Educated Guess

10th May 2007

In line for coffee, he calls the barista’s name three times — loudly, excitedly. When she finally responds, her face is blank, her voice flat. “Hi,” she says, and turns back to her work.

Dude gets out of line, pretending to look at the café art while waiting for her to engage. Dude will be waiting for quite some time.

22 thoughts on “Educated Guess

  1. Jane

    Ouch. Stuff like that is so hard to watch, even though you have no choice when it is played out on the public stage.

    Dude is clueless.

  2. amanda

    Barrista is a foreign word out here. Espresso is prounced with and x. No foam? They’d think I was talking about boating. I miss my PNW damnit.

  3. grudge girl

    Dang, that bummed me out. Poor guy.

    I wonder why it’s my immediate assumption that she was mean and he was unjustly brushed off. It could just as easily be that he’s a stalkery twit, or a cheating ex-boyfriend, or something.

    I guess I live to feel sorry for the little guy.

  4. nadarine

    unrelated to coffee stalkers (well, except that when in college and working as a barrista, I had a 60-yr-old stalker who I had to quit my job to avoid, but anyway!): I believe that you’ve just had the Dream Blogger Weekend, judging from everyone’s photos. How did you manage to corral all of my favorite bloggers into the same house without a black hole of wittiness happening?

  5. amy

    You must have been travelling through space and time. I was that barrista in Michigan 4 years ago. A clumsy, creepy, loud-talker, coffee stalker asked me if I would go on a date with him for “Valentime’s” Day. The whole bookstore (coffee shop in store) heard it, and saw me turn red and pretend to have dished to do in the back.

  6. PK

    The question is, was it a case of:

    “Hi [barrista] I brought my stamp collection!”


    “Hi [barrista] I brought my chainsaw and plastic trash bags!”

  7. r@d@r

    when i was the baRista [one R, people!!], i was the “hi customers, i brought my chainsaw and plastic trash bags!” type barista.

    and my best friend and i abused our positions severely, not the least of which was having a captive audience for flirtatious chattiness. after all, an attractive person can’t exactly say, “would you leave me the hell alone? oh, and by the way, could you make that with extra foam?”

  8. Hannah

    Ouch. I have been that dude. Only with me it was “Hi [barista], I brought my overdeveloped sense of attachment to any male who acknowledges my existence!”

  9. megan

    I spent a good portion of my life as that barista, in both metropolitan areas and in rinky-dink, middle-of-the-woods towns.

    There are the stamp-collectors and the chainsaw/plastic tarp customers, but we have forgotten the critical mass: The male of waning youth who thinks a friendly smile with his coffee is an equivalent invitation to “let’s have a 40 minute conversation about Jesus/your mom/how you still live at home/scented candles/folk music/your soul/my soul/dogs/and where do I live because you’re just wondering.”

    And that guy? That guy always turns up in the grocery store, and at the movies, and at a concert, and at a secluded inland beach on a Wednesday at 1:30 pm, and no matter how inappropriate he is you still feel bad because he’s so lonely.

    And when it gets to be so unbearable that you’re ready to quit your job because the thought of him just plain isn’t worth the tip money and the free Americanos, you start rocking that blank-stare-feigning-ignorance thing. Ick.

    Of course, this may have just been a sweet guy that she was burning, too…I am clearly NOT biased.

  10. Rebecca

    I’m starting to think this post is some sort of Rorschach test on Maggie’s part: “What do see when you look at dude?”

  11. jac

    well i’m just glad it wasn’t me. i’ve become so ornery in my old age that i would have called her on the carpet. thankfully i’ve learned not to holler at folks in public any more. (i’m suddenly reminded of ron white of blue collar comedy forsome reason).

  12. chrissy

    Im a barista, have been for 3+ years and the amount of creeeeepy guys I deal with on a daily basis just blows me away.
    The worst are the subtle creepy guys, the ones who say something that isnt nessesarily creepy- but when they say it they have a way to creepifying it…
    Busy morning- rining people through and creepy guy comes up to register, lingers for a bit too long, stares a bit too deepy and says “Wow, you’re stunning.” Very matter a fact like. “Uh, thanks” I say. Then I go do ‘dishes’ in the back.
    Oh wait, thats not as bad as the guy who came in once the other day and got a drink then CAME BACK with his cell phone in front of him and says “Can I take a picture of you?”

  13. Kirstin

    I’m glad I’m not the only girl who deals with this. I try to always use my left hand to give change & hand things, so they’ll (hopefully) notice the wedding band. Of course, that rarely does much good. Ugh. I feel bad for the barista in this situation.

  14. Gerald

    The calling of the barista’s name THREE times is the red flag. Dude, get a clue.
    I have to admidt though, for some strange reason, it’s really easy to develop a crush on a barista. They deal with loads of people all day long, and yet you start to think have this special little intimate connection with them.

  15. Coelecanth

    After spending the last 19 years in retail, (used bookstore though, not a coffee shop) I can tell you that the nice customers out-number the creepy ones. The problem is that you remember the creeps because they get your adrenaline going, they impact on you emotionally. The nice ones just disappear from memory unless you make an effort to notice them.

    Mind you, some of the coldest customer service I’ve seen has been from baristas. I guess it’s the best defence for an attractive woman who sells drugs to addicts. :)

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