Cafe, Customer Service

Other Barista Knows My Order, Says Customer


This piece is dedicated to Velton Ross, our most excellent Patreon supporter without whom we couldn’t do this. 


By Adam Heffelfinger


ANNAPOLIS, MD— The morning rush was in full swing at one local coffee shop this morning when housewife Julianne Akers reached the front of the queue. Akers, 44, received a cordial greeting from barista Rachael Ng, 27, who briskly asked her what she’d like.


“We try to keep things moving from 8-10 or the line starts to back up. We’re a pretty small store,” Ng told reporters. She then described how the fingers of her outstretched hand hovered just above the buttons of the store’s digital point of sale system as she waited the interminable seconds for Akers to produce her coffee order.


According to sources, Akers gestured at Ng’s coworker Theo Franklin, whom, she said, “knows her order.”


According to Ng, Franklin was occupied on bar making several other drinks. “I looked over at him hoping he would fill me in on what the hell I was supposed to charge her for, but he was pulling shots and steaming milk so fast I don’t think he knew he was still standing in Maryland. So I just gawked at the side of Theo’s head for a couple more seconds before asking her again what she wanted. She just sort of fluttered her fingers and told me ‘Theo knows me.’ I had no idea what to charge her,” Ng said. Ng claims she eventually “just charged Akers for a mocha, about $5.50.”


Franklin told Knockbox reporters that he did, indeed, know Akers.


“Juli gets a small drip with some cinnamon,” he told us. “Rachael will have it down in another week, I’m sure.”


At press time, Ng was unavailable for further comment as she was taking an order from local professor Marcia Thompson, who reportedly “had something good yesterday, can you just make me that?”


Adam Heffelfinger has worked in Specialty Coffee for over ten years. He has frequently renewed his commitment to the industry by dropping out of several writing and journalism-focused degree programs. Today Adam works for a Cleveland-based roaster and cafe operator, and resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife and four-year-old daughter.


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