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10 Stupid Things Starbucks Customers Do

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in his book “Onward” outlines many of the different routes and obstacles Starbucks has faced in the last 10 years to become the world’s most desired brand to get coffee from. What Howard Schultz does not talk about, however, is the coffee addiciton of Starbucks customers who walk in daily and do or say stupid things in almost every Starbucks location around the world. I visit Starbucks regularly [never to get coffee, by the way], and I notice so many stupid customers doing stupid things that it is amazing how people can feel so important and proud ordering the premium Starbucks coffee in front of everyone while also acting stupid on a human level.

Because of the premium lifestyle image that Starbucks creates for its coffee drinkers, more and more customers start to feel as if they are buying a Land Rover and need full time customer support and nurturing in common sense and courtesy. I do not like businesses that treat customers badly, and I also do not like customers who treat businesses and their employees badly for no good reason, even when seen from the shoes of the business or the customer. Maybe one day soon I’ll write about the 10 stupid things Starbucks Baristas do. Today I’ll focus on the stupid customers I’ve seen or noticed myself in the last year.

Here are 10 top stupid things I have seen Starbucks customers do or say on a regular basis. Amazing how coffee can make you feel proud but not make you smarter or more considerate.

10 Stupid Things Starbucks Customers Do


1. People who say “That’s a tall? I wanted the biggest one!” or “I don’t speak Starbucks” or yell “I don’t know what size!“

Look at the menu, idiot. You can order complicated drinks in Starbucks lingo to show off to everyone but you don’t know what cup size you want the drink in?

2. Customers who stand in long lines only to get to the register and then decide what they want, making everyone else behind them wait even longer.

Many times when I’m at restaurants or in lines at fast food places, I can’t decide what I want and I wait to get the waiter over or get to the cashier so I can simply blurt out the first thing that I can think of within 5 seconds or so. I then stick with that order. But people in Starbucks lines get to the cashier and then start looking at the menu to decide what they want, as if the menu was hidden from them on purpose before they got to the cashier.

3. Demanding a free drink because Starbucks ran out of coffee, because the drink wasn’t cold enough, or because your drink wasn’t made within 30 seconds of your order.

Amazing how people feel rich and try to portray a luxurious lifestyle in front of others while also trying to score a free coffee fix.

4 Ordering customized drinks or foods that are exactly the same or worse than their non-customized counterparts.

Starbucks Via Ready

Starbucks Via Ready – let’s see if you can make this at home with 200 degree heat!

Many people simple want to feel and appear smarter publicly, and after a while such people start believing their own lie that their custom order is what is really better for them. “Grande extra hot, soy, caramel macchiato, no foam, stirred, with whip, extra caramel, at 200 degrees.” What the hell does that even mean? My mouth just drops open or my eyes go wide in shock when people request that. Am I too weak to taste anything that’s hotter than a bit hot? Yeah, as if 195 degree or even 100 degrees won’t be hot enough for your tongue or as if you’ll know the difference in temperature because you’re a Camel.

Or “asiago cheese bagel [what the hell is that? :O], the middle one right there, toasted, triple toasted, and 2 cream cheese on the side.” Triple toasted apparently makes it kosher, as double toasted or toasted even one would still get you raw bagel, wouldn’t it? Or “extra whipped cream” on “non-fat” drinks. That’s the same as ordering a full menu burger at Carl’s Jr. with a diet soda and hoping the soda will help make others not call you fat.

5. People grabbing any drinks that the baristas call out, without checking their own names on the drinks.

And then drinking those drinks and only then coming back and complaining that they do not have the right drinks. Check your name on the cup or ask any barista before you pick up a cup.

6. People who empty the condiment bar without being considerate.

People love emptying milk at the condiment bar without notifying anyone or by using too much milk, and then complaining themselves also sometimes about not having enough milk. And when I walk up they simply walk off, knowing fully well that I’ll look at them and ask “You drank the whole thing like it was Nesquik Chocolate Milk?

7. Saying “I have a Starbucks card!” or “Ring that order separately!” after the barista has taken all of your order and rang you up.

This one happens a lot, and every time this happens, the line behind gets longer.

Drink Coffee - Do Stupid Things Faster with More Energy

Drink Coffee – Do Stupid Things Faster with More Energy

8. People who tell cashiers “Others [other baristas] know my drink.“

Who cares? That so and so barista is not taking your order. Tell this current Starbucks employee about your drink if you want to order anything. Or get out of the line and wait for your barista to come and make you the drink so you don’t have to repeat your order since you apparently have no idea what the heck you drink.

9. People who cut the line and interrupt customers giving their orders to baristas, only to ask for a cup of water.

I have had people interrupt my pastry or chocolate brownies orders just to get water or extra napkins. Wait till the barista in question is not taking any order!

10. People who order their drinks and immediately act impatient, demanding their drinks right away.

So many people order their drinks and immediately start saying “I’m late for work” or “I’ve to be somewhere.” This is a Starbucks, not a vending machine. Your drink will take as long as it takes to make your drink. If you’re in a hurry, you shouldn’t be stopping for your Starbucks cocaine addiction fix you junkie.


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How Not to Be a Dick to Your Starbucks Barista

Mocha Happens.
Mocha Happens.

