Check out my Starbucks store. Looking extra post-apocalyptic Walking Dead-y, no? Of course I love things that look a bit dilapidated or abandoned, but after writing the post, it also feels a bit metaphoric, ha.
I started working at Starbucks four years ago. During training, the materials hammered into my baby barista head that beyond coffee, and beyond pastries, our primary goal was customer connection, and preserving the “customer experience.”
So I suppose it made total sense to start opening drive thru stores where “window time” became the primary focus as opposed to connecting with your customer.
Just kidding. I mean, not really. But that’s another topic for another day. The drive thru ship has long since sailed, and we are too deep in this American trend of convenience and laziness to stop that vehicle now.
The customer experience. The human spirit. Legendary customer service. “One cup, one neighborhood at a time.”
So, imagine my surprise, when, in the midst of my store renovation I fill in at another store across town, and the employee working the window would take the call nice and friendly, only to turn off his headset and bad mouth the customer.
Have I gotten annoyed with customers? Especially when they have particularly crazy orders and I’m not having the best day? Sure. But at the end of the day, this is exactly what I’m paid to do, so if I can’t handle it, maybe I should find another job.
Which is exactly what was going through my head as I saw this person wish a car accident on a pregnant woman, mention how he wanted to climb through the window and smack a regular I recognized from my own store, and then proceed to get irrationally irritated when a customer, whose first language was very obviously not English, ordered wrong at the speaker and needed his drink remade.
Since I don’t even know where to start, and I don’t know why the manager of this store lets this happen, nor why this store is even still open– given its performance and inability to abide by the standards Starbucks lays out for its stores- the best I can offer is an apology.
On behalf of the people who fail to fit the profile of what a Starbucks barista is supposed to be. Or at the very least fake it for the few hours they are paid according to said profile. I’m sorry if you have had a negative experience, and all you got out of it was a free drink coupon and some half-assed apology from a barista who wasn’t. I’m sorry for the error in hiring some of those people, and the inability to separate personal emotions from the job for others.
I hope your experiences at Starbucks are generally good. In my experience, the misfit baristas are few and far between, luckily. And Starbucks truly does care a lot about its customers. As evidenced by the fact that there are 74 million new frappuccino favors per year… 😜 Kidding.
And, on the bright side, that whole experience at this other store definitely made me better appreciate my own coworkers, whom would be taken out back and beaten to death by our manager if any of them ever pulled that. But luckily none of them would… To that degree at least. Ha.