That speakerphone thing really happens. I’m tempted to get one of those voice modulator helmets just for when she calls.

More dialogue. I wanted to find some neutral location with no pre-existing connection.

R: I’ll have the “Florida Sunrise” thanks.
G: It’s pretty sweet. You sure you’re in for that?
R: Yeah, that’s fine. I have a sweet tooth. It’s 100% my style.
G: Okay. Just trust me, the orange flavour shot really does have a syrupy feel to it.
R: No worries. I’m sure I can handle it.
G: Righto. $4.20, thanks.
R: [hands over coins] Here you go. That was kind of neat by the way.
G: What was?
R: You warning me about that whole syrupy thing. Like, if I wasn’t into it then ordered it, that would’ve bugged me heaps. At the same time, you’re talking down your product in a kind of way.
G: [collecting grinds in portafilter] Yes and no. The people who love it love it, right? I’d rather people are happy with what they’re taking away. [levelling grinds] At the same time it doesn’t affect my bottom line, I just work here. [grabs cup and squirts in flavour shot]
R: I think that’s pretty cool.
G: [pulling shot] It’s no biggie, I know how I’d want to be treated as a customer, so that’s how I treat customers. Golden rule kind of thing. [grabs frothing pitcher]
R: Does it get hard at times? Like, if you’re in a shitty mood is it hard to be nice to people?
G: [filling pitcher with milk] It’s hard to say. Case dependent, y’know? [begins steaming milk]. I try to go for the whole “shit at the door” mentality. If I’m having a turd of a day that’s not their fault. Why would I make it their problem?
R: But if they’re being a right prat?
G: [stops steaming] Slams down pitcher and swirls milk] Then yeah, there’s a pleasure of sorts in serving them the same attitude right back.
R: And your boss is okay with that?
G: [pouring the milk] My boss is pretty understanding. They’ve worked the industry for years, they know the deal. I’m left to my own devices a lot of the time. [passes drink to R] Plus I’m a rock solid barista. There’s not much to complain about.
R: [takes a sip] Holy hell, this is syrupy.
G: [raises eyebrow] You can’t say I didn’t warn you.
R: No, it’s good. It’s smooth as. I just get what you were talking about.
G: [cleaning bench] What about you? Do you get customers where you work?
R: Not customers, [grabbing a lid] but office dynamics are a trip.
G: And are you a “shit at the door” kind of person?
R: [sighing] I get frustrated. I’m good most of the time, but I get fed up every now and again.
G: Oh? Go on.
R: People just get so damned passive aggressive. They send emails to people within walking distance all day long. Then when they don’t get a response quickly enough, they’ll start backstabbing each other on a dime. It’s like, this technology is convenient, but if someone’s within talking distance maybe go do that?
G: [laughs]. I love pet peeves. Got any more?
R: Oh, this one lady is within walking distance, but she’ll never talk to us. She calls. Every time.
G: The Worst.
R: It gets better. Or worse, depending how you feel. She puts everyone on speakerphone.
G: Wait, what? She’s in talking distance, right?
R: Yup. Maybe 40 feet away. So you hear yourself reply on her phone. Whenever she does it I instantly hang up and walk over there.
G: So she’s got you on a Pavlovian thing?
R: Oh God, you’re right. There’s no winning. She really is the worst.
G: Bummer. [smirking] I guess you should just quit, right?
R: [sarcastically] Totally. Just pack up my things, throw ’em out the window, walk out the door and fly straight to Florida. Drink these Florida Sunrises every day.
G: One flaw in your plan, I won’t be in Florida. How are you gonna get your drinks?
R: Damn. You’re right. You taking applications here?
G: No such luck. See for yourself, it’s pretty dead here. I’ve been talking to you for maybe 10 minutes and nobody else has walked in.
R: I joke. Mostly. I do like my job and there’s gotta be something shitty about every job.
G: Like customers giving me orders while they’re in the middle of a call?
R: People do that?
G: Yeah. I just tell them “it’s okay. I can wait”. I just stand there. They get shamed out of it pretty quickly.
R: I like that. That’s good. Hey, I’ve gotta get to work. Speakerphone lady isn’t gonna phone herself.
G: If she did though, she’d get some negative feedback.
R: [laughs] Thanks for the chat, eh? I’ll have to pop back in again.
G: See ya.

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