The coffee machine has basically had it. I think it’s seen what a clusterfuck the Out Of Favour shop has become and has decided to slowly shut itself down in order to escape.
For those of you happily uninitiated in the ways of barista-ism, there are three, ‘stick your cup under,’ parts on even the most basic commercial coffee machines, (which, of course, is what the Out Of Favour shop has):
1) The circular bit that grabs onto the big spoon thingy full of ground coffee, and filters hot water through it; 2) The hot water spout – like a kettle, only posher; 3) The steam spout – for frothing milk and generally burning your hands.
The steam spout is pretty much essential. Without it there is no frothy milk – and no frothy milk means no cappuccinos and lattes.
Obviously, not having a working frothy spout thing is a fairly massive problem for a coffee shop, and in any normal shop, with a normal boss, it would cause panic and an undignified scrabble to get it fixed as soon as possible.
But I don’t work for a normal boss. I work for The Boss Erratic (TBE), and clearly she doesn’t see this as the problem I do.
Nope, her instructions are to carry on as normal (!), the only difference being, we will now simply offer drinks that require no frothing.
Think about that for a moment….
A coffee shop with no cappuccinos and no lattes, no macchiatos, no mochaccinos:
“Hello customer, welcome to our café! Would you like a cup of tea? No problem! Fancy a flat white with cold milk on the side? Coming right up! What’s that you say? You want an actual hot, foamy coffee? A cappuccino? A latte? Are you mad? How dare you! We’re only a small, simple café, making small, simple drinks. You ask too much, Sir…….
“Now, how about a glass of creamy milk instead? It’s only been standing at room temperature for three days…..”
I feel I should also point out that this frother spout didn’t break just yesterday, or the day before. Oh no, that thing stopped working weeks ago. The coffee shop has been offering cappuccino-less, latte-less service for weeks and weeks.
Aim for the stars, TBE; aim for the stars….
Sadly, the milk frother is only the latest in a line of woeful death throes from the Out Of Favour shop coffee machine; it leaks water all over the floor; it leaks water all over the counter – and, most excruciating of all, it forces me to play Russian roulette with the filter stuffed into the end of the hot water spout. Every time I have to use it I wonder if I’m going to hear that fateful, ‘plop’, and realise that, once more, the bloody thing has detached itself and fallen into the customer’s cup, in all its grey, scaly glory…..
All of this has, of course, been ignored by TBE.
In fact, she’s been ignoring the plight of the coffee machine since the very first day it arrived about five years ago, and she tried to balance it on a rickety table, propped up by a plank of wood. Since then she’s not serviced it once.
No, TBE prefers the, ‘hands off,’ method of maintenance and repair. This is closely aligned with the, ‘La la la, I have my fingers in my ears so I can’t hear you!’ method of retail management she clearly favours.
But she’s in a fool’s paradise. That coffee machine is a ticking time bomb.