true customer tales: bad omen

I popped in next door in pursuit of my morning cup and the fates were kind, only one order ahead of me.
They make fine coffee drinks and their croissants are the best I've had outside France, but efficiency is not their forte- a key requirement when minding a shop.

So I spend the requisite few minutes waiting for the gal to wrap up the very simple one drink order ahead of me- mindfulness is terrific, but in a single employee cafe setting  it's problematic unless you're first in line.  She eventually finishes the drink but as she's ringing it up a guy wanders in.

"Hello, how are you doing?" the barrista queries.
Heavy sigh from the guy.
"Well, that's a complicated question."


That's a fine reply among friends, who presumably have a more than superficial interest in your actual wellbeing.  But as a reply to a busy retail employee who's just filling in the friendly acknowledgement of customer presence box on their mental checklist it's a blinking red warning light spelling out TROUBLE in Morse code.

And yes, of course, they immediately end up arguing about whether his preferred Gunpowder Tea (which they do not stock) is equivalent to Iron Goddess of Mercy tea (which they do stock).

With my primacy in line left bleeding by the side of the road.

"Well," sniffed Mr. Trouble, in response to her sales pitch for the Iron Goddess, "Gunpowder tea isn't an Oolong."

To which the barrista replied with the sort of smirky "uh WHATEVER!" face & shrug combo I'd expect from  a sassy Tween, not the mother of a 7 year old (which she indisputably is).

"Ah," I interjected as they stood bristling at each other across the counter, "I'll take an Americano- I'll be back in five minutes."

He wasn't there when I returned, but on the down side absent babysitting of my order she'd filled the cup to the brim with hot water, assassinating the appeal of the beverage.

And as a bonus public service, here's the Consumers Guide to their staff:

All of them make a solid pour-over- their system may take forever, but it is idiot proof.

Tween Mom (who's in her early 30's) makes good espresso & knows how to steam milk, but has no concept of the proper ratio of anything to anything- there is no perceptible difference between her cappuccino and her latte.

East German Swimmer Gal is friendly & efficient but can't steam milk to save her life.

Bipolar Boho Musician Dude has his interpersonal issues, but makes good drinks across the board.  If you see him downdown caterwauling in the alcove across from Ross 4 Less, toss a buck in his guitar case- he commutes from Paso.

Ayn Rand Tattoo Gal loves nothing more than ignoring customers to monologue her friends at the window table, but on the rare occasions you find her alone in the shop she makes a passable drink.

The two employees with genuinely superior drinkmaking skills, Indie Sensei Mustache Guy and Moist Ball of Dough Guy have alas moved on to other opportunities.  If you see either of them around town behind a counter, order with confidence- their ways with espresso are wonderful and varied.

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