Greetings Curious Scroller,
If you've never landed in this part of cyber space before, you have taken a hard, fast plunge into the fiery depths of work hell. RHU is dedicated to giving the service worker a voice. If you are an angry customer, a corporate suite, a homophobic race-hater, and you don't like skull masks or swear words, this blog isn't for you. Click away now, before your ears bleed and your eyes explode.
I'm Freddy, Crypt Keeper of Retail Hell Underground RHU -- a place for service slaves to have a voice, tell their story, support each other, or just have a chuckle about the insanity of working in the 10th Circle of Hell! I'm also the author of "Retail Hell," the funny memoir about life as a handbag sales associate at an upscale department store! The sequel, "Return To The Big Fancy," has just been released in hardcover and e-reader and is available wherever books are sold!
Reddit: From the Dahlonega General Store in Dahlonega, Georgia. Aside from your generic tourist souvenir junk, they also sell old vintage signs, and buy a cup full of marbles from this gigantic pail of them.
Coffee shops function as surrogate offices. As places to meet people and jitter together while discussing poetry or something. But the more people get comfortable with their favorite cafe, the more they abuse the place, treating it like their living room sans the sweet bean bag chairs. And stuck playing Mom in that over-caffeinated living room is some poor barista who's forced to be nice to your dumb ass because you provide tips. The following 10 behaviors are surefire ways to seriously piss off these hard-working bean-grinders... and, if you're a culprit, you might be getting more than just coffee and milk in that double, soy half-caff latte.
Outside of Starbucks, the word "grande" is reserved for burritos, and the word "venti" is baby talk. And if you order a macchiato at an authentic coffee shop, you're not gonna get a jug of hot milk & coffee w/ enough caramel to make the spoon stick up. You're getting a shot of espresso w/ a little milk in it. Go ahead and complain... you'll go from pissing off the barista to making his day because you refuse to believe in a world outside of your bubble.
You may be trying to be helpful, but by ignoring the gigantic bus tub with the "DISHES HERE" sign in bold, you're creating a mess. The barista has to clear off the counter before finishing whatever drink he's making, then scrub the counter down because you just soiled it.
... or anywhere, really. If it's an important call, go outside. It's not. Nobody gives a crap about what you ate for breakfast. Nobody wants to hear you baby-talking to your dog on the answering machine. And nobody wants to wait extra-long for their drink because you're too busy gabbing to pay attention and act like a human being.
Pick a milk and stick with it. Want soy? Fine. Want half & half? Fine. But don't be the d-bag who orders 1/3 skim, 1/3 soy, 1/3 whole milk, then gets impatient when it takes extra time to make because you're dominating the steamers... because you're 100% a pain in the ass.
You've seen this dude. He'll park at a six-top table, grab a glass of water, then unload the contents of a backpack on all six spaces at the table, plug his computer into an outlet three tables away (creating a tripping hazard), then sit there all day drinking water like a camel. When he leaves, the table's covered in empty glasses, torn paper, and crumbs from the snacks he packed from home. Somebody has to clean up after him. That person's not very happy.
Once again ignoring the gigantic "DISHES HERE" sign, these folks think a trash bag is a sink. At the end of the shift, when baristas take out the trash as the last task of the evening, these bags'll eventually rip (if they're biodegradable bags, it's almost guaranteed), leaving a trail of rank coffee and garbage streaked across the freshly cleaned floor. They'll then spend every stroke of the mop trying to figure out who you are and plotting their revenge.
No. No no no. Never. No guitar, no ukulele, no violin, no nothing. Don't even tap on the table. You are the worst person on the face of the Earth.
Baristas do amazing things, typically for minimum wage. They wake you up in the morning. They toast your bagel. They pretend to like you. They make dainty floral designs on your foam. Yet some people see fit to tip them a nickel and, even worse, make sure the barista is looking as they put the change in the jar just so they can see how generous Daddy Warbucks really is. If this is you, don't be surprised if that floral design soon becomes an "F U" design.
To see the rest of the list head on over to THRILLIST.
Reddit: My friend is a great artist, who works at a tea house on the side. Check out these pics of his chalkboard art advertising a new tea, bitch!
Reddit: Today's vocab lesson courtesy of the Starbucks bathroom.
Reddit: WALTER WHITE MOCHA - Pegasus Coffee, Seattle.
PARIS, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Customers braving the rush at Paris's newest cafe to order their coffees and croissants, are now able to enjoy them in the company of a dozen resident cats.
The "Cafe des Chats" in the heart of the capital's chic Marais district is home to a dozen felines who weave in between the tables or curl up on armchairs as diners tuck in.
The establishment is aimed at Parisians unable to keep pets in cramped city-centre apartments and though the idea may seem eccentric, cafe manager Margaux Gandelon says the potential health benefits of "purr therapy" are real.
"Purring produces vibrations which relieve arthritis and rheumatism, which lower your blood pressure and your heartbeat," Gandelon said.
This month's opening weekend saw queues snaking along the pavement and bookings taken from now until November. Some 300 potential customers had to be turned away.
Gandelon says animal welfare is paramount and customers are prohibited from subjecting the cats to undue stress. She is prepared to evict any customers who fail to play by the rules although she admits she is more lenient with the animal residents: "Cats are cats," she said.
The animals themselves are abandoned and stray cats adopted from pet rescue centres. Among them is Habby who suffers from feline dwarfism with a stunted tail and unusually short paws.
Despite two years spent with foster families the sweet-tempered tabby was never adopted but has now settled down to cafe life.
