He was grumpy, oh yes definitely grumpy. Today was so uncalled for, like who did those people think they were anyways, royalty?!
‘What right do they have to go around calling me embarrassing and hurtful names?’ The petite boy thought to himself as he trudged towards his favorite coffee shop.
He aggressively tousled his chestnut brown hair, plump rosy lips slowly jutting out into a childish pout. He knew people were staring at him, probably pitying the poor man-child that was dulling their joyful streets with his negativity, but their judging was definitely not gonna stop him from stomping his tiny feet all the way to Cafe Papillon.
If he wanted to sulk, sulk he shall because people were just a bunch of meanies to him today.
Doe eyes lit up as the cafe’s sign came into view, his chocolate brown orbs twinkled in delight as he imagined all the sweets that sat behind the glass display case next to the register. Subconsciously, his short legs began to move quicker. He was excited to reach his sanctuary, it was here that he was safe.
Why? Well because here he could stuff his chubby cheeks with desserts to his heart’s content. Eat so many until he either contracts diabetes or falls in to a sugar induced coma, ya know whichever one comes first, and he didn’t have to listen to his over the top friends fawning over his “cuteness”. He loved it here, it was the only place he never had to pretend to be something he didn’t want to be.
The college student softly giggled with happiness as he got closer to the Cafe. Just being near the small building made him burst with joy, his bright smile so radiant it rivaled the sun. Just as he reached for the door handle, he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket, he thought of ignoring it but it kept buzzing so he quickly whipped it out to see that it was a call. Reading the caller I.D. he hesitantly took the call, bringing it up to his ear as he pushed through the cafe entrance.
“What is it TaeTae?” he asked into the phone, a trace of annoyance could be heard in his high toned voice.
The deep bass of his childhood friend’s voice answered him with a whine “please come back to the courtyard Jiminnie.”
“Why, so you guys can make fun of my “fat cheeks” again?” he scoffed, “yea no thanks.” the bite could be heard in his voice even as he lowered it to not disturb the other customers while waiting in line.
Taehyung made a noise of desperation through the speaker, “Chim you know that Namjoon hyung was just playing, he thinks your cheeks are absolutely adorable.”
“Tae you should know better than anyone that I am tired of being called “adorable” Jimin hissed softly as he reached the front of the line. “I’m twenty-three years old now, I’m a grown man who shouldn’t be referred to as “little Jiminnie” or “our resident cutie, I want to be seen as manly .”
“But Jimin,” Taehyung started, quickly being cut off with a “wait just a minute.” as Jimin placed his order for a caramel frappuchino and a slice of strawberry cake. Once he payed and received his change, the petite male walked off to the Pick-Up side of the counter to wait for his order.
“So you were saying,” Jimin urged.
“I was saying that being cute isn’t all that bad ChimChim, everyone likes you because of your cuteness, you’re easy to approach and get along with and everyone practically short circuits when you smile.” the sweet teasing caused a dark blush to from on the boy’s already rosy cheeks.
Plush lips pulled into a pout when a thought came to mind, “but Tae, thats exactly why most of the guys at school tease me, they call me a pansy cause I’m ‘too cute’ it’s just so frustrating.”
A deep sigh came from the other side, “oh Jimin, who cares what they think, you shouldn’t change and have to be manly just to fit in with a bunch of idiots.”
“Yea I know.” a sweet sigh of defeat left his lips, he knew he might have been overreacting just a bit, okay maybe a lot, but he just couldn’t help it. Constantly being teased for not being masculine enough, just a tad bit feminine, was really starting to get on his nerves.
Taehyung’s smooth voice broke through his jumbled thoughts, “tell you what Minnie, just come back to the dorm and we’ll binge watch Disney movies for the rest of the night, we don’t have class tomorrow and we can pig out on some ice cream, how’s that?”
A small smile tugged at his once pouted lips, “sounds great Tae.” the appreciation in his voice was prominent. Jimin hoped that his best friend knew how much his efforts to help cheer him up meant.
“I’ll see you in a bit okay? I came to get some sweets to take my mind off things, I’ll take them to go though.” the small boy said as he heard his name called for his order. After receiving an “alright” from his roommate, he bid him a goodbye and ended the call, turning towards the counter where his slice of strawberry flavored heaven awaited him.
