Since moving from the South Slope and leaving my wonderful deli at 16th and 5th, I've been forced to endure Coffee Cart Man in Boerum Hill. Generally, the idea of a coffee cart is great. It's directly outside my subway entrance, and I don't have to wait in line behind that woman buying 20 $1 scratchers, or that man trying to find the right cigar for his blunt. However, when Coffee Cart Man just doesn't quite get it, it can put a real damper on my already dreary mornings.
Boreum Hill Coffee Cart Man didn't always used to be a drag. In fact, he was a different man all together. Cool, calm, collected -- Coffee Cart Dude. But slowly, last month, Coffee Cart Man started to infiltrate Coffee Cart Dude's cart. Now Coffee Cart Dude -- who always made my coffee correctly, because he focused on making my coffee, not flirting with me -- is gone. And his successor is anything but successful.
I would hasten to say that Coffee Cart Man is just short of incompetent, as far as coffee cart men go. For starters, he's so busy trying to flirt, that he pays no attention to the coffee. Every morning I order "large, milk, no sugar, not too full." And every morning he starts to scoop sugar into my cup, and I have to stop him by yelling "NO sugar!" Instead of getting a fresh cup, he just dumps out the sugar, leaving remnants for my taste buds to endure. (Recently I've broken him of this dumping habit, by yelling "NO sugar!" as he starts to scoop his spoon into the bucket of sugar, which he still does every morning.) As far as the not too full? By the time I make it down to the 4-train platform, I'm holding a cup of coffee wrapped in coffee soaked napkins.
Last week, when trying to hand me my change, he spilled my 75-cents all over the sidewalk. And some mornings he's been so slow that there's been a line of 6 or more people. Last week, in my already grumpy morning huffiness, I yelled "this is ridiculous!" after waiting in line for more than a minute, and stormed off into the station, sans coffee.
Am I being a bitch? Sure. Should I cut him a little slack because he's new? Sure. But am I entitled to a decent cup of non-sweetened coffee that doesn't spill all over my hands? I believe I am. Regardless, I'm always nice to Coffee Cart Man, and always act like it's not a big deal, even though, to me, at the time, it's a huge deal.
Every day, I say I'll go a block out of my way "tomorrow" to get it right. But every day I'm running just a little bit later than the day before. Thus putting my already soured morning mood in the hands of Coffee Cart Man.
This morning, instead of saying "not too full," I said, "leave an inch up top, please."
His reply? "What's an inch, 2 and a half centimeters?" He was close (1 inch = 2.54 centimeters) and I was slightly impressed.
"Sure," I said and took my not-too-full coffee down into the station and sat across from a woman whose brow was furrowed from Pacific Street all the way to Grand Central, and wondered 'wow, what did her coffee cart man do to her this morning?'