Annoying Things Your Barista Would Love You NOT To Do

9 Things We Baristas Would Rather You NOT Do While We Make Your Pumpkin Spice Quad-Shot Soy Latte

From the eyes of a barista, these are things that will make our lives easier and your experience more positive.

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Approximately 83% of American's drink at least one cup of coffee a day. On average, American's spend around $1,100 on coffee annually. Studies have also begun to show that drinking coffee might even help you live longer, so if you didn't drink coffee already, drink on:

1. Talk on Your phone. 

One of the most annoying things that customers do at the window is ignoring baristas and talk on their phones. I've had customers drive up to the window and have a full conversation before they even acknowledge my existence. It makes things awkward for your barista because we don't really want to be rude and interrupt so when we just stare at you. Please, order your drink so we can get it started.

2. Turn Up the Radio. 

For some of the larger stands, it's already really tough to hear customers over the machines. Between the espresso machine and ice machine we already struggle to hear you, turning up your radio can be extremely distracting when we're trying to take your order, and a lot of baristas prefer to talk to you while they work and that isn't possible. We can't ask you about specifics in your drink if you can't hear us.

3. Please Please Do Not Change Your Order Halfway Through. 

Nothing is more frustrating than pulling fresh shots and being told that you'd rather have white coffee. Tell us when you order! You have to say if you want a latte, mocha, or Americano and if you want a milk alternative. We always default to a latte with regular milk.

4. Come to the Window With Yours Rolled Up. 

There have been numerous times where I have had customers come up to my window with their windows up and keep them up for close to a minute. This is just as bad as talking on the phone. If you need a second to read the menu just let us know so we don't feel like you're being rude. After you order, if you decide to roll your window back up, that's fine, however, we won't get to ask you specifics about your drink such as whipped cream, milk alternative, etc. So please don't be frustrated with us if your drink wasn't exact if you roll your window back up.

5. Ignore the Tip. 

For many baristas, tips make the world of difference for bills, especially for baristas who are still in school. When you can, try to tip in cash, most stands allow you to keep all of your cash tips, or at least split them. If your change is less than $1, and you want your change, it's kind of discouraging because we feel we did something wrong. When you tip electronically, by the time the taxes are taken out, there's really not much left. That being said, we will never be disappointed with any type of tip, electronic or cash. They let us know if we did a good job and provided great customer service.

6. Complain About Prices. 

I cannot stress this enough. Baristas do not set the prices. So please don't chew us out because you aren't happy with them. Almost every coffee stand menu you will see has prices listed on it, order something cheaper if you need to. The prices are decided based off of how expensive the beans are, the price of the cups, lids, straws, etc. If you'll pay it at Starbucks, why are you angry about paying it at a local stand?

7. Don't Forget to Tell Us Hot or Iced. 

This seems minor to some, but it is really annoying to complete a drink and try to hand it to a customer just to be told they wanted it made the opposite way. We can't read your mind. It's different if we misheard you, but most baristas default to hot depending on the season. It makes your wait shorter and our job easier if the first thing you say is hot or iced and what size you want. That way we can grab the cup as you're ordering and there's less chance for error.

8. Don't be Impatient. 

When there's only one of us working, it can be pretty difficult to try and focus on both windows at once and not mix up any drinks. If you order more than two drinks at a smaller stand bear with us, the stands I've worked at only could pull four shots at a time so please be patient. We try to get you your drink as fast as we can.

9. Don't Wait to Add a Drink to the Order When We're Done. 

Multitasking is possible. If you plan on ordering more than one drink but need to think about the other, let us know. If a stand is really busy, we're focused on getting your drink to you and on to the next customer. It's a lot faster if we know what we're supposed to be making.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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