Wednesday, 27 August 2008

So much for daily posts!

...But to be fair, I was whisked away on a short break with my lovely man G. Back at work yesterday, but it was so dull, didn't even have any sit in customers. I hate it when that happens. Today I was only in 8.30 to 1.00, and the weather is still keeping people away, but one wee thing happened I just have to recount. There's an old man in a wheelchair that goes up and down the street, annoying people by yelling at them and throwing stuff. He stinks, and for some reason he carries around a green plastic garden hanging basket in a plastic bag on his lap. It's obvious no one looks after him, and I feel sorry for him. Today though, as I was serving a customer, the guy from the shop who comes in to get a snack (tea and toast) he stopped outside my door and started banging the door. I was just buttering the toast, so I ignored him for two seconds, then went to the door (there's a step up into the cafe, which I was thankful for soon enough). He barked his order at me, a tea, and a sandwich. I asked him which kind of sandwich, and told him the options. He asked how much a sandwich cost. I told him it was based on what filling he chose. He demanded a price again. So I told him I'd make his tea while he decided what sort of sandwich he wanted. Brought back the tea, and asked him if he had decided on a sandwich. He gruffed a "no", so I just told him it was a pound for his tea. He got all huffy and insisted I give him it for free, because he was in a wheelchair. I told him no, and he said it wasn't brown enough anyway, and wheeled off. Cheeky bastard!

Now, I realise that certain people are going to need extra help, and sometimes special privileges are necessary, but to expect freebies? That just makes a mockery of all wheelchair users that try that much more to make sure they are not treated any differently. In my eyes, it's like my expecting people to give me a tip every time I serve them. Sure, it'd be nice, but they're paying for a product I'm already being paid to serve them, so it would be unreasonable to expect it. Not that I'm gonna refuse if someone offers! But therein lies the difference. My customers will CHOOSE whether or not they leave a tip. My service will be the same. So, back to the point. Does anyone truly believe that someone deserves to expect privileges that don't relate to their particular disability, just because they have it? (what's the newest PC term? They're all pretty discriminatory anyway!) When I was in college, I was in awe of the amount of people there despite their different mental or physical disability. There was a great support system, sure, but they were almost daring us to look past what we could see and realise the thirst for knowledge overwhelmed any difficultly in receiving the education they wanted. I have the utmost respect for my fellow students for fighting that double battle.

Sounds pretty bad, but I don't think I'll be serving that man again. I'm still concerned for his well being, but he's not making his life any easier. I can't help but think that if only he'd change his ideas, he'd change his life around. His real disability is in his mind, not his body.

Quote of the day today comes from

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!"
Theodor Geisel

Monday, 18 August 2008

Quiet day today. Only four of my lovely regs and a few randoms came in. I think it's a combination of the rain (the muggy, warm, on again off again stupid rain!) and the first day of term. The kids are back at school!

I was talking to a customer today about the good ole bad ole days at school. Since it was quiet, I could sit with my customer over coffee (espresso macchiato for me and a latte for him)and talked about school days past. I always hated school. I loved learning, but doing that at my school was really difficult. Ned Central we used to call it. Chav central for the non Scottish! My customer has a son he's finding it difficult to explain how the years are school are probably the most important in your life. Because no matter what, kids will never believe it. Most can't wait to leave, procastinate, or just plain don't care. We don't realise how damn important those few years are until it's too late. I only lasted six months before I started regretting not continuing my education at school instead of going to college. I loved college life, but it lacked the discipline I still needed. As a result, I wasted time and a load of money doing nothing. So many kids just like me slip through the net, and give up the brain they have to a dead end job or a family they have too young. I'm one of luckier ones, I don't have a family to support and I actually love my job - but to think of what my life would have been like had I applied myself like I should have.

I really hope my customer gets through to his son. He knows if he used just one iota of his intelligence the rewards would come back tenfold. The problem is, I think, that kids on the start of their secondary career think six years is a sentence too long, when really, it's just the kickstart to a lifetime full of learning.

I'm starting a quote of the day today. Mostly since it'll be an impetus for me to continue to post new blogs! Today's quote is this:

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards."

-Vernon Saunders Law

I hate my eyes!

... not because they're horrible usually, they're actually quite nice eyes in my opinion. I love putting on make up and making them really fantastic looking... but no, to the orginal thought! I woke up today, and couldn't open my eyes. Conjunctivitis. Meh. So - obviously - I couldn't go into work today. It took me a few hours, lotsa sterile water and a lot of pain before I could pry them open. Gross! My lovely boyfriend G came over from his flat and then went to the pharmacy to get me eye drops, (which I should go put into my eyes again) and generally looked after me. I'm a lucky girl :)

I'm being very careful, washing my hands constantly, wiping down my eyes with sterile water and staying away from the cats :( I hate that last part. But it's all in the hopes that I'll be ok to go to work tomorrow. Not only can I not afford to take the time off, I miss it! All day today I just complained to my poor G about work. "Can I go now?" I asked plaintively, after he squeezed the first drops into my eyes. He replied it might take a little more time to heal than a few seconds. Crap. The pharmacist told him I should be ok in about 3 days, but I'm going back tomorrow. I'm always ultra-hygienic anyway, so I'll just make the extra effort on top of that.

Small question though - I wonder if my regulars missed me?

Going to bed, wish me luck!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

To tell or not to tell?

Some people think that the confidentiality between server and customer is sacred. The things I hear! Please though - no one think for one second I'm badmouthing my lovely customers, but that one idea brings about a certain predicament. Should I tell much more than what I hear from day to day, or do I shamelessly advertise my cafe in the hopes of more custom?

Don't get me wrong, I work there for many reasons, but the number one reason isn't the wage. Believe me, it ain't great! I am one of those rare breeds that actually enjoy going to work, and being there. Sometimes, all I'll want to do is go home and sleep, but the love of both coffee and banter keep me there.

I've got a few regulars now, in the cafe. I've not been there long, but every day, seeing the same people come in gives me such a lovely feeling. Knowing their orders, asking them how life is, and not getting the generic "I'm good" - all this really makes it for me. But it's not just my regulars. Some people come in just the once, talking to me about anything and really making me think and disappear out of my life just as quickly. I've had some really in-depth conversations, and some completely weird ones, debates and almost arguments. My customers are my lifeline, their stories and opinions get me throught the day better than caffiene ever could! I love them all, even the horrible ones. Serving the small population of that small streach of road may not be the most important job in the world, and I know I could be off doing something more *something*.... I don't know, like being a doctor or lawyer... blah blah, but I've never done anything more fulfilling.

So, to start...

I love coffee. I hate Starbucks. Who can guess why?