Sunday, August 15, 2010

coffee is a weapon apparently

I feel like a broken record these days, and honestly, if I were hearing all of this from someone else, I'd swear they must be making it up. Alas, I wish I were making this up, but it's all true. We seem to have been hit with the unlucky stick this summer. Another round of stories, though, and I swear you don't want to miss these.

So last week, as I mentioned, I took the kids to a local farm to pick up our share of vegetables from our CSA and pick some flowers. I was trying to keep them both corralled as we walked through the fields and Josie was acting like a total maniac, flinging her body against the plants and running through the fields rather than around them. I tried to verbally correct her a few times, but it wasn't working, so I made her walk next to me and hold my hand. A few steps into our hand-holding, Josie tripped or threw herself down or something of the sort, and I heard a popping sound in her wrist. She started whimpering and saying, "boo boo, boo boo" and stopped using her arm, exactly the same way she'd behaved when she broke her wrist. And then I promptly freaked out.

I called Josh and asked him to meet me at the ER, called the pediatrician to let them know what was happening, and then sobbed the whole way to my friend's house to drop Gabe off with her. Josie was whimpering in the car as we drove, and I cried along with her as I envisioned another cast, another long few weeks of plastic bags and worry, not to mention my concern that they were going to call Child Protective Services on me for the string of accidents. We made it to Children's Hospital quickly, got tucked into a room swiftly, and after talking with the nurse and a pediatric orthopedist, we agreed her wrist was probably broken again. The doctor decided to examine her arm before we took her back to get x-rays, and as he lifted her arm, he heard a pop and thought it possible that her elbow had been dislocated (nursemaid's elbow) rather than a break. They left us for a few minutes to see how she acted and within 2 minutes she was good as new, climbing the walls of the hospital room and singing her smooshed up version of the ABCs.

Another quick exam, and we were sent on our way with a clean bill of health, and an admonition not to hold her hand anymore because once an elbow dislocates, it is likely to dislocate again. Turns out after talking to Josh's parents, it happened to Josh TWICE when he was a baby.

You'd think that was enough for one week, right? RIGHT? Well, not in my world, apparently.

Friday morning, we head into Josh's work to have lunch with him, and he asks if we can grab coffee at a certain large chain coffee shop- hmm, let's say it rhymes with "farm trucks". I ordered a decaf iced coffee, and after waiting for several minutes, was handed a drink, which I tasted and discovered to be something besides a decaf iced coffee. I went up to the counter to ask the barista why it tasted so strange, and she said they didn't have iced decaf coffee so she'd made me something else. Umm, okay. I asked for a regular iced coffee, and although she said she'd make it for me, she seemed super annoyed at my request and then made me wait while she made several people's drinks ahead of mine. I was standing at the counter for about 10 minutes waiting for my drink with Gabe at my side and in the meantime, she began to argue with a coworker who was standing outside the drink area and became visibly flustered. She even left the drink bar and went to the back for a couple of minutes.

Anyway, she came back and finished two drinks, and then (seeming very annoyed) slammed a grande hot drink down on the counter. Can you see where this is going yet? She put it down so hard, the top popped off and the drink exploded across the counter, pouring scalding hot coffee onto Gabe. I screamed as the coffee poured all over him, and Gabe started screaming this horrible high-pitched shriek as the coffee hit his skin. I had just a second to react, so I grabbed him to pull him into the bathroom and as I touched him, realized how hot the coffee actually was, so I tore his shirt off of him and ran to the bathroom to pour cold water all over him.

Long, long, LONG story short, Gabe ended up being fine after the cold water and lots of burn cream and ibuprofen, although his chest and arms were red and inflamed for hours. The barista never apologized, the manager was apologetic but ultimately unhelpful, and after spending 20 minutes sitting in the store making sure Gabe was okay, she handed us her business card and two free drink coupons and said, "Please don't hate us. Come again soon!" Oh, and she claimed they didn't have accident reports and wouldn't let us fill anything out, although Josh insisted and we ended up writing it all up on a plain sheet of white paper.