“Jimin?” a soft husky voice inquired. The boy in question looked up from putting his phone in his pocket, bright chocolate orbs met two dark intimidating pools of black and his breath hitched.
The worker holding his order was absolutely breathtaking, the fringe of his raven locks fell into his beautiful almond shaped eyes that stared back at the petite male with the most heated gaze he had ever felt. Jimin trailed his eyes down from his eyes, followed the slope of the worker’s sculpted nose to his less plump pink lips, then traced the line of his sharp jaw. All the way down to the man’s broad shoulders, which perfectly filled his white long-sleeved button down shirt. He shot a glance towards the other’s name tag, Jeongguk it said, ‘an attractive name for an attractive guy.’ Jimin thought to himself.
The Adonis called his name again effectively catching his wandering mind’s attention. The petite boy looked up at the man a tad bit shyly, considering he had been checking the other out unabashedly, he replied with a timid ‘yes that’s me’ and stuck his tiny hand out to receive his to-go bag. The attractive male handed it over and gave him a slight smile.
“Enjoy your sweets.” he said softly, “oh and you might want to check your order before you go, we have a new worker and they sometimes end up packing the wrong order.” The shorter male shot him a small nod and a reassuring smile as he turned in the direction of the nearest empty table.
Once he reached the table he set down his drink and opened the paper bag containing his cake. Dainty brows furrowed in confusion at the sight of a neon blue sticky note stuck to the top of the plastic container. He reached his hand into the bag, chubby fingers picking up the note and pulling it out, he read it to himself and found himself smiling.
‘Dear Jimin-sshi, I sincerely hope that you will ignore all those unnecessary comments about your looks. Being manly is so overrated anyways, consider yourself lucky that it looks like you haven’t aged a day over eighteen. I’m sure all those guys are just jealous that they don’t have your adorable charm, no one can deny that you’re one of the cutest people around. I know this probably doesn’t make much sense or it might seem really weird, but just to keep it short, I just wanted to tell you to stay cute.
- Sincerely the worker Jeongguk.’
Jimin could feel the heat of the stare directed at him, he looked just in time to lock eyes with the one who had written his note. Once Jeongguk saw the bright piece of paper in his hands, an attractive smirk tugged at his lips, he winked at Jimin who in turn looked away with a dark blush tinting his puffy cheeks. The blushing boy gazed through his brown fringe in the direction of his supporter, catching a glimpse of the fond smile that graced Jeongguk’s lips. The taller male mouthed a ‘stay cute’ at the cherubic boy and waited for his response. He received a blinding eye-smile in return and watched as the petite boy ran out of the cafe with a dark blush.
Rushing out of the cafe, Jimin walked slowly back towards his dorm, he sighed dreamily as he thought of the cute worker, Jeongguk. “I was right, this is the best cafe around.” he said to himself while giggling giddily.
And if it meant catching the attractive male’s attention once again, then oh yes, he would definitely ‘stay cute’.
Annnnd I’m done! I think it could have been better, but I think this will do for now. This story is dedicated and sorta inspired by @staycute1234 I used your username as my title… hope you don’t mind. I was contemplating whether to post it or not and I finally worked up enough courage to finish and post it, so yea hehe.
Look at me. I have no idea what’s coming. Poor fool. About to be sacrificed to the corporate gods of America on a giant, flaming pile of coffee beans. I’m laughing hysterically as I write this.
First barista in the store to go through digital training. My brain hurt.
Me: “I don’t like the taste of coffee, but man, I love the smell of it!”
Me, six months later: “Starting to hate this smell, but I have developed a slight addiction for cold brew”
Me, a year later: “I f**king hate this smell. Can’t get it out of my bra. It’s so bitter, like me.”
Me, @ customers on the phone while I am trying to take your order: DO NOT.
Trying burnt shots is literally an initiation ritual.
My face the first time someone ordered 5 shots of espresso over ice:
Are you not afraid of dying? Perhaps you should try to ween yourself off of caffeine. Do you know what the inside of the urns look like even after we’ve cleaned them? I’m guessing your internal organs don’t look much better.
Customer orders 8 shots over ice.
SOY MILK SPLOOSHES OVER EVERYTHING.
Almond milk tastes like cream of mushroom soup.
Pumpkin Spice sauce is mostly made of squash.
There is no such thing as an iced cappuccino.
