Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Conversation

“You’ve got a nice coffee shop here,” he said.
“Thank you,” replied the Barista.
“I know it’s in the mall, but it’s nice,” he continued. “Really nice… Do you offer wireless internet for your costumers?”
“Mmm, I don’t think so.”
The man left.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Keep Schtum

Forbes pronounced coffee shop Starbucks as one of the best companies for which one’s to work. The coffee shop I work for, on the other hand, is not.

This explains why—I feel I should add at this point that I am working through college—many employees leave as soon as they come. Usually, as I like to call them, mall-hoppers leave a position to look fruitlessly for the perfect job within the safe, air-conditioned walls of the mall. Exits from pointless jobs are frequent and uneventful—unlike Wednesday’s exit.

That day, Jo-jo left without saying a word, the precious moments she was there. Friends came to pry any information they could, but she stayed silent—a complete mystery as to why. She repeatedly called her mom and took several “bathroom” breaks: “It’s been nice knowing you,” Jo-jo finally told her coworker and left without saying a word.

Enter El Jefe: Obviously finding your employee AWOL can be stressful to any boss. But, when “go to hell” has been written on the whiteboard, things turn for the worse, and get downright depressing. “It’s not like I treat you guys unfairly,” El Jefe said. “I’m not an asshole boss.” Little does he realize Jo-jo hadn’t written the phrase. I had.

Weeks before, a regular, obsessed with Japanese women and branding—Hello Kitty and the like—created his own version of branding for the coffee shop I work. I wore a button that pictured a pile of roasted beans behind text (Butter Toffee). A promotional effort gifted to their diligent workers by corporate. The flair was worn on our stained aprons, which is when the regular made the off, but funny, remark, “Butter Toffee: go to hell!” The results of his randomness had us laughing, including Jo-jo. Since then, we often would repeat the impromptu branding: “Butter Toffee: go to hell!”

“Take it off,” Jo-jo said in mock impatience, impacting my arm when my recourse was that of refusal. Days later, Wednesday, the button fell off, which is when she silently came to work and mysteriously left like vapor; and, is, incidentally, when I left the button on the board with a disastrous phrase written above it.

I have yet to tell my boss the true origins of the phrase.