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How not to act when in a Starbucks May 4, 2009

Posted by Michelle, with dignity in Uncategorized.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been working hard on NOT getting annoyed at customers. 

Quite a feat, I know.  People suck, and they get on my nerves.  


Lets walk through a standard customer’s actions when in my store.  A customer might walk in, glance around at our retail offerings, notice the “please enter here” sign to guide the line around our store, and walk in front of our pastry case to the registers.  One might order a drink or two quickly and concisely, say please and/or thank you, and at least treat me like a fellow human being.  Then one might walk toward the hand-off plane, but one might not stand right up on the plane staring at the barista making the drink.  One might stand back a little, then politely listen for when one’s drink its called.  

But this is not what happens.  What happens is this:

Customer walks in.  Customer shuffles stuff on my retail shelves and puts things back backwards.  Customer ignores the “please enter here sign” and just stands in the middle of the store thinking they’re in line, but they’re not.  (Then of course, customer gets bent out of shape when someone actually enters the line appropriately and a barista assumes that person is the person in line and ready to order)  So now the customer walks to the “enter” sign and in front of my pastry case. While looking at the pastry case, they take a phone call.  When it’s customer’s turn to order, customer just ignores my “hi, how are you today?” and whispers (worse yet, only mouths) the order.  Then customer decides on a pastry, and just points at it, leaving gross finger prints all over the glass.  After some hooplah about not being able to find their pennies, or debit card, they proceed to stand right at the hand off plane and then of course grab the wrong drink because of their stupid stupid cell phone.  


Ok, so that’s pretty typical.  Let’s review how not to act when in a Starbucks. 

1.  Read the signs.  The signs are there for a reason

2.  Read the menu.  The menu is there for a reason.  If you’re standing in line, why not think about what drink you would like BEFORE you get to the register.  

3.  When at the register, please put your phone down.  I like being treated like a human, too.  

4.  Don’t touch the glass.  Anywhere.  It’s gross.  

5.  Baristas don’t mind translating “small/medium/large” into the correct terms, but please don’t act like we’re stupid for using them.  If you’ve ever ordered a big mac, it’s the same principle.  

6. Don’t stand and stare at the barista making your drink.  It’s not a damn zoo!  

7.  If you’re not sure what drink is yours, ask politely, but don’t say “is this mine?” because the barista making the drink won’t know.  

8. Don’t take a drink if you’re not sure.  That really screws us up!

9.  If the drink isn’t right, that’s ok.  We’re happy to remake them.  But don’t say things like “this tastes like crap” or “it’s not hard to get right”.  That makes us want to do something bad to your drink.  Like give you decaf.  

10.  Remember that baristas are people too, and that your fellow customers didn’t come to listen to you whine about expensive coffee prices (have you checked out the prices at Mickey D’s lately?  You’re complaining about 15 cents, really?)  or your life story about how you lost your debit card and have to use your visa, and don’t normally like to charge something stupid like coffee.



1. E.P. - May 5, 2009

It always amazes me how people can act so uncivilized. I’ve never worked in the food industry, but I can only imagine it isn’t fun there sometimes because people are jackasses.

You should print out this list and post it on the counter. I bet those customers would like it…

2. brianarmh - May 5, 2009

I think there should be a class you have to take before you can order food or drinks in food establishments. I think this class should be called “serving the bitchiest customers for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year”
After attending this class, graduates are then eligible to order food or drinks in any establishment they please.

3. Alex - May 10, 2009

oh no! i watch the barista sometimes cos i like to see them make my drink! eek. but how will i know they actually didn’t put water in my chai or used soy milk if it’s not my “regular” starbucks? 🙂 you are right though about the rest.

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