Several customers think our pour-over coffee is too weak. How SHOT do your taste buds have to be?
A customer kinda apologizes for ordering a “diva drink”….which is a decaf latte with vanilla. I laugh sardonically. Me, internally: “Dear lady, this is not a diva drink. You have no idea what people are capable of ordering. It would blow your mind.”
Customer orders a drink with 8 pumps of white mocha, and 3 pumps of vanilla, or something equally nauseating.
Me: “Do want some espresso with that sugar?”
Woman wants spoon when she gets a drink with whip on it. Same girl, same.
First week I work there another barista accidentally spills coffee over my arm. I laugh as I wipe it off and amazingly am not burned. She feels bad but honestly I was totally fine.
PSA: lacquer thinner gets out Sharpie stains
Horrible racist, verbally abusive guy worked at the store for a while and made everyone’s life a misery. So there’s that. Amazingly did not get fired and simply got a new job elsewhere.
“Oh, I’m sorry, we’re out of that sandwich right now” Disappointing customers is one of my least favorite things on multiple levels.
Rang his really handsome guy up for 20 gift cards at $5 each. He wanted to pay with a credit card. I hit the cash button. I turned beat red. Had to activate every single card all over again…I think…can’t remember because I died inside from embarrassment.
PEOPLE WHO ORDER DRINKS WITH NO FOAM I HAVE ONE THING TO SAY TO YOU:
People are suffering all over the world and you make me remake your drink 3 times until there is not an ounce of foam on your f**king latte?
GET. A. LIFE.
Mobile orders include classics like, I kid you not: Venti iced late, 5 shots, 6 pumps of white mocha, 2 pumps raspberry, whole milk, light ice, whipped cream, caramel drizzle. Often for people who have the gaul to type in “The Goddess” as their name.
I’ve pulled 8 hour shifts before while having my period. Took paracetamol with codeine and felt fine. Probably too good.
It’s VENTEEEEEEE not VENTAAAAAAAY.
That nice Czechoslovakian guy who always ordered long shots. Why.
Literally freezing outside. Customer orders an iced caramel macchiato.
One time during frappuchino hour (”frappy hour”) a dude didn’t want to miss the deadline so he ran to the store so hard he actually puked in the bathroom. I have never wanted a particular drink that badly.
1 frappuccino and 15 hot drinks on the bar. Some people just wanna watch the world burn.
Dude hands me a $20, I’m giving him his change back. He practically throws the change at me and says “here, now give me a dollar.” I’m like ???????? He was rude and would not stop talking and my brain locked up. I was so freaked out I needed to have the shift take over.
Woman RUDELY explains to me what a cappuccino is and how I made it wrong. Thanks for the tutorial, b***h. I explained curtly that I am used to making them dry after I had remade her drink. Apparently my previous polite apology was not enough.
It’s ESpresso, not EXpresso.
Me: “MOBILE ORDER, I HAVE YOUR BECKY!!”
Accurate representation of days when we get a shipment delivered on a busy day:
Number of times I have used the pun “boxed in”: TOO MANY.
Woman comes in and asks how many shots fit a Venti cup. Answer: 18.
Customer places order. I repeat order to make sure. They say no. I apologize for mishearing. Customer complains to barista on bar, “I ordered a GRANDE SOY LATTE and a TALL REGULAR LATTE.” B**ch, no. I asked you if that’s what you ordered and you said no. Leave.
That one dude who goes by “B.J.”….do you not understand the irony? Go onto Urban Dictionary and look up B.J. You might learn something.
Tip: When you’ve filled the cup up too full, gently press down mouth-hole side down first.
Customer orders a caramel cooler. Me, internal: “Sure! I mean, this is Starbucks, not Caribou but we can make you a caramel frappuccino which is basically the same thing.”
That one dude who buys 4 pounds of Guatemalan coffee and makes us check how fine the Turkish grind is. We put it in a cup and he feels how fine it is. Once I worked on tightening the grinder for 15 minutes until it was right. He’s nice, but he needs to get a hobby…or his own G**-damn grinder.
We have the chip reader.
There will be days when dome lids will not go on the frappuccinos.
Number of times I contemplated leaving my phone number on the cups of attractive dude customers: 87.5.
