• dr. tortoise

dont go to that cafe

Updated: Mar 2

It was near the end of my time so there wasn’t any more fucks to give. I told my mother and several of my friends about how my pay was lowered. Everyone asked what I was still doing there I just stared in front of me blankly. I was going to need to be retrained because steaming milk is, turns out, very complicated and what’s good gets updated in the rule book. The rule book was a binder and sometimes pieces of paper spiraled together. This is where the ways of this coffee shop drilled into you like a sort of cult-like mentality but … no way it was a cult pshhh. I had been working there for two years now but I guess i'm just not the hard working guy I thought I was, I mean who likes to work? They demoted my title, and my pay showed for it. The title is not really a big deal I guess but come on! Maybe if they were struggling financially and they finally owned up to it I would be a bit more understanding. But never! This why I should have left or maybe it was that.


There was an incident that, thankfully, I was not involved in because I was definitely bed ridden from being sick and the fact that I went out the night before dancing or maybe smoking hookah had nothing to do with it. My memory has never been my friend. Anyway what happened was an employee, one of my co-workers, gave some free drinks to the nice bartender people who gave us free drinks… BUT we weren’t allowed to do this you see, we have a pleasant and completely satisfactory 15 percent that we are allowed to give to these industry folks. But that’s not really the same is it? I mean… never mind… it’s a gift from the bottom of our hearts to the lovely bartenders. I mean not “ours”, I wasn’t there. So as people do when they are grateful in the community. You tip them. Now, now, there’s whispers that lurk around the cafe corners, through all that coffee roasting noise, down the street, and that other cafe that recently opened that's further down the same street. That WE were taking money out the drawers. But really they just tipped us. That can't be the same. Maybe get a comp tab? And stop being so cheap. Yet your still opening up more stores? Your suing your dad? don't quote me on that. I mean still, it seems like a bit of a stretch I know my friends would never do this. Maybe I’m just bias. My supervisor, who taught me the ways, stealing? So I come back to the shop after that blur of being sick and away, I wipe the shit out of my eyes and I hear the news. My good friend was stealing money. No fucking way I yelled into the sky. But that can’t be right, right? My friend later tells me he just quit. They didn’t even fire them. What good guys. He was just fed up of how he was being treated. Now I know they were scrambling. My future manager goes “fire their ass!” They call everyone in working that day for a good-cop bad-cop type integration with a “would you state your name for the camera please” and everything. Wish I could have witnessed it firsthand. So my co-workers go “well that’s not right, that was stressful!” but of course it wasn’t as simple as that but still, they quit. Now two more good workers out the building. I’m standing here steaming milk confused as ever like I thought I was definitely going to leave before these people then the milk burns my hand and I snap back into reality. I would say I know how to do my job, but these people did what felt like more than me. Never any talks of leaving, well maybe just a little. SO, I stay and power through the storm a bit more UNTIL a couple days later maybe the next day I’m not really sure at this point. One of my co-workers, one of whom was interrogated, gets pulled outside to talk with the big boss *bleep* where her ambitions of being a lawyer shine. She doesn't give up her stance that “y’all did some bad shit, y’all are low key racist,” y'all are changing Washington DC to the elitist society that it has so destined to be. So on and so forth. Until the owner is all like “HOW LONG YOU BEEN HERE?” okay... maybe he wasn’t yelling but he was like “I’ve been here longer than you!” Didn’t know it was a competition? “And gentrification doesn’t exist.” And then I had a flashback to standing next to the iPad that we use as a register staring out the window thinking … am I worsening the problem for working here. I thought when I first started working here it would be more of the community which it is somewhat but just for the people that can afford us. What about people who have been here, 'cause I know for sure everyone up stairs is from like Vermont or Connecticut. They’re just opening stores left and right trying to take over, becoming that corporate coffee shop that has no soul. Anyway, when I heard this I was like “Wow… I work for this guy” SO she leaves and now that’s like 3 people. She left and around the same time; an incident happening in the bathroom while the big boss was there. He yells at more co-workers. That one that actually didn’t get fired. About how this women is shooting up in our bathroom and says something like ”get off your lazy bums at kick this black women OUT” they said something like “Chill it’s a regular you don’t know this community” But he was not having it … so that was the last straw for some of my other friends, peace! Two more are out. Later we see an article on that local paper about how they are "experimenting" with cashless, I mean really? I've heard concerns, no way they're going to change it back though. But wait, there more! so much more, that I don’t care to give them the attention.

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