Thursday, May 27, 2010

How To: Look Like a Douchebag, Starbucks Edition

After 2 months, I've decided there are three reasons people go to Starbucks:
  1. They like our coffee/beverages/food
  2. They like wifi and couches but hate the imposed quiet of libraries
  3. They like to feel cool
Those are all fine reasons, but a lot of times that third one gets annoying to baristas. So if you feel like looking like a douchebag, order this:
  • Upside Down Caramel Macchiato: This is a vanilla latte with caramel drizzle. If you want to look like an idiot who doesn't know what they're ordering, this is your drink
  • No Foam Caramel Macchiato: THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE
  • No Espresso Mocha: If you order this, I'll ring you up for a Mocha not a Hot Chocolate. It's only a 15 cent difference but it makes me feel better about you being a dumbass
  • Double Shot: Here's the problem with the double shot, it's not on the menu and it's not in the recipe cards. And this goes for anything not on the menu, you shouldn't expect me to just know how to make it. If you wanna tell me how to make the drink, I'll do it. I'll even pretend to be happy about it if you're polite. But if you don't know how to make it then I can't really help you.
  • Venti Iced Triple Latte: An iced venti comes with three shots. How many extra would you like me to ring up?
  • Skinny Americano: What is this? I don't even...
  • Lite Non-Fat Sugar-Free Frappuccino: A lite Frappuccino is all of those things by default.
  • Ordering something then changing your order while I'm making it: Seriously guys. No matter what you do, I'll smile and act like it's no big deal but if you ask for your drink iced as I'm slipping the sleeve on your extra hot Skinny Vanilla Latte, I'm gonna be pissed. I just spent 2-3 minutes of my life making your $5 coffee so that you can simper about it not being what you wanted. I'm sorry that you thought a Dark Cherry Mocha didn't have espresso in it, but it would've taken about 15 seconds to ask me and find out that it does.
Um, so now that I've bitched about people who don't know what they're ordering I have something else to say: I love when people ask me questions. I spent a week and a half learning about every single drink on the menu. If you wanna know what goes into a drink, what "skinny" means, or want a suggestion, I'd love to help. When I get to help people have a happier day, it brightens my life too. So don't order blindly, "ask and ye shall receive".

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Wonders of China

I'm still on my parent's health insurance. Which unfortunately has the worst optical coverage ever. Basically if you buy super expensive glasses they might knock off $20. If you buy glasses at Walmart like I do, you pay full price. I have a normal prescription, nothing special but my glasses ran about $160 at Walmart. That's a lot of money for a college student. So when my roommate was looking at $8 prescription glasses, I was all over that. Well sort of. Because I was a lazy, broke college student, I lost the link and forgot about it til almost a year later when another friend mentioned that he used the site to get his snazzy new glasses. So I got on the interwebs and ordered two pairs of glasses (cause for $8 why not get a little crazy?) I didn't bother getting any of the upgrades, which was a mistake. The anti-glare stuff would've been worth the like $4 they wanted. I was also surprised by how cheap shipping was. As best I can tell, the glasses are made in China, but the shipping was less than the $8 I was paying for my prescription glasses. Here's the two I picked:

Well today they finally came in. And they are fabulous. I could not be happier. With the exception of a slight increase in glare, they wear just as well as my Walmart glasses. I've been wearing them all day and haven't had a headache yet. Which means they probably got my prescription right. I've certainly been able to see fine. They actually fit better than my Walmart glasses too. Would definitely buy again.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Feeling Like a Dork in Comic Book Shops

Yesterday I got into a conversation about comic book stores with my co-worker and he suggested a shop just up the road from where I work. Since I haven't made it to a store in over a month so I was pretty muddled about what had/would be out when I went in. So when I went in I had no clue where to start looking. Going into new comic book stores is always slightly intimidating to me. They're all laid out mostly the same but every store has its quirks. Most stores have a wall with the new comics from this week or month and then bins for older comics. But some stores will keep a few previous issues behind the new ones or will have separate bins based on qualifiers I can't identify. To top it off, I'm a chick in a comic book store. On top of my crazy paranoia about personally looking like an idiot who reads shitty comics is the added paranoia that I'm making all women look like idiots who read shitty comics.

My paranoia is kept at manageable levels when I'm in stores like A+ Comics and Collectables in Lexington or The Great Escape in Louisville. The people behind the counter say hi and then go back to what they were doing. The stores feel crowded and slightly intimate like a used book store, only brighter. And you're never the only customer in the store. When I walked into the store my coworker recommended, there were two middle age men behind the counter who mumbled some sort of greeting and then watched me walk across a huge empty room the racks on the side wall. I couldn't help but wonder if they were watching me, trying to guess what girly comics I'd be buying. I couldn't find the issues I was looking for on the wall. I turned around and considered trying to look in the bins for what I wanted but even when I'm at ease I can rarely find what I'm looking for in those. I decided the easiest course of action would be to just ask. Again I wonder if it's my paranoia, but I'm pretty sure they both gave me the dumbass look as I asked them questions. I did ask one genuinely dumb question. I'll be honest. But I also asked to very legit ones. And they did give me polite answers. But the paranoia sits in the back of my head, telling me they wrote me off the moment the saw my boobs come through the door. I wonder if they would've been more verbose if I was a guy. Actually tell me when more of American Vampire was coming in or make a weak attempt to actually help me find something I wanted to buy. Flustered, I turned to leave. With one foot out the door I do a double take and remember my final question, "Do you know when Batwoman's getting her ongoing?" A very visible change came over them. Because I was asking about a lesbian character, I must be a lesbian! Thereby explaining why me and my boobs could actually enjoy comics. They still gave me a terse and useless answer.