Me @ customers: STOP PICKING UP THE WRONG CUP, DRINKING IT, AND THEN COMPLAINING. IT’S YOUR BLOODY FAULT. LISTEN TO WHAT I’M CALLING OFF. YOUR NAME IS JOAN AND YOU ORDERED A GRANDE SOY LATTE. YOUR NAME IS NOT MUHAMMAD AND YOU DID NOT ORDER A TALL EXTRA HOT CHAI TEA LATTE WITH NO WATER AND NO FOAM. STEP AWAY FROM THE COUNTER. WAIT.
I write the entire complicated diva drink on a hot cup. Customer says “I want that iced.” Me, internal: “OK, well that’s another 5 minutes for me to write that paragraph on a new f**king cup, you ass.”
I made this:
Customer orders coffee that should be brewing but the supervisor told you to dump it 5 minutes ago. I’m like “I’m sorry, that’s on pour-over. Do you have 3 or 4 minutes to wait for that?” Answers may vary.
First manager says “tell them it takes 2 minutes.” Me: “OK.” I continue to tell the truth, it takes 4 freaking minutes.
Very sweet customer comes in. I say “Hi Pixie, how are you?” She’s like “thank you for remembering my name, Sarah!” Honey, your name is Pixie. That’s why I remember.
Tip: cod liver oil applied to burns decreases discomfort and prevents major scarring.
Please do not thrust a credit card into my face-area.
Me, internal: “Don’t you get friggen annoyed with me! You’re the one who turned one sentence into a word.”
That one time I killed a gigantic centipede in the back room.
It’s Wednesday and no one did the tips? WTF.
I will smell the sanitizer for all time.
Little brat steals a $5 bill from the tip jar. Gone before I notice. Kid, that’s my food money. I literally live off that. I love kids, don’t ruin that for me.
Customer borrows the phone “real quick.” 25 minutes later…Me: “Can I have the phone back? We need to accept business calls.”
Line of 15 customers out the door. I’m the only one on register. Everyone orders a breakfast sandwich. “Can I get a little help here?” No answer.
Me: *drops iPod in the sink* I am stupid.
YES WE HAVE THE CHIP READER!!!!!!!
When people ask me about working at Starbucks:
My hair smells like coffee. My pillow smells like coffee.
Me: “Do you want room for cream?”
Customer: “That’s fine.”
Me, internal: “Sooooo, is that a yes or a no?”
WHAT’S THAT SCREAMING?!! Eggnog lattes are back.
Auditor shows up. Everyone panics but me, because I clean up fast. I got your back, even if you don’t have mine. Because we’re gonna pass that damn inspection as we do every time. The espresso machines have been cleaned. No milk crust there. We pass. I smile to myself thinking “I helped us pass”…but I don’t say a word.
Fastest milk wand in the (Mid)west. Cracks whip. Also squirts whip.
Don’t correct me on bar. Don’t tell me I have the order wrong. I’m fast, I’m efficient. I get it right. Even if I don’t always steam the milk first. In the end, as long as I’m quick and clean and accurate, it’s all good.
I know 45% of the customers by name.
I can ring people up in 30 seconds or less.
I just wanted to make drinks. But then customers showed up.
20 drinks on the bar. Me:
I AM A HUMAN, NOT A MACHINE.
But really, I’ve learned so much, about people, about myself, about the work world. Ended up hating most of my co-workers and liking over half the customers. As many times as this job made me upset, it’s been an amazing ride.
All things considered, he was pretty lucky to get the job. “All things” referring, of course, to the fact that he couldn’t hold a coffee cup, or reach the levers on the espresso machine, or ring anybody up on the cash register. Mhumhi had to guess that the only reason that the shop had hired him was for the novelty of the thing: New York’s only African wild dog barista!
But whatever, he needed the cash.
Now he stood at the cash register, his paws on the counter, patiently enduring the two girls furiously snapping cell phone pictures in line behind his current customer.
“Uh,” said the guy.
“It’s okay,” Mhumhi reassured him, fighting the urge to sit down and scratch at the loops on his apron. His human coworkers always tied to too tight around his middle. “Take your time.”
“Uh,” repeated the guy. He was eyeballing Mhumhi’s big paws, which were washed and clean, thank you very much! “I guess, uh, I’ll have a fro-yo?”
Mhumhi pulled his lips back in a fake smile, his canines peeking out over his lower lip. The guy swallowed.
