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Monday, July 25, 2005

Where, oh where, is my double shot latte?

Currently Listening to: 'All Alone', The Gorillaz
Current Mood: disturbed

It's a truth universally acknowledged, that a girl's Monday morning coffee experience can make or break her week. It's 10.30ish on Monday morning, and already my week has been broken.

It started off as any other normal Monday morning. I awoke to Matt's loving kisses and cuddles before I dragged myself out of bed to shower, get dressed, and go to work. I had the car parked by 9.20am then went upstairs for my (free) morning latte. Got to the counter by approx 9.21am, and who should be at the cashier but the normal morning shift barista. "Uh-oh," I thought to myself, "If he's on cashier, then who's making my coffee?" It didn't take long to find out, as I turned to the left and saw him... The New Guy.
This, I decided, was not cool. I was quite happy with the current barista, why isn't he making my coffee? He knows how I like it - I don't even have to order! I just show up and he starts to make my 2 sugared double shot latte! He knows to mix the sugar in, instead of just letting it sink to the bottom, he knows I don't like froth, and now they've got a NEW GUY??
Let me clue you in on my New Guy phobia. When I first started working for this company, I went to a cafe called 'Levity*'. It was underground (literally), it was trendy, and they had bowls of chocolate covered coffee beans on the tables. It was the regular spot for people from our office as it was downstairs, and the barista there made EXCELLENT coffee. Enter "New Guy" (who was, in this case, a chick). New Chick was a "Burninator"- that is, she burnt the coffee till it was coffee no longer, but instead a black liquid substance with a taste not unlike charcoal. Exit all customers, including myself.
The next closest cafe to our office was a hotel cafe called 'Bebo*'. Bebo had the coolest barista ever, named Buzz. He would chat with everyone while he was speedily making the NON BURNT coffee, he remembered what your usual was, taught the other baristas how to make it the way you liked it, so that when he was away you still had a good coffee day, and more importantly he remembered everyone's names. Soon after discovering this mecca of wonder, I was promoted and had a team of 13 people to lead. Bebo became my team meeting place, the place I'd take the team when we were celebrating an exceptional billing month, and the place I took staff for their performance reviews. Coffee was good, I was happy, all was fine. Unfortunately, as fate likes to remind us, life can't always remain fine and dandy. 1 year later the lease on our building expired, and we had to move over the bridge to Takapuna - and not the trendy, cafe ridden part of Taka, but the just got off the motorway' part.

The upside to this move was that our new building had a cafeteria, and this meant that the lattes were (slightly) cheaper, and I didn't have to go on a 20 minute trek for coffee. The catch to this brilliant discovery, was that the coffee was crap. So far beyond crap, in fact, that there just aren't any words to describe its full effect. I don't think the barista even knew the difference between a cappucino and a latte!! Willie (good friend and colleague) and I used to have a coffee break every Friday together, to bitch about the company, discuss our professional goals, talk about cars etc, but mostly we would bitch about the coffee, it was so bad. Anyway, long story short, Willie moved away for a new job, and I got transferred back into the city for another new role in the same company.
HOORAY! WHOOP! Back to Bebo for coffee by Buzz!! And coffee was good once more. Even better was that a few project managers had decided to hold project meetings at this place, so more of Buzz's great coffee was enjoyed by all - that is, until the sad day that he announced his OE to Ireland. After Buzz left, coffee was good, but not as great as Buzz made it. The experience wasn't the same, and various disappointing 'new guys' (and chicks) came and went so I discontinued my daily excursion to Bebo- until 'Early Bird' parking ceased, and one had to validate their parking to be eligible for cheaper carparks. Thus a daily trip to Bebo ensued, where upon I discovered the latest barista (name unknown) makes great coffee, and holds entertaining conversations with his customers! Hoorah! Until today.

Today, 'Buzz #2' was on the cashier, and 'the new guy' made my coffee. The New guy took 20 minutes to make my coffee. I am usually quite happy to wait for my usual, as Bebo is quite busy in the mornings, but I never have to wait longer than 10 minutes. This morning, however, the new guy completely forgot about my order, and tried to give my coffee to a lady who ordered the same thing 15 minutes after me. I had been waiting for 20 minutes, patiently reading the paper, listening to my ipod, checking my appointments for the day, silently wondering where in the bloody hell my coffee was, why everyone else had been served, and why I was still waiting, and this guy tries to serve this lady MY coffee?

I can only hope that when I return tomorrow morning, 'Buzz #2' is back on the machine, and new guy is nowhere to be seen.

*Names changed to protect actual identities (and myself from a slander suit)