Like I said, I've got crazy paranoia. These guys could just be deadbeats who were kinda bummed anyone walked into their store. They could've actually been being nice and my paranoia was twisting it. I have this sort of paranoia for many things (calling delivery people, going into clothing stores for the first time, etc) but it's not nearly as strong as my comic book store paranoia. I think that unlike most of my worries, this one has some basis in fact. Comic book nerds do judge you by what you read/look at/buy. And though I have had no overt references made to my womanliness being a barrier to reading comics, it has been implied. Like many male dominated hobbies, women who attempt to join are ostracized and have to jump through many hoops before they can even consider being involved. No wonder girls don't read comics.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Justified Revisited

I wasn't happy last time I blogged about Justified. I felt empty and let down. However, I've adjusted my expectations of the show and I must say I've been enjoying it. This might not be the Kentucky I know and love but I've come to enjoy it. I think it's a bit like someone gave Captain Kirk a southern accent and let him loose with a gun. Sounds a bit silly but roll with me. He has a chick begging to have sex with him (not that he tried to resist too hard). He would rather follow his own personal morals than the rules of the government. While he is under investigation for one of the people he shot in the past 8 episodes, he's shot a lot of other people too. I feel like there were more similarities but they're not really springing to mind. My only lingering issue with Justified is I'm still not sure what US Marshalls do.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Treat People in the Service Industries

I have worked in a few different occupations commonly know as "the service industry". I've buttered popcorn, served burgers, and made $5 coffee. And as a result, most of my days include being treated like shit by at least one person. Sunday was an especially bad day at Starbucks as it was a Sunday and rainy on top of that. Customers were being abnormally bitchy and it made me think of the things I didn't realize before I got a shitty job serving food to jackasses. So here's my guide to how to treat people who work in the service industry, i.e. preforming a service for you, just in case that wasn't clear.

1. Assume the Best of People

Sometimes I have bad days. Which means I still get your drink to you as fast as ever but I might not be feeling chatty, or might forget that I'm supposed to thank you for letting me serve you. It might not have occurred to you but today might've been the day my childhood pet died, my boyfriend broke up with me, or my best friend cut me out of their life. Shit happens to you. Shit happens to me. Unless I go out of my way to be mean, it's probably nothing personal against you,.

2. Don't Blame Me, Blame the Man

I am the person who delivers the product to you. I'm sure you are just trying to make conversation, but it sounds a lot like you're trying to get me to lower a price that I don't set and can't alter. I have rules I have to follow. I can only make one pot of coffee at a time, if it runs out in the middle of your cup, it's not cause I'm trying to fuck you over, it's cause that's the way I'm supposed to do it. You can either accept that or take your anger out on me. I'd really rather the former over the later.
3. When Tipping is Appropriate, Tip At Least 15%
The service was shitty. Then again, there was an unexpected rush at 2 am and your waitress was dealing with 7 or 8 tables instead of the usual 3 or 4. You're thinking about skimping on the tip. I mean, she only took your order, fixed the order when the bus boy brought you the wrong food, and refilled your drink once. 5% or 10% is totally cool, right? Nope. Waiters and waitresses make around $4 an hour because they get to accept your tips. And like I said before, shit happens. And sometimes they might fuck up your order. You should remember rule #1 when you consider under-tipping. Did the waiter/ress go out of their way to be a jackass? Were they actively avoiding you? Then assume the best of them and tip 15%. Cause that job is not fun, it is not easy, and pretending they couldn't be happier to serve you isn't what they want to be doing on a Friday night.

4. Not Sure if You Should Tip? Do It Anyway
Sometimes it's hard to know if tipping is appropriate. The easiest way to tell? Credit card receipts will have a space to write in a tip. However, there are some places tips are not put on receipts. For example, if you are a regular at a coffee shop, tips will go a long way in getting your coffee ready ASAP, exactly how you like it. Generally if someone is providing a personal service, tipping is expected and should be at least $2. When you aren't sure, offer the tip. If they aren't allowed or generally don't get tips, 90% of the time they'll say as much. Also: We remember when you don't tip.

5. Remember Fight Club

It never occurred to me that waiters could fuck with my food until I read Fight Club, wherein a waiter sticks his dick in someone's soup. I'm making your popcorn, your soda, your latte. Who knows if I buttered in the middle or gave you caffeine free, or made it extra hot? Not you until long after you can complain. People in the service industries quickly become bitter and if you're a jackass to us, we'll be more than willing to fuck up whatever service we're supposed to be giving to you.

In conclusion, remember that everyone is a person just like you who just wants to make a living even if it's not as noble or well paying of a pursuit as your own career.

Things I Would've Tweeted During My Little Brother's Confirmation

  • The Bishop just fell asleep. What a douche.
  • Apparently this is a bilingual mass. All the singing bits have different tunes. coincidence? #probably
  • Mom just made fun of Catholics
  • The kid from my sister's math class just knocked the Bishop's hat off with the incense swinger.
  • Mom made fun of Catholics. Again.
  • The choir director just gestured wildly with her arms and knocked over three microphones.
  • Mom refused to kneel during the kneeling parts of mass. And then made fun of Catholics.
  • My sister was making faces at the toddler in front of her but the Bishop thought she was sticking her tongue out at him.
  • Bishop gave a 30 minute homily. And then read it again in Spanish off a piece of paper.
  • My mother is complaining about the bilingual parts of the service. Oh, and also making fun of Catholics.
  • At a reception where 90% of people are over 45.
  • My brother just lent me his iPhone. TTYL, bitches.