Why Your Starbucks Barista Hates You
Please, don't spoil her day.
When Starbucks comes to mind, the avalanche of associations is unavoidable. But whether you adore the behemoth company or foam at the mouth in a crazy fit of wrath whenever you hear its name, well, no one actually cares as much as you think. So put your hand down: it's not your turn to talk.
Egon, an old friend of mine, currently works as a Starbucks barista. Like anyone else, he occasionally regards his work as an irritating drudge, where lines of proper social behavior are violated day by day. With a penchant for The Beatles and western philosophy, Egon finds no pleasure in the often stupid, depressing, and/or boring drivel slopping out of people's mouths. He just wants to get through the day as smoothly as possible, and get some rest before the next. Sound familiar?
Continuing the tradition started by Sarah Ventre, Jonathan McNamara, and Ashley Naftule, here are some reasons on Why Your Starbucks Barista Hates You.
As 'Egon' is not his real name, please try not to point any fingers. Read his spiel after the jump.
Egon describes the contents of his short-but-sweet list as, "More or less those things that reflect the seemingly contrived culture that Starbucks uses to justify high prices." While that may be the more nuanced way of looking at his commentary, much of it is pretty straightforward.
1.) Needless use of the lingo.
I'm paid barely enough to refer to a "medium" as a "grande." You have no fucking excuses to call that medium coffee a "grande bold."
2.) Using the order as a way to showcase the useless knowledge of coffee you have received from some other dumbass barista.
I don't want to hear about the "hints of cinnamon" you can detect in the Ethiopan blend.
3.) Rigidly upholding inevitable service distinctions. (It's not like we can say "no" to your inane requests.)
For example: ordering a latte and asking that it be made at 170 degrees. Or, sending back a caramel macchiato because it mixed together. The latte WILL cool and the macchiato WILL mix together. Deal with it.
4.) Suggesting "unique" drink concoctions to me.
Yes, I know that a vanilla bean frap with a little bit of Strawberry cream and a half pump of mocha tastes like a Neopolitan. I fucking work here. Your discovery is by no means anything new. And even if these mixtures weren't obvious, I still wouldn't want to hear your train of thought.
5.) Sharing information about the progress of your so-called "big project."
Sure, I'll smile, nod, and offer compliments, but that doesn't mean I'm any less convinced of the inevitable failure of your novel than your estranged spouse "Emma" is. Dear customer, she is your wife, so she can afford to be discouragingly honest with you. I, on the other hand, must make money; if I need to brown-nose, so be it.
6.) Quizzing me or offering comments about corporate performance.
I don't give a fuck about the press interview given by the CEO, and I don't know or want to know about any regional expansion plans. I am the equivalent of a bag boy. Memorizing the drink formulas is enough of a waste of my processing power.
So, next time you go to Starbucks, think of Egon: Don't be a schmuck. Get your drink and go on your merry way.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.