There are a number of great customers who step up to a Starbucks counter and treat the person handling their beverage like a human being. I can’t say that it’s a very big number, but they are definitely out there.

What truly boggles the mind is why anyone would treat someone who has access to a decaf button as subhuman.

Below, 12 ways to keep your Starbucks barista from hating you.

1. Step one, hang up the phone.

It is unfathomable how many interactions go on between customers and baristas that don’t actually include any interacting. Being shushed or given the “one-minute” finger just makes a barista want to respond with a finger of their own.

Apologizing to the person on the other end of the phone when you made the life choice to start a phone call while trying to order a coffee makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. If you ignore the existence of the person standing in front of you or make incomprehensible motions with your hands about your ordering needs, know that your drink is probably decaf.

2. Being uncaffeinated does not mean you can be rude.

I get it, mornings are hard, but you know what is even more difficult? The rough task of waking up every day at 3 am, only to face steaming cups of patronization. Just because you haven’t had your coffee yet, doesn’t mean you get to be disrespectful. If you can’t harness a pleasant demeanor early in the morning, it might be time to get a Keurig for home.

3. Don’t hold me accountable for all Starbucks employees.

I know it’s hard to discern the difference between whoever made your drink yesterday and the current person in green that stands before you today in a different Starbucks location. But 90 percent of the time, when you say “You made my drink wrong yesterday,” you’re talking about someone else. My name is not synonymous with Starbucks.

Have a sense of humor. We do.
Have a sense of humor. We do.

4.  While greetings aren’t mandatory, they are strongly encouraged.

When I say “Hi, how are you?”, it’s rude to respond “Grande latte.” Especially in the drive-thru, baristas are usually greeted with some form of grunt or bark. Starting your order with “Give me” isn’t doing you any favors either. Baristas deserve basic manners.

5. Shouting orders from the passenger’s side or through the back window of someone’s car is obnoxious.

Pro tip: if your drink is too difficult for someone else to order, it might be time to tone it down. Otherwise, find a driver with a stronger short-term memory.

6. Don’t talk to us super-slowly like we’re stupid. 

If your drink has more steps than an Ikea assembly, and we ask you to repeat any part of it, DO NOT repeat the entire thing in extreme, patronizing slowness as though English is our second language. Further, once we’ve got it, don’t be that guy who demands that we repeat it back to assure that we “don’t mess it up.”

7. Know that we are humans who occasionally make mistakes.

Part of the Starbucks culture is individualizing drinks to match each and every one of our customers sparkling personalities. That being said, if you request 22 sugars, and we only put in 21, go ahead and put that last one in yourself. We’re only human.

8. Don’t pull money out of your bra, or up from under wherever it is that you were keeping it safe, warm and mildly damp.

Just don’t.

Close enough.
Close enough.

9. We take your name for a reason.

So what’s the deal with that whole writing your name on the cup thing? Well, it is our CEO Howard’s idea of solidifying our connection to our customers while making the drink process run smoothly. Little known fact: Most “incorrect orders” happen when people simply grab the wrong drink. Even if I do use a customer’s name, chances are they’ll still ask me what the drink on the counter is immediately after I not only just announced it and called them by name. While making eye contact.

Also, we don’t always spell it right. We don’t know you after all, and we just heard your name for the first time, possibly while surrounded by coffeeshop clatter. It’s not personal.

10. You don’t need to know the fancy words, but it’d be great if you could at least get a handle on the basics.

“Large caramel” is not a thing.

11. Don’t play favorites.

“Are you new? Is so and so here?” Nope and nope. Choosing favorites hasn’t been a thing since grade school. I’ve been here for months and I will be the one making your drink today. And because we all use the same recipes, it’ll taste the same no matter who makes it.

12. Don’t micromanage the drink-making process.

I probably went ahead and made the drink correctly. Dangling over the counter supervising your drink is unnecessary. Yelling that I’m making it wrong when I’m actually making someone else’s drink is damn near unacceptable.

I am the first to admit that I am human and make mistakes. While the job isn’t rocket science, it comes with its own set of challenges. We are working at what can often times feel like a thankless job, dealing with the sometimes patronizing masses while trying to keep a smile on our faces and pay the rent. And even with all the hurdles, some of us still manage to enjoy what we do.

I’m also aware that some baristas are incompetent or even rude — I’ve worked alongside them. I know that can be frustrating from a customer’s perspective, but please don’t assume we’re all that way. For the most part, we’re just doing our best.

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29 Ways to Get Starbucks Baristas to Hate You

Are you a fan of Starbucks? Of course you are, but that doesn’t mean the baristas are fans of YOU. Here are some tips for not being a total d-bag at everyone’s favorite coffee chain, courtesy of Twitter.

2. Go through the drive-thru in a horse mask.

Go through the drive-thru in a horse mask.

3. Demand more caramel.

Demand more caramel.

4. Be SUPER into caramel.

Be SUPER into caramel.

5. Demand your honey be mixed into your tea.

Demand your honey be mixed into your tea.

6. Give yourself T. rex arms.

Give yourself T. rex arms.

7. Have a sesquipedalian order.

Have a sesquipedalian order.

8. Ask for this.

Ask for this.



10. Be a perv.

Be a perv.

11. Mess up the lingo.

Mess up the lingo.

12. Think you’re a stand-up comedian.

Think you're a stand-up comedian