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I'm A Bad Person - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
I'm A Bad Person
There's a coffee stand in the breezeway of our building. Even though the brew is hardly the best, it does the job. And I patronized the place regularly for years. But now I don't. You see, these days the barista is a sullen, very dirty blonde, dreadlocked woman who hates me. No, that's not something I can verify. I think she hates me. All of the repartee that makes the coffee-purchasing experience attractive to me is absent in our transactions. Some people she half-smiles at. With me, though, she cultivates a I-had-myself-lobotomized-to-avoid-banter look. It's enough to make mediocre coffee taste very bad indeed. What's worse, though, is that my response to her iciness has grown to a disturbing size. Convinced that she goes out of her way to not be friendly with me, I've started focusing on things she does that bother me. Her hair, for instance. In particular, I've become fixated on the fact that she spends her idle time watching soap operas and talk shows on one of those early 80s-style portable black-and-white televisions. In theory, there's something cool about living in another decade. I could interpret her woman-centric viewing as a strategy of resistance, a way of saying, "I could be sitting at home waiting for Prozac to hit the market, but instead I'm out and about selling -- what was that word again? -- lattés to disaffected college students." Sadly, though, the juxtaposition of burned-out hippie appearance and bad daytime television just makes me mad. It reminds me of those "students" who spent all day at Berkeley's Barrington co-op taking bong hits and watching re-runs. Of course, I was in Barrington during the 1980s, so perhaps my annoyance is simply about not wanting to relive a sordid side of my undergraduate experience. And yet, no matter how thoroughly I sort out my feelings, I still remain convinced that A) the barista hates me; B) that I will no longer buy coffee from her stand; and C) that I can't wait for the day when her supervisor figures out that she is responsible for the drop in revenue.

Mode: brindled
Muse: What's Going Ahn - Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City

19 comments or Leave a comment
From: samifo Date: November 4th, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You lived at Barrington? Great parties!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 4th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Only for a semester, really. But I was there a lot the year before and the semester after I moved out. I just remember being told to steer clear of the punch. . . :-)
chefxh From: chefxh Date: November 4th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
If I owned that business, I would want you to tell me, not wait for me to figure it out.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 5th, 2005 12:26 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I thought of that. But I'm not sure I have the energy. If I get an easy opportunity, maybe.
cpratt From: cpratt Date: November 4th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You're not a bad person. Part of what you're paying for when you buy your coffee is of course the experience of buying your coffee; too bad there's nothing on the level of Raging Sage on campus. :/
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 5th, 2005 12:27 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Although Raging Sage is now plagued with troublesome morning baristas as well. They're slow and sometimes surly. And the espresso drinks they make don't always taste right. Afternoon, evening, and weekend shifts are the way to go these days. But thanks for telling me I'm not bad!
tommix From: tommix Date: November 4th, 2005 07:40 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Dude, she hates everybody.
I think it's her refusal to interact that is the most annoying, what you refer to as "I-had-myself-lobotomized-to-avoid-banter look."
I don't understand how you can't say "hi" when someone says "hi" to you. Have you ever tried it? For me it's nearly impossible not to say "hi" back. But, then again, I a warm a cuddly person, kind of like a great big teddy bear that only occasionally threatens to crush someones throat.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 5th, 2005 12:28 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
So you know here, then? Apparently ol' PW has something I lack.
From: thewhitaker Date: November 4th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Wow. She hates me too! Or she did when I was a functioning student. Often, she had trouble leaving the emotional magnetism of her soap operas to make me a mocha. Later, I met a kid who used to work with her, and he told me things about her I will not repeat on this public space. Rest assured, Bertsch, that it's not you or me or anyone else. It's a sinister other.
tommix From: tommix Date: November 4th, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
God, I'm dying to hear what she did.
There's got to be someway I can find out. Grist for the mill, for sure.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 5th, 2005 12:30 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I agree!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 5th, 2005 12:31 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Superb to hear from you, Master Whitaker. Would you be so kind as to at least send me an e-mail detailing this person's heinous crimes against humanity?
danthered From: danthered Date: November 4th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I lived around the corner from a café-deli in Ann Arbor for a year, back when I had to have strong coffee in the morning, else be useless the entire day.

The barista turnover rate was pretty standard (i.e., high), and eventually along came a pierced, bleached, dyed alternachick named Courtney. I can't tell if she liked me and wanted me, or hated me and wanted me dead. She started comping my 2-shot moccacino, or just discounting it if the boss was around. Then she started making 'em 3-shot. After a couple weeks, she upped it to 4-shot. My tolerance was high at the time, but the day she made me—free of charge—a 7-shot, triple-chocolate moccacino, I wound up in hospital feeling as though someone were stabbing me.

Always with a smile and friendly banter, though...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 5th, 2005 12:30 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Seven shots? At that dosage she could have swirled some morphine in and you still wouldn't have slept!
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: November 5th, 2005 01:16 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


Yes. Like tommix and <"lj user="thewhitaker"> I also report that the dread-locked lady who sells coffee in the breezway hates me, or at the very least looks at me very suspiciously. I can’t look her in the eyes anymore. It unsettles me that when I do I see nothing there.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 5th, 2005 06:15 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: eek.

Clearly, something needs to be done. Perhaps we can perform an intervention?
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: November 5th, 2005 08:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: eek.

That's going to be a tough one. It's going to require making copies of good films (so she can get interested in something other than The Golden Girls), giving her CDs filled with good music (that might be more for us than for her--maybe she'll play it in the breezeway), and giving her something else to be happy about (a nebulous "something" but I'm not sure what). That's a lot of work. I vote for impeachment!

katieengl From: katieengl Date: November 5th, 2005 02:28 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

no youre right.

Baristas are supposed to make witty banter up until the point that they find you creepy. Im assuming you've never asked to touch this girls hair (which btw totally happened to me yesterday), so i think you're on safe ground with the creepy thing. If they dont make conversation they dont get tips, they dont get tips they get more bitter until people just stop coming and they get fired. Sounds like this girl is on the last half of that cycle. you should come to my coffee place. i swear, its awesome. and no one ever comes at night so i get veeeeery bored
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 5th, 2005 06:14 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: no youre right.

How late are you there? What days? Maybe I'll stop by when I'm going to a concert or movie. I promise not to touch your hair, too!

The thing is, I want to find coffee within walking distance of my office. Sadly, you aren't. . . :-(
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