OAKLAND, CA— Chaos erupted during the morning rush at a local cash-free cafe after the internet went down and stayed down for fifteen long minutes, preventing baristas from making any formal transactions.
“It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” said customer Sarah Walabi, looking past me as she spoke. “The line was out the door and the baristas, they just couldn’t do anything. People were yelling threats at them, at each other, throwing things, begging for service. It was awful.”
“We couldn’t help them at all,” shift lead Micah Andrews told us in a shell-shocked voice. “They were offering us fistfuls of cash but we don’t have a register and the POS runs on the internet. We were completely powerless.”
“It was a horrible feeling,” said Mira Elihu, a barista who’s been with the cafe since it opened last November. “Some of the customers were flying into rages, trying to threaten us into serving them, but some were just going inward, like they just couldn’t be here anymore.”
“I offered the barista on register 100 dollars to just please make me a cappuccino, but he wouldn’t do it,” said regular customer Matt Hawthorne. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought about just going to a different cafe but that would have meant walking four blocks, and I just didn’t have that in me.”
At the time of publication, the baristas on shift during the riot have petitioned the shop’s owners to get a cash drawer and are threatening to leave if they refuse.