This post was written by, Haley Hinds, a barista at Starbucks and also a guest writer for Barista Life. Check her out on Instagram also!
A Baristas Worst Nightmare: Frappuccino Happy Hour
May 13, 2:50 pm. They told me to be ready but nothing could prepare me for what was about to happen — It was quiet… too quiet. Much like how the air stays still before the big storm. I’ve never thought I would have got to this place. It’s crazy to believe that I’m standing here now but there I am waiting for the storm to come.
2:55 pm. I see everyone preparing them selves, making sure they’ve got everything they need. I’m nervous, it’s my first time and everyone else knows what to expect but me.
2:57 pm. You can begin to see the horror in their eyes. Although they try to make it look like it’s easy, I think deep down, no matter how many times you have been through this, you are truly never prepared for what is coming. I’m always on the other side but this year is different, this year I’m choosing to accept the challenge for what it may be.
2:58 pm. In the near distance, you can begin to hear the little chirps and car horns. You can feel the ground rumbling like a stampede and you know the crowd won’t hesitate to be there for this celebration of a treat. It really should become an international holiday. Every year we get those people eager for it to come and complaining that it’s taking too long. Like waiting for christmas only there’s no red cups and it takes twice as many steps to make one single frappuccino then it does any hot beverage.
2:59 pm. Counting down the seconds till the clock resets to another hour. The air is getting thick, my heart is beginning to pound and my ears are beginning to ring so loud it silences the room. They’re here!
3:00 pm. Pouring in through the doors, human after human ranging from all ages, people are here readying their smart phones preparing to order that drink they’ve been wanting to try from the long forbidden secret menu. Everyone is excited to be here and wasn’t a second late to get in line. Nobody is happier than that kid that ordered extra whip or that parent that usually pays for everyones drink, what a difference half price can be!
4:00 pm. It begins with a few crowds coming and going but now it’s just everyone at once. My position…window support on drive-thru. Ding! Ding! Ding! I can still hear the never ending Dinging in my head. “Welcome to Starbucks! What can I get for you today?” “Can I have a decaf grandi double chocolatey chippy frapp-ay”. At this point, I even question if I should inform her that she is not only pronouncing the terms wrong but is really ordering a java chip frappuccino if she wants coffee. “Of course! You want a grande decaf java chip frappuccino.” “No! I want a…(repeats the same thing but slower)” “Okay your total comes to $2.36. You can drive up to the window”.
4:45 pm. At this point, I begin to sound like a robot repeating myself word for word. I have it easy being this position at a time like this. I peak around the corner of the L shaped area we work in to see how the others are holding up on bar. Like scrambling eggs in the middle of a hurricane. I see whipping cream spray and the frap roast explode and I swear, I saw a frappuccino fly! It’s crazy but never the less, they work hard like misaligned soldiers.
5:00 pm. You think it would calm down now that the initial frappy hour time is over but because of the promotion we had in April for the customers to have an easy access to gold members, frappy hour has not yet finished.
5:45 pm. We’re almost there, I can taste the relief or maybe it’s the mocha that sprayed on me as I passed by bar to get more straws. We’re almost there.
5:55 pm. I have been sent for a break. My time is done early. I certain kind of happiness takes over me I haven’t quite experienced before. I imagine it to be the same kind of happiness you would feel when being released on bail! I pass over my headset to a fellow barista like passing over the crown and I walk off of the floor in slow motion as the explosions continue behind me. I feel tired yet proud of what I have conquered. I debate if I should be an evil co-worker and get a frappuccino as a treat but then decide against it since that requires me to stand in the still long out the door line. I go into the back and sit in the comfy chair at the desk and feel myself drifting off allowing myself to do so, I deserve a nap after all.
10:30 am. Beep! Beep! Beep! I wake up to the sound of my alarm and I see what time it is. Wow! what a dream. I shake it off and begin to get up. time to get up and get ready to go to work for my first shift during frappy hour ever!!!
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