OK, if you don’t know what a barista is, you might not get the full impact of this post.
A barista is the person who makes your coffee. For you luddites and male chauvinist pigs, I’m not talking your wife. And the guy behind the counter at McDonalds doesn’t count either.
A true barista is one who understands coffee and knows how to make it right. A true barista is one who recognizes you and remembers your drink. The good baristas are worth their weight in gold, which is about the price of a pound of coffee.
Since I drink a fair amount of coffee, I’ve met a fair amount of baristas. More to the point, I’ve seen how people treat the baristas. For the most part, they treat them well — more so if the person is a regular. But every now and then there is the person who whines and complains and throws a hissy-fit (which doesn’t match well with coffee).
This is partly the result of the fact that coffee-making has become much more complex. It’s no longer straight black coffee or cream and sugar. It’s soy this, skinny that, no-whip, half-caff, low-fat, 96 degrees. 96 degrees. Those people are the worst offenders. If a latte is 96 or 98 degrees, I honestly wouldn’t know. Now, if it’s 150 degrees and is only supposed to be 96 degrees, well, that’s different.
I’ve seen people actually say to a barista, “I ordered this to be 96 degrees and it’s obviously 98 degrees.” This is usually accompanied by a look of disgust and utter contempt. As if to say, “I can’t believe you would make my latte 98 degrees.”
While I may not know the degree of temperature of the offending drink, I do believe the degree of civility in society has decreased significantly.
Somewhere along the way people got the idea that they were entitled to be obnoxious to those who are serving them. “I’m paying you three dollars and fifty cents for this drink, therefore I have the right to be a jerk.”
No, you don’t. You have the right to shop somewhere else or ask for your money back. You do not have the right to be a jerk.
Especially if you are a Christ-follower. We, of all people, should understand the call of Jesus to serve others. We, of all people, should understand that serving others is not easy. When others are serving us, even improperly or not up to speed, we should respond in a Christ-like way.
The next time you head to Starbucks, be nice to your barista. It will make their day … and your coffee will taste better.