Beleaguered Barista

Stories to Shrivel Your Soul

Mykel the Foam Flinger

For those of you unfamiliar with Harry Potter speak:

“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them”
– Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

Just going off of that description, it’s easy to see that meeting a dementor is a rather unpleasant experience.

Unfortunately for me and my co-workers, Mykel (pronounced Michael in regular human speak) is a regular at my store that sucks the happiness out of life just by being his good ole’ self.

In the two years I have worked as a barista, Mykel has been nothing but awful. My first day of work involved him yelling at me for not knowing his drink, despite the fact that I had never seen him before in my life. He’s also cheap as heck – for the longest time, Mykel would not pay for the drinks he got. He would pay a price of $2 for the flat whites (which are normally $5.20) and Americanos (which are $3.41) that he drank.

I mean, I get it. Coffee is expensive, and feeding a caffeine addiction can be hard on your wallet. But if you can afford to get multiple tattoos, a nice motorcycle, put gas in your truck, own your business  AND buy your partner Pandora charms, you can afford to pay for your Flat Whites and your Americanos.

In case you didn’t have enough reasons to like this guy already, Mykel is also a sexual harassment lawsuit just waiting to happen: he has touched our arms and legs (and before you judge – in places that aren’t normally touched by the handing off coffee or awkward tight-space maneuvering), flirted disastrously, and has made some very undignified sexual remarks about several of my co-workers. But this story isn’t about the fact that he approaches life from the head in his pants.

This is the story about Mykel, the Foam Flinger.

Before you ask, no, that’s not special code for anything. This is a grown-ass man, who decided that flinging foam at me was a good way of solving his problems.

After receiving his “coffee” one morning, Mykel grew angry and disenfranchised by its appearance. He stalked from the bar towards the cash register, plopped his drink down on the counter and looked me in the eye.

“Why can’t you make me a proper flat white? I don’t want all this fucking foam on my drink!!”

Before I could utter a reply, he stuck his fat sausage fingers into his drink, cupped the light amount of foam on top, and FLUNG. IT. AT. ME.

Let’s just take a moment here. 
1. I didn’t make his drink (but that doesn’t mean I wanted him to fling foam at my co-worker either)
2. Would it not have been better for him to fling the foam into the garbage can if he didn’t like it at all?
3. On what planet does flinging foam at your barista get her to make you another drink?
4. Where’s a wizard when you need one? He needed to have his ass expecto patronum-ed.
5. This:
dementor eerily steals happiness from Harry Potter

All the happiness in the world. Just gone. In an instant.

And part of my vision. Gone. There was foam on my glasses.

Mykel took a moment after that foam flinging, looked behind him, where there was a line of angry customers glaring at him, and then moved off to the side. It seemed like he wanted to fling more foam, but was terrified of other witnesses. Or perhaps he wanted to take a moment and reflect on his wrongs. Yeah no, definitely the former one.

While he moved off to the side, I collected myself, from my petrified state, wiped off the counter with my apron, wiped my glasses, and then called the next person up. But, instead of ordering coffee, this customer turned to Mykel and tried to tell him off.

Mykel did not even have the decency to look like he’d been scolded. Instead, he set his drink down on the condiment stand (where we keep the milk, cream, and sugars) and flung some more foam to demonstrate how much of it there was in his drink. Which, at this point, was counterproductive, considering there wasn’t any left. (Probably because he’d expelled the foam from his drink once already.)

I didn’t get to say anything to Mykel before he left the store that day. He got a new drink, one that was EQUALLY AS FOAMY AS THE FIRST ONE, but he didn’t seem to have any problems with it.

Sadly, he’ll be back, and not in the cool Terminator way either. There’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger coolness anywhere near this man.

But thank you, to the nice customer who stepped in and attempted to tell him that his behaviour was unacceptable. You are the chocolate that Professor Lupin gives to Harry Potter after he gets attacked by the dementor on the train to Hogwarts.  You are the reason my soul hasn’t been sucked out of my body in some terrible form of the dementor’s kiss… yet.

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1 Comment

  1. Suzanne January 24, 2018

    I am very much looking forward to this blog!

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