| Lists |

Why Your Starbucks Barista Hates You

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

Like cocktail waitresses, pizza delivery guys, and book buyers, God knows Starbucks baristas must also put up with deranged baboons every day.

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.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.