Monday, November 25, 2013

Java jive

The advertisemtn shown here is so nonsensical to me. "100% barista. 0% attitude."? How often do you get too much attitude from a barista. Sure, everyone gets bad or rude service somewhere. But I can count on the fingers of one hand all the times I've been mistreated by coffee shop counter help.

Reasons are various. Starbucks seems to have an impressive training program, but I've generally been pleased with the level of service at smaller chains and independents too. Part of it, of course, is that baristas are dependent on tips and don't want to alienate tippers. But also the nature of the job is that it's a social exchange. People whose exchanges with customers tend toward the negative don't last long.

I suppose it might be true that if you got a machine, even a Yuppiestein like this one, you could save money by not going out for espresso anymore. But I'd submit that the hanging-out opportunity makes the shops a net positive.

No, I think I know the target demographic here. It's people who have such a high need for deference that any human behavior at all on the part of those serving them seems like an imposition. Meet America's aristocracy, and those who aspire toward it.


susan said...

As someone wrote in a comment to that article, 'The difference between the 1% and the .001% is that the latter can buy machines while the others have servants who will make perfect coffee and never talk at all'. Surely it's better to be free to have friendly interactions with people we meet beyond the confines of our houses.

Interestingly, I just read another article at the Atlantic about the Pope declaring war on Capitalism. It's about time.

susan said...

oops, I meant the former rather than latter.

Ben said...

I got what you meant, and probably wouldn't have picked up on any error. But yeah, free and friendly social exchange is something we should hold onto.

Funny about Pope Francis. I know - both personally and through reading - a number of conservative Catholics. Very sure about Church/papal infallibility. Only now they're starting to have doubts. Oh well, something to think about either way.