I work at Starbucks. To have this job, all that is really required is that you are extremely social and friendly and talk a hell of a lot (also multitasking and being able to mix ingredients and brew coffee is a plus.) You better believe this means I’ve had some interesting customer experiences here. Thought I’d share a few.
1. The ones you want to tell “If I hear I look like her one more time, random customer number 4393242, I will tell you that you look like Jack the Ripper.” I finally gave in and watched this movie–Mostly because I hear about once a week, almost always from random strangers I’m serving coffee to, that I look just like Zooey Deschanel. I was first told this by a customer about a year ago, and I didn’t even know who the hell she was. I then realized,after hearing more and more how much I resembled this girl, that I saw her in some cheesy suspense movie. This didn’t make me happy as I found the movie pretty stupid and this woman especially ruined it for me. Her acting, to put it lightly, sucked ass. So even though she’s really a pretty girl and everyone (after watching me noticeably cringe) would assure me it was a compliment and not an insult, I did not want to be compared to her. I was actually beginning to give the evil eye. Finally,after being told by a homeless man last week that I looked like “That Zooey girl”, I decided I better give her one more chance. And I will say, she deserved it. She was cute and charming and delightful in this film and the storyline instantly made me fall in love. I stayed in love from start to finish. In a nutshell it tells you what I’ve seen come true in my own life: That you’ll get your happy ending, but maybe just not the happy ending you wanted at the time. So from now on, I’ll take the Zooey look-a-like thing as a compliment. As a side note: I still don’t really think that I look like her, but I kind of thought the boy in the movie looked like my husband. Hm.
2.The ones you adore. (And will be like when you’re 60 or so)
I have a lot of friends. I don’t have a lot of time or any organizational skills. Not a good mixture. Luckily, I have people in my life who love me anyway…but this isn’t to say I don’t get put in my place at least ten times a week. Friends are constantly yelling at me via text or in real life. Last week I got a message telling me that if I didn’t start responding they wouldn’t be my friend anymore. I don’t think it was meant truthfully, but more to get my attention. Hell, I’d do it if I was friends with me too. Yesterday I showed up for Margarita Wednesday with a few of my girls and one of the first things I heard was “I’m mad at you.” This didn’t surprise me, because somebody is usually mad at me for something understandable. I was curious why for this time though. “Why?” “Because I saw that you had a bbq and you didn’t invite me.” Well, shit. I apologized profusely and promised all three girls another bbq. Another retorted with a smile and “No. ..we don’t want your pity bbq!” Situations like this are quite common with me. I have good intentions and I think everyone realizes that, which is probably why they keep me around. I met my old lady equivalent today at work. She spent most of her time talking on the phone. Later, she told me as I chatted with her that she had just been with a group of friends for lunch. When she left, she told me she was going to meet up with another friend. I laughed knowingly. “You have a lot of friends.” She did a kind of sigh. “Too many.” Yep. I met my 60 year old self today.
3. The ones who truly appreciate you. There are those who go out of their way to start conversation, to smile and laugh with you, to let you know you’re doing a great job. There are some who even let you know they couldn’t manage working the job that you do. These are my favorites.
4. The annoying ones you’re forced to smile at but would much rather beat up.
Annoying Customer #1: “Um. Uh. Hello. I am indecisive when there is a huge line behind me. I will go back and forth for twenty minutes but continue to block the line as I ‘Umm..’ and ‘Uhhh….’ and ‘Oh, er, Mocha…no Caramel…Wait…Oh..JAVA CHIP…but without the Java..is that okay?’ at you for thirty minutes. I will then decide not to get anything at all.
Annoying Customer #2: “Hi. I give you attitude while asking really stupid questions and usually start my sentence off with ‘I’ve never been here before.’ I realize that if I don’t live in the middle of the ocean I should have been to Starbucks or at least know something about it, but I’ve been living under a rock IN the ocean for the past 17 years of my life. You probably wouldn’t even mind any of this if I weren’t blaming you for my lack of knowledge. But I am. Also, I pronounce cappuccino ‘cap-oh-chEE-no’ and grande ‘grAnd-AY.’ I may or may not know what coffee is and I will probably end up ordering a cup of half-and-half.
Annoying Customer #3: “Hello. I like to order practically impossible and very odd drinks such as a Seven-Shot-Extra-Foam-Strawberry-Hazelnut-No-Ice-Frapuccino-Latte-Smoothie. I probably don’t even know what the hell I’m ordering but I will still yell at you or walk off shaking my head if you say that there’s no way to make that or that it will taste bad. This is because I have a complex and a chip on my shoulder so ordering drinks that I know don’t exist gives me a great reason to take my frustrations in life out on you, you poor little innocent barista. Now then. Make me my Chai-Mocha-Berry-Misto.
And last but certainly not least….
Annoying Customer # 4: I think I’m better than you, so I find it silly to even start my order off with any sort of greeting. I don’t work here, but I make more money than you do so I obviously know how to do this job much more adequately than you do, silly peasant. I will watch you like a hawk as you make me my mocha with nonfat milk, but I will still ask you three times if you made it with nonfat milk. I do this just to reinforce the fact that my iq level is much higher than yours. But you can probably already tell that because of my suit and Armani tie, now can’t you? Nevermind the fact that I’m twenty years your senior and probably working for my daddy’s law firm (this explains my apparent insecurity, doesn’t it now?) , I still deserve a special medal for being so sophisticated and high class. You’re lucky I even buy coffee here and grace you with my presence, do you know that? Oh. You should also know I have a stick stuck way up my ass, so please don’t mind me as I walk off without so much as a smile on my face. This stick really hurts.
(Disclaimer: A small 5% of customers are like any of these 4 groups of people, and most are very pleasant to see everyday. I just feel attention should be given to the…Special ones.)