Changing the System

“We are not Starbucks and therefore do not write names on cups.”

John Smith, the only other Barista at Caffeine is a wise man and an obvious ‘third wave’ enthusiast, but I disagree with his cup ethics.

At times I look beyond the bar and notice the massive crowd that has developed after the transaction. It can get large within seconds which used to wreak havoc on my nerves when I was a newbie.

Sometimes it seems there are hundreds of people, rotating as each coffee goes out, all the while keeping their eyes locked on the machine.

Mostly customers keep to themselves yet every now and then they approach the bar, look at my hands and try to stare down their coffee.

I rarely acknowledge their presence but I do agree with their intention.

Last week we averaged out our drop count and figured we made 2.4 drinks every minute for nine hours (and no, I’m not counting the first year’s hot chocolates). There aren’t too many variations on our menu so it can be a confusing ordeal trying to figure out if that latte, is your latte. Most people take out of order.

Look, it’s more frustrating for me to be honest. I don ’t want to remake something nor do I want to bump up a full fat latte when I have just steamed a full jug of skinny, it disrupts the flow.

Not only that but I am never making the drink at hand. I am always preparing for the next eight because like most things, if you don’t plan ahead everything could go pear shaped.

Yet some form of personalized cup identification would be easier than relying on “people to take responsibility with their place in line,” as John Smith always says.

Thankfully our customers evolve and have informally adopted a first-name- initial system where I am more than happy to sneak out a ‘J latte’ than put something up for grabs.

As hard as I’ve tried to change the system on my own, it was overall consensus that has slowly made a ten-year old operation better.

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2 Responses to “Changing the System”


  1. 1 David March 20, 2010 at 2:59 am

    i hadn’t notice you changed the tip cup. that’s gold! haha.


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