I do understand that accidents happen, of course, but given the way the barista was acting, I don't think this was an accident. I would have loved to tear her to shreds, but I was so focused on Gabe, I couldn't find the energy to focus on her. Thankfully, Gabe is fine, but I spent most of Friday with shaking hands and feeling like I was on the verge of a panic attack because I couldn't stop envisioning how awful it could have been. If I hadn't torn his shirt off of him, if he'd been younger, if the coffee had been just a little bit hotter. It is enough to keep you up at night.

That's it. Another couple of shitty incidents to put behind us, and another wish that this is really the end of the bad luck. I am not joking when I say I am really really REALLY going to look into some kind of cleansing ritual for the kids, because this is getting ridiculous. I find myself walking around and waiting for the next shoe to drop, because this is a never-ending cycle. My one saving grace is that for most of the accidents (except for this most recent elbow dislocation) I haven't even been there when my kids have been hurt, so I'm spared the worst part of the guilty conscience. The worry is still there, but at least my guilt is kept to a (somewhat) minimum.

If you have some ideas for fending off bad mojo, please send them my way, because we can use all the help we can get!


OneTiredEma said...

OMG, that barista needs serious discipline. Really--it could have just as easily been you or another adult and guess what? Still unacceptable!

My sister had nursemaid's elbow 2x as a kid. Now she rides/trains horses professionally--no harm, no foul!

Chatty Cricket said...

garlic? or is that just for vampires?

remember when Lady had nursemaid's elbow? which we gave her during our reggae dance party? and Sweetie had to bring her into the ER because I had to stay home with infant Mister? and the ER staff sent him home with WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS on how to lift your child?

le sigh.

(it never happened to her again, btw, but you bet we stopped holding her hands during dance parties and she would hold her own hand when she crossed the street)

Summer said...

Coffee is dangerous, no joke. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine took her two young daughters to a cafe to have brunch with another family, and as the waitress was refilling coffee cups, she poured coffee on the toddler. The poor baby wound up with second degree burns on 30% of her body, with third degree burns in places.

Did you get the barista's name? If I was you, I'd use that legal training and write a stern letter to the store manager and cc the company executives. At the very least, that barista deserves to have the shit scared out of her.

liz said...

What they all said. And many hugs.

Kai said...

OMG you MUST write the corporate office a letter!!! That is TERRIBLE!

mikraas said...

Hi, I've been a lurker on your blog for a while. I used to work at Starbucks and that kind of behavior is totally inexcusable. I can't believe that the barista was so out of control that she burned your CHILD and didn't even apologize.

I contacted one of my friends who still works there about what happened to you and this is what he said:

"we still have incident reports and they shouldve filled one out on the spot. have her call 1-800-23latte and they will direct to the correct dept"

Give them a call and complain. There is no way that this barista should keep her job.

Anonymous said...

That's just ridiculous! How can they have not reacted better to that horrible accident?

I hope things get easier soon. You're at a tough life-stage as it is, you don't need all these accidents happening on top of that!

Anonymous said...

You and your family are in my prayers. Happy times will come again! And you showed amazing restraint for not pounding that barista. Please take the other commenter's advice and call that number. There was NO excuse for her behavior and she should be fired.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely make that call, mamma. Starbucks owes you big time and they owe that shop manager and barista a firing.


Knit and Purl Mama said...

Oh wow! I can't believe your string of bad luck, but I can't believe that Barista either! She needs to learn manners! Oh wow.. that's crazy.

Hope things get better for you guys.

Downsized Attorney said...

I worked at Starbucks at one point in my life and that behavior would not have been tolerated. I can't believe they didn't fill out an incident report. I'm not saying you should sue them, but you deserve better treatment from a huge company like that. I hope Gabe is alright, that truly is the most important part.

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