Monday, July 18, 2011

Coffee Ground Dumpster Diving

So dig this vibe...

Sunday morning, I'm working at Starbucks, right, and I'm doing my thing and gettin' the coffee made and supporting Tampa Jay on the bar there and Melanie and Lizzy Bean and The Pitz, all working behind the counter and such...

I'm getting a sandwich or something, maybe getting a pastry and I see this short, stocky, somewhat older woman come in the door and head straight for me.  She reaches the end of the counter and just stops and stare at me.

Now, its important to note that The Bux keeps coffee grounds for its customers.  After a pot of coffee is brewed, before we brew a fresh pot, we dump the filter and grounds into a small garbage can at the end of our bar counter. When that bag is full, we take it and set it outside for customers to grab for free.  People use these grounds and the bio-degradable filters in their own gardens, and the acidity in the used grounds help fertilize and provide nutrition for flowers in a garden... it will even make your hydrangeas purple!

However, we cannot put more than one bag of grounds outside in our bucket at a time... so if someone snatches that bag, the bucket is empty until we have more grounds to put out--and these bags can be upwards of 20, 30, maybe 40 pounds. 

And it was about 30 minutes before our customer in question came in that I had thrown out a huge bag of grounds. 

She asked me about getting some grounds, I politely informed her that I had, within the last 45 minutes, thrown away the grounds we had, but I advised her to check the bucket outside.  She said she'd already seen that the bucket outside was empty, and I essentially told her that it was unfortunate, but check back later.

Crazy Coffee Lady:  So, you threw out the coffee grounds?
Me:  Yes ma'am, the can was full, and we aren't allowed to pile up the bags outside, so I had to throw it out.
Crazy Coffee Lady:  And the bag went in the dumpster?
Me:  Yes ma'am

It was about here that I was working on a breakaway statement that will allow me to not only end this dialogue,but also get back to my work and also allow me to shush the others who are cracking up at the end of the counter.

Crazy Coffee Lady:  Where are your newspapers?  The old ones?

To set this part of the conversation up, know that our condiment bar is next to the door, and next to it sits a small basket where newspapers tend to just pile up until someone--usually I--come along and toss them.  Today, however, there were no newspapers to be had. 

Crazy Coffee Lady:  They are gone.  Usually they are in the basket.
Me:  Yes ma'am, but it looks like they have been thrown away as well.   Sorry about that.

Then, here's where the conversation went off the rails.

Crazy Coffee Lady:  Where is the dumpster?
Me (pausing):  Um... its outside in the back.
Crazy Coffee Lady:  Would you mind if I went there and got them out?
Me (pausing again):  Um... sure.  Knock yourself out. 
Crazy Coffee Lady:  Think the newspapers are in there?
Me:  I'll be honest... I have no idea.  They weren't here when I got here, so they might have gone out this morning or last night. 
Crazy Coffee Lady:  Can you maybe come out and unlock it for me?
Me:  Oh, there is no lock, just open the door.
Crazy Coffee Lady:  I love putting the grounds in my garden, it really helps my flowers and keeps out the weeds, and the newspapers do the same think, keeping out the weeds, and I like the Sunday paper because I like the coupons, I cut them out and send them to my daughter who is in South Dakota, you know she's paying off her bills and so she really likes the coupons and...
Me (cutting her off as nicely as possible):  Yes ma'am, I understand.
Crazy Coffee Lady:  Do you think one of you could come out there and help me out?
Me (quickly): No ma'am, we are far too busy to assist in that, I'm sorry
Crazy Coffee Lady:  Well, could you come unlock the dumpster area?
Me:  There's no lock, I promise.  Just go around the other side, and open the doors.
Crazy Coffee Lady:  Are you sure there isn't a lock on it?

What I'm thinking... Lady, I take out the garbage at this store about 10 to 12 times per week at this store, I promise you there is no lock anywhere around that dumpster shed, because even though I'm a little dense at times and tend to forget things and sometimes I'm not very observant, I promise you I would have, at some point, noticed a lock and/or some form of locking mechanism disallowing the entrance into said dumpster shed.

What I said:  I promise you there is no lock on it.  Go ahead.

She turned around and headed out the door.  The baristas behind the counter then proceeded to observe how crazy this entire conversation had been.   We all glanced out the window to see if the woman went to the dumpster, and sure enough, we saw her car pull around to the other side.

Twenty minutes later, here comes Crazy Coffee Lady, who proudly told me, "I got TWO bags out of there, and found a bunch of coupons in the newspapers!" 

Me:  Um... that's... that's awesome! 

Which means that not only did she climb into our dumpster to retrieve a 25 pound bag of coffee grounds that I had tossed, she also managed to find an equally as heavy bag that had been thrown away probably the night before, which means it was not only IN the dumpster, but UNDER a ton of bags... AND she managed to pull out a stack of newspapers which was also BURIED under a bunch of bags.

That is a need for grounds that I'll never hopefully have... 

The Summer of Blogging Day Forty

1 comment:

  1. There are parts of my Mom's garden that smells like coffee. It's awesome. So, keep up the great work brewing coffee and tossing used grounds. Gardener obviously go to great lengths for their gardens. :)


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