Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm not cut out for a great many things.

I was in Starbucks this afternoon picking up some drinks for me and the other women in my office. The barista was kind of taking his sweet time making them and the people around me were getting impatient. When I got my order, there was an extra frappuccino and I politely informed him that it wasn’t mine. The teeny tiny lady next to me was practically jumping up and down yelling “It’s mine it’s mine it’s mine it’s mine!” I gladly gave her her drink before she had an aneurysm and went on my way.

It all reminded me of when I worked at Starbucks. Yes friends, I worked at Starbucks for a total of 4 months. I started in June of 2003, got to be employee of the month for September then I quit while I was ahead. But this experience brought me right back to my very worst day on the job.

This was probably the most annoyed I had been at a job up until then (but not after. Oh no, I’ve been pretty mad at plenty of jobs since). It was probably my first or second week on the job and if you’ve ever worked at Starbucks, you’d know that in those first two weeks you’re walking around like a deer in the headlights. Coffee is life or death and if you’re TOO SLOW or you GET THE ORDER WRONG you are in BIG trouble.

Side note: what is up with that? This coffee thing has gotten out of control. I mean, I had people bring in laminated pieces of cups. The part of the cup with all the boxes on it. And the boxes were filled out. The man didn’t say a word, just pushed the laminated paper across the counter and gave me a “knowing” look. Like he couldn’t say, “Tall decaf latte. No foam” No. He had to cut out that part of a cup, fill it out and laminate it. LAMINATE IT. But I digress. Ahem.

SO! It was a Saturday morning and those are like death at Starbucks. The line was at least 10 people deep, we were filling out orders like crazy. This woman steps up to the counter and I can already see she’s going to be a problem. She’s got the huffy-face on.
“I’d like 4 iced mochas”, she whined.

This was a trap. If we got an order like this, it usually meant they wanted a frappuccino. So I confirmed with her.

“4 iced mochas. Now, an iced mocha is coffee, milk and chocolate over ice. It’s not blended. Is that what you want?” I asked nicely just in case she was a secret shopper they like to threaten us with.

“I know what an iced mocha is,” she growled with clenched teeth, “so make that for me”.

I couldn’t let this go. I KNEW that’s not what she wanted.

“Ok, just so I have this right. You want 4 mochas with whole pieces of ice?”

“YES!” she snarled.

Ooooookay. I can take a hint. So, in the middle of our busiest time, I pulled 8 shots, filled four cups with ice and chocolate and poured in the milk and shots. I put them up on the counter and yelled out “4 ICED MOCHAS!”

She headed up to the counter, looked at the drinks with disgust and said “This is not what I ordered.”

OH HELL NO. This wasn’t happened. I started to sweat because my manager is right there and she’s giving me this look like “You moron. Been here for one week and don't know the difference.”

“Yes ma’am, this is what you told me. 4 mochas over iced. Not blended.”


Did I not ask her, TWICE, if that’s what she wanted? Oh I did. When we messed up at Starbucks, we usually offered the mistakes to other guests or told the original person to just take them on the house while we made them the right order. Nope. Not this time. I threw all four of those drinks in the trash right in front of that woman. (Surprised I didn’t get fired but again it was Saturday morning. What could they have done?) Then turned around and cussed her out while the blenders were running.

To make the four frappuccinos she wanted in the first place.

It was then I knew I wasn't cut out to be a barista.


  1. This is FAR too hilarious!
    I love you!

  2. I've never worked at Starbucks, but my experiences in food service and retail have led me to encounter quite a few people like this. Where do they come from, and why do they have to exist? Ugh.

  3. first: but it's laminated

    second: people get so crazy about their special coffee drinks. c'mon, just get a cup o' joe and calm the eff down already.

  4. That's odd. I worked in starbucks starting in June 2000 too. No joke. The summer after sophomore year of college. And I swear, we served the same lady.

  5. oops LA Love,that should say 2003. But that's awesome, mine was the summer after my junior year when I refused to move home for the summer.