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Everything I needed to know about life I learned from working at Starbucks, part VIII, or IX, whatev. November 4, 2008

Posted by Michelle, with dignity in starbucks.
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So, I know that the people out there are just going to become more and more rude as it gets colder, darker and closer to the holidays, so I need to get it over it.  But that’s no excuse for being a bad excuse for a human being.  

This afternoon a lady came in, one I remembered coming in before.  Once she started telling me her order, I remembered her drink.  She wants a complicated something or other with only .5 pump of syrup.  Well, the rule is, if we put it in your drink, we’re supposed to charge you for it.  Even if it’s .5 of a pump.  So, I charged her for the extra shot, and the syrup, and politely tell her the total.  She askes “Did you charge me for the syrup?”  

I said, “Yes, ma’am.”  Like the good little southern girl I am.  

She said “Then, you don’t get a tip.” 

There are several things wrong with this.  

  1. I don’t care if you tip me or not.  It’s nice when we get tipped, but it’s certainly not a requirement like when you go out to eat in a restaurant or whatever.  
  2. Threats don’t really work on me.  I’m not going to be so broken hearted that you didn’t leave me a tip that I’m going to back and change the total because you threatened with me 30 cents! 
  3. How rude do you have to be?  To have the audacity to threaten to withhold something, like you’re my superior?!?!  What the hell is wrong with this woman?  At first I was a little flabbergasted, but the more I thought about her implication, the more I was insulted by her.  Who the hell does she think she is?  So far superior that she has the authority to withhold something from me, like a caregiver, parent or teacher?  “Well, you didn’t do what I wanted, so no recess today for you!”  Like she’s the tip nazi or something!  “No tip for you!”  

I’m over rude people.  I realize that most of my “Everything I needed to know about life” posts come back down to kindness and rudeness, but really, you just learn either to be a really bitter person and HATE people (I’m tempted, let me tell you).  Or, in retail, you learn to be a better person – you learn how NOT to be.  You learn that a simple smile can make a huge difference….


and that rudeness really does ruin the days of people around you.  So she can just have decaf now.  Ugh.


On a happier note, I had a decent little talk with a coworker tonight, and he had some really great insights to how I’ve been feeling lately.  Sometimes shit happens, and  I totally get that, but you gotta persevere even when you feel things are stacked against you at impossible odds.  It’s good to know that I’ve found really great people that I work with – people that I really could hang out with outside of work and have great conversations that aren’t work related.  Sometimes we have some really shitty stuff going on in our lives outside of work, but you have to learn to leave it outside of work and come to work every day without that baggage.  Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes you just want to be rude and not do any actual work, and sometimes it’s hard to even say “hello” to the 129838789634 person in line.  But, we put our Starbucks face on and deal with it because we’re getting paid.  


“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle”, a great quote by Plato, means more to me all the time.  You never know what’s happening in your friends lives.



1. Lauren - November 11, 2008

“Then you don’t get a tip” – gotta love Sbux customers sometimes. How does someone even think that is ok to say to someone else? Crazy!

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