Opening Week At “Latte Your Way,” Austin’s First Customer-Controlled Coffee Shop

Welcome to Latte Your Way, where ‘the customer is always right’ is not just a slogan – it’s the literal policy!

Monday, February 6th

Exciting news: I just started my new position at Latte Your Way! Yay!

Latte Your Way is the world’s first completely customer-controlled shop, where the customer is absolutely always right. And it’s not just a slogan either – it’s their literal policy. I’m a little weary, as customers can sometimes be fickle… Still, I’m excited to be part of something so unique. 

I began my first day by doing my opening tasks at 6:45 am (we don’t technically open until 8 am) and someone came a-banging on the window pane asking if I could “just make them a quick mocha.” I wasn’t really in the position to make them one, but I hustled to make them happy – the customer is always right, after all. They grumbled ‘they’ve had better,’ but come on, we weren’t even open yet!

Later in the day, I got some aesthetic feedback from another customer: they said our tip jar is ‘unsightly’ and doesn’t match the ‘vibe’ of the shop. I said I would change the tip jar’s design so that it was more cohesive with the rest of our decor, but the customer said it would be easier if I just scrapped the idea of tipping altogether. Apparently, a tip jar is ‘gauche’ no matter the design. Duly noted. 

Anyways, still feeling like I have lots to gain from this job! Excited to see what the rest of the week brings.  

Tuesday, February 7th 

I tried to switch things up sartorially today by wearing a green sweater I recently thrifted. Wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but a customer helped me figure that out when they said it “looked like shit.” 

Per shop policy, I regretfully agreed that “perhaps chartreuse isn’t my colour.” But they insisted I run home to change my top, come back, and prove that I had gained a better understanding of what shades my skin tone is “actually made to handle.” And then demanded I Venmo them $110 for ‘fashion consulting,’ or as I would have termed it: No Holds Barred, Point Blank Insulting Me. Guess that sweater is going back to the thrift store… Hopefully tomorrow will be better. 

Wednesday, February 8th 

Okay, I was trying to remain optimistic about this gig, but holy shit. Today, a customer thought our store would be cuter and more inviting if we had a pet, preferably a Golden Labrador puppy. Unfortunately, my coworker is allergic to dogs. We kept a poll running all day, and the customers ultimately voted in favour of firing my coworker and keeping the dog. 

I am extremely overworked. The dog is not potty-trained. I have not even checked if it is a boy or a girl yet. I’ll give it a name tomorrow. Time to get some much-needed rest… 

Thursday, February 9th 

It is technically Thursday – it’s 3:54 am on Thursday. I’ve decided to start sleeping at the shop, as the customers want the option of 24/7 service. At least I have the dog here with me (name still TBD). I’m losing track of time and also my sense of place and object permanence – hold on, have to take a customer’s order. 

Back again. The customer asked if I was able to take a reusable mug. It’s against health code regulations, but they handed me a mason jar they wanted their cold brew in. I would be remiss if I did not mention that the mason jar was still half-full of tomato and basil pasta sauce. I spent forty-five minutes scrubbing the interior free of its crimson-red stain.

They were pleased with the outcome of my scrubbing and the quality of the cold brew. They also, however, decided that I am in fact a very effective dishwasher, and are coming back later with the rest of their dishes for me to wash. 

I cannot distinguish where my job duties begin and end. I don’t remember the last time I used the bathroom. I feel like that’s a problem. Also, I think I’m going to name the dog Frances? I can’t remember if that’s a real name or a place in Paris or what.

This job is rapidly destroying me.

Friday, February 10th 

this job has  simply taken everyhytng from me. Today I quit and I am TAKING the dog home  with me…. I am taking Frances(?I guess that what I decided on, huh..) to their (gender still not confirmed honestly) new home and we are NEVER coming back to , this wretched establishment……

Friday, February 17th

Whew. That nightmare couldn’t be over soon enough. What a hellish ordeal, to have to put up with such insane, picky, demanding customers all the time. 

I do like making coffee though, and that’s why I’ve since applied to and scored a job at Starbucks!! I’m so relieved. Surely their customers cannot be nearly as ridiculous.

Author’s Pick

  • @filthyratbag on Instagram (vulnerable, ugly art)
  • A Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes (if you’re going through heartbreak)
  • I’ll Be Your Mirror – Live At End of Cole Avenue in Dallas, TX 1969 by The Velvet Underground (to lull you to sleep)
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Makayla Salas
Makayla Salas

Makayla is a picky eater who watches Frances Ha too often. Her genius thoughts have appeared in The Onion, Awf Mag, FLEXX Mag, Points In Case, and more.

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