“Vanilla! Yeah, small vanilla.”
“And your name?” Mhumhi’s tail, below the counter, was wagging in anticipation.
The guy stuttered out his name, but Mhumhi missed it. The bell on the door had just rung, and something he’d never seen before shambled into the shop.
Okay, he’d seen a hyena before. Just, you know, never in the flesh.
He was big. The sight of him made the noisy coffee shop go completely quiet. The two girls with their cell phones whipped around and found a new target to ogle.
The hyena himself didn’t seem too worried about all this. He just walked to the back of the line, sat down, and yawned. At the sight of all the teeth arranged in that broad mouth, three customers decided the coffee wasn’t worth the wait and hastily left the line.
The hyena tilted his head adorably.
Mhumhi licked his lips.
“Uh, sorry, what was your name?”
The guy in front of him frowned, like he was being so rude. Clearly he hadn’t noticed the hyena.
“Jabulile,” he said. “Don’t misspell it, ok?”
“I won’t,” Mhumhi reassured him, neglecting to tell him he couldn’t even write.
Thankfully the guy sat down to wait for his fro-yo and Mhumhi was left to shuttle awkwardly through the next few customers. The girls taking all the pictures wanted a chai latte and an iced coffee, and one of them couldn’t stop giggling when she told him her name. Mhumhi kept his fake smile fixed on and hoped she realized she was barking up the wrong tree.
The hyena kept on moving up through the line. Mhumhi splashed hot coffee on the counter while carrying a tray and apologized profusely while he pushed a rag over it with his nose. His boss was leaning out of the door to the back and frowning at him.
Please, let me at least keep this job a few weeks, Mhumhi prayed, his nose smarting from the scalding liquid, not to mention the choking odor. He needed to make his rent. The worst thing in the world would be having to move back in with his mom and sisters. They’d tease him mercilessly.
When he lifted his head back up, there were two round gray ears poking up over the counter.
“Oh, um, welcome to Screamer Coffee. Where the coffee’s so good, you’ll scream,” Mhumhi rattled off, trying not to sound too nervous.
One of the ears flicked, but otherwise there was no response.
“What can I get for you?” Mhumhi asked, swallowing.
With a scrape of claws on tiles, the hyena suddenly shot up and slammed his huge paws on the counter. His nose nearly touched Mhumhi’s when he came to rest. Mhumhi froze, his heart pounding.
The hyena raised a paw and then slammed it down on one of the racks of plastic-wrapped cookies by the cash registers. Cookies went flying in every direction.
“Oh, um, you want a cookie?”
The hyena nodded.
“Okay. Uh- anything else?”
The hyena stared at him for a long moment, with big black eyes, and then glanced down towards the name tag pinned to Mhumhi’s apron. Mhumhi pulled his ears back.
The hyena pawed one of the glossy menus off of a stack and took a few long moments to peruse it, then jabbed his nose down. The glistening snot-mark it left behind clearly marked the salted caramel mocha frappuchino.
“Right,” said Mhumhi. “That’ll be seven ninety-five.”
The hyena glanced left and right, then got down and rustled around for a moment beneath the counter. Mhumhi resisted the urge to climb up and look down.
The hyena lurched back up, then opened his mouth to drop a bunch of slimy change and moist dollar bills on top of the menu.
“Thank you,” said Mhumhi. “May I have your name?”
Again the hyena cast around, and then snatched a pen from beside the register. Pawing a napkin over, he painstakingly scribbled something down.
“Oh,” said Mhumhi. “Okay. Thanks.”
The hyena grunted- the very first sound he’d made- and then walked away. He nudged a chair across the floor with a loud creak and then clambered up onto it, laying his head between his forepaws on the surface of a very precariously wobbling table. The woman across from him nervously slid her laptop a few centimeters closer to herself.
Mhumhi took the napkin gingerly in his mouth and went back to one of the machines. He was intercepted midstride by one of his coworkers, who raised an eyebrow and tugged the napkin from his teeth.
“Wow,” she said.
“What? What’s his name?”
“It’s Vimbo,” said the other barista. “And he left you his number.”
Mhumhi couldn’t stop himself from rearing up on his hind legs to look the hyena again. Though he appeared to be gazing off into space, one of Vimbo’s eyes slowly closed in a very deliberate wink.