Visiting the cafe out of curiosity, business student Florian Laboureau described it as a "great concept", but admitted he is more of a dog person. (Reporting by Johnny Cotton; Editing by Mark John and Alison Williams)
Wanna sip some Posh Spice? New York City latte artist (yes, there is apparently such a thing) Michael Breach, made this latte portrait of Victoria Beckham and she was able to tweet it before it dissipated three minutes later. He is pretty amazing though, right? I have issues with stick figures let alone foamy portraits.
From a Redditor who said the coffee shop is in Cape Town, South Aftrica.
From Edmonton Journal:
OAKVILLE, Ont. - Everything from coffee cup sizes to doughnut selection is under the microscope at Tim Hortons (TSX:THI) as the company's new chief executive settles into his role and begins a widespread review of the chain's operations.
Marc Caira is looking for ways to boost the reputation of the already iconic company, and he wants to improve how customers feel about their experience at the counter, which he calls "the moment of truth" for any quick service restaurant.
"If you make a mistake there, then you're impacting the consumer, and today's new reality is you can't afford to do that," he said in a recent interview at the company's headquarters in Oakville, Ont.
"You cannot give consumers permission to go somewhere else."
Before he joined Tim Hortons, Caira held various executive roles at Nestle's global operations where he helped expand the company's hot and cold beverage division. He says his experience with Nestle means he comes to Tim Hortons with an open mind and thinking like a customer.
"The beauty of my role is that I can ask as many questions as I want," he said.
Hardly two and half months into his tenure at the Canadian chain, Caira is still learning how Tim Hortons operates. So far, he has travelled to more than 20 cities across the country to talk with franchisees, and he's been catching up on how the 49-year-old company has evolved.
His office smells of a fresh coat of paint and new leather chairs, and hints of his roots at Nestle are scattered around the room. A collection of KitKat chocolate bars behind his desk are branded with his image, a personalized option for the Japanese market.
In his new role, that type of creative quirk could come in handy. Tim Hortons has faced an onslaught of competition from coffee chains like Starbucks and fast food restaurants like McDonalds, who have offered deep discounts to their customers along with loyalty programs.
While Tim Hortons still dominates Canada's coffee market, the company has weathered uneven same-store sales growth this year, and expects to fall short of its target ranges.
Overall same-store sales, a retail industry barometer, have improved somewhat, rising 1.5 per cent in the second quarter. Yet the numbers suggest that fewer customers are coming through the doors and overall they're spending less money. Tim Hortons does not provide specific traffic data.
A study from the NPD research group found that Tim Hortons' share of the $4.6-billion coffee chain market fell to about 76 per cent in May, a decline of about two per cent from 2009 before McDonalds launched its McCafes.
At least part of the difficult market can be attributed to slower economic growth and reduced spending by many Canadians in a fickle market. Caira wants to ensure that customers don't walk out of his stores baffled by a complicated menu or feel like they've waited in line too long.
"Future battles are not going to be won, in my view, with who has the best strategy or who has the best innovation," he said.
"The companies that will win will be the companies that can execute flawlessly at the store level."
While nothing has been decided yet, changes will likely involve simplifying the company's menu, which at this point includes a rotating selection of more than 60 types of doughnuts, and no less than five different coffee cup sizes.
At a conference held by Scotiabank on Tuesday, the 59-year-old executive told analysts that Tim Hortons needs to ensure its menu defines the company, rather then reflects the same products offered by its competitors.
"Everybody sells smoothies," he said, singling out one of the more recent additions to the Tim Hortons menu.
"You walk into a number of any restaurants you want, look at the menu, they look familiar."
Numerous other options are being considered as well, including an expansion of Tim Hortons products into vending machines and agreements with new partners to take its brand outside of the restaurant.
Already the company is trying to speed up the process at its counters, including double-lane drive-thrus and beverage express counters that shuffle customers away from the cash register while they wait for their drink to be prepared.
While Caira wants to be different, he knows that sometimes traditional mainstays are what work best. His favourite doughnut is the Boston Cream, which he enjoys with an iced cappuccino.
"I like chocolate," he said.
Tim Hortons needs to consider launching innovative platforms it can build on, rather than just new products, he said. Hot lunches have been a popular focus for the company over the past year, and soon it could expand into more options angled at dinner-hour customers.
"The panini started out as a platform for lunch, we can easily take it into breakfast," he said.
And while Caira hasn't made any specific decisions for changes to the menu or the company's operations as a whole, he plans to unveil a new strategic plan before the end of the year.
Activist investors have been pushing for the company to make major changes to its U.S. expansion plans and boost its leverage to buy back more shares. Caira has already responded to some of the demands from Scout Capital Management LLC and Highfields Capital Management LP, though he says he won't necessarily react to all of their suggestions.
"We will listen and engage, but there are times where we will agree to disagree," he said, pointing to suggestions that Tim Hortons should exit the supply chain as one area where he won't budge.
"I don't agree with that at all," he said. "That's part of our business model, so we need to protect that."
Edward Jones analyst Bobby Hagedorn said he is confident that Tim Hortons has a strong enough reputation in Canada to overcome any short-term economic challenges or attempts by other companies to trample its market share.
"Despite what we would consider a very tough operating environment, we do think these guys have the locations, customer loyalty and the brand that allows them to succeed in that environment," he said in a phone interview from St. Louis.
"People are going after their core breakfast segment, so we do think the company needs to get back on track. We do think they're going to be able to do that."
Tim Hortons shares rose 19 cents to close at $59.27 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.