Can’t Find it

Yesterday I posted about viral video from a starbucks employee.

Damn thing’s been around.

Turns out, this person is a labor ‘activist’ and student at an ivy league school. Hope it’s not in angry studies or matters will be worse. For whatever it is. Life’s tough enough without being stupid, is what I’m trying to say.

That said at the end of the post I started a funny story about a similar issue. Turned out, that happened before I started blogging, so no joy there. But it is a funny story.

Back in the day, I was a technical trainer (for the same company, more or less). I’d ship my gear out Friday a week before. I’d arrive on Friday a week later, unpack 900 lbs (literally) of gear. Do setup, then I’d have the weekend to myself. Cool gig, if I was in a good city. Sucky gig if I were in, say, Akron or Hartford.

The reason for setup on a Friday was that class was 8:30 AM Monday, and since my company was based on the west coast, if something was gooched, it could be handled for Monday.

So I’d cool my heels all weekend. Monday started 4 1/2 days of class – 8 hours a day or so. Friday, I’d pack my gear back up – it would ship out to the next venue. I’d hit the airport, and if I were lucky, I’d be home around dinner, more or less. Keep in mind, Typically, my days would be 10 hours (not the 8.5 this ass clown was bubbling over). And I’d have to deal with all sorts of people and issues. The payoff was that Monday-Thursday the next week, I’d be working, lightly, from home.

It was a great gig.

Somewhere along the way, we changed the logistics of the class. On Thursday, before I left, or Friday, the minute I got to the venue, I’d send an order for the training books to FedEx/Kinkos. I’d setup, cleanup, head out to dinner, swinging by the FedEx to pick up my stuff, if I hadn’t picked it up on the way to the venue.

This trip – the fun one – I was at the Mothership, the Corporate office, for meetings, and a short class I’d have to teach to justify my fat ass being there. So, I check in, hobnob a bit, and setup the conference room for my class, making sure to send my order into FedEx whilst in the office. BTW, since this was a short class – 2.5 days, it started on Tuesday. So I was there Monday. A treat from my usual schedule. And since they are two hours ahead of me, timewise, I got there early. Best pickup time? 8 PM. Fine. My boss was there. We’ll do dinner, then head to pickup my stuff on the way back to the hotel.

We get there, and there’s one chubby lady in the store. I told her my order, gave her the reciept. And she said it wasn’t ready, because, you see, she was there alone and the boss said she didn’t have to do work, like web orders. Apparently she was there to mind the store, and little else.


Can I have it tomorrow, 8AM at the latest? I was curt, unhappy, clearly displeased, but polite.

Yes, Yes sir you can. The next shift in will complete it. Keep in mind, the way this works is you submit an order, and the store responds with a completion time. My first choice had a completion time of 11 or so, this one said 8, it’s why I chose it. Yet, an hour later than promised, my shit ain’t ready. Fine. I’ll come back before heading to the office in the morning. It’s out of my way, but that’s what I have to do.

I had other things to do, some ad hoc printing. Name cards, notes, that kind of thing. So I went over to the computers to print. Few minutes later, here she comes to explain herself yet again.

I was having none of it.

I let her know, not so politely this time, that I didn’t care what her deal was whatsoever. I was promised my order and it’s not here, and now I’m having to accomodate it, and that had I known I was going to get stiffed, I’d have ordered from the other store. I said I was fine with tomorrow, take that and leave me be to do what I can now.

My boss, a west coast type whispered to me when she skulked back to her desk, “What’s the matter with you? Can’t you see she’s in crisis?”

I turned to him. Looked him in the eye, and said “I don’t give two shits about her crisis. Her problems aren’t mine. My shit wasn’t ready. Now, I have a problem. I have to come back here, then get to the office and scramble to prepare for class, all in a half hour, all because of her “crisis”. She should have left it at the counter when we settled matters. Her coming up to me for some sort of affirmation or absolution was a mistake. She earned what I gave her. People like her need that to shape up. In a weird way, I feel better, and at the same time, she learned that being a fuckup can be painful”

I went back to what I was doing without a second thought.

We never spoke about it again.

He understood that on a normal schedule, what happened would’ve crippled me. And I’ve had worse happen. Union dudes not delivering my gear on time, and I have to rent a truck and get it. Training material sent from the office not showing up when it was supposed to, so I have to start the class when the students have fuck all in front of them but a laptop and a phone. I’d been at it long enough that when dumb shit happened, I’d pounce.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

So I have no sympathy for a Starbucks worker. They could have it worse.