I was looking for something in my old blog and re-reading some of the entries made me laugh, so I’ve decided to repost some of the better ones here.
This post was originally written May 19, 2009 while I was working at Starbucks. Oh boy.
So let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic: work.
I’ve come to realize there are two types of customers that come into Starbucks. Those who know exactly what they want and those who have no idea what the hell they are paying for.
Let’s look at the former first. Now most of the people who come into my store are nice people. With all of the hospitals and businesses around, we have tons of regulars that are in 5 days a week getting the same exact thing. Occasionally there is a barista that is not as skilled as myself (ha! just kidding, I’m a space case and make my fair share of mistakes) – but yea, these other baristas don’t listen as well and occasionally someone will get the wrong drink or have something missing or whatever.
Most of the people with super specific drinks are very pleasant about it. “Oh sorry? This was supposed to be…” etc. But then there are people with this super inflated sense of self and are downright nasty about it. On one hand, I guess I can understand that if you’re paying 3-5$ for a drink, you want it to be right. But the part of me that was raised to be considerate of other human beings thinks that if you want your drink that damn specific? Make it yourself.
My *favorite* customer is the soy chai lady. She comes in 3-4 times a week and I learned very very quickly how unpleasant she can be if her drink is made wrong. Now I don’t mind special orders. The way that we make things and the way we write cups is set up in a way that it really doesn’t take any more effort to make a drink the standard way or a special way. Except this lady’s drink.
She gets a grande 5 pump, soy, no water, no foam, 180F chai latte. (Normal chai lattes are 4 pump – part water – small amount of foam – 160F) Not really that big of a deal. Except if one of the guys makes it? It’s perfection. I’ve watched some of my slacker male coworkers free pour her soy into the cup (soy foams like a beast – and the longer you steam – the more foam) and she declares it the greatest drink ever. Meanwhile, I’ll spend 2 minutes scraping foam off and re-pouring only to have her hand it back because “It’s light. I can feel the foam.” Only to open it up and see a half a millimeter of foam around the edge.
So while I would love to make her drink horribly wrong every time, I’m the only one who will suffer as I’ll have to remake it. So the soy queen gets her way each and every time and gets to be an insufferable whore in the process.
(Note from 2012 Katrina: Soy chai latte lady eventually would special request me to make her drink. Ugh.)
Now our other subset is the group of people who REALLY have no idea what they are ordering/paying for.
People pick up the wrong drinks all the time. Even though we call the drinks and they are marked on the side, I guess I can understand some of the confusion. Like if the cups are the same size. And if your brain is the size of a peanut.
Yesterday though I was working and my favorite supervisor was on bar. I was running around doing whatever and she stops me to ask if I would take this drink over to the lady sitting on the stage because she took the wrong one.
The drink? A tall caramel frappuccino.
I walk up and say “Did someone order a caramel frappuccino?”
“I did?” says some lady as she takes a sip of a venti skinny vanilla latte.
“Well here it is,” I say, as I hand it to her.
“Oh, I don’t even know what this is.”
“That’s a latte…”
Now, okay, maybe you don’t know the difference. Maybe you didn’t realize the drink you ordered was cold and you were drinking a hot beverage. But shouldn’t you have noticed firstly that the cup you grabbed was pretty damn big for a SMALL? And secondly that you ordered a CARAMEL drink and a skinny vanilla is most certainly not even close in flavor?
You people kill me.
Also as a public service announcement if you’ve gotten this far. If you order a drink that comes both hot and iced, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU SAY ICED. Iced drinks are easy, I will secretly love you for ordering an iced espresso drink and make it happily. But when I go through all of the trouble of steaming milk for you only to hand it off and your face to fall.
“This was supposed to be iced?”
“Um where was it supposed to be iced? In the alternate universe where I can READ YOUR MIND?!”
So “iced.” One extra syllable that will save me from sticking my face in the coffee grinder.
xoxo, your friendly neighborhood barista.
God I hated that job.