – really enjoyed this piece. Great start to the day. Thanks M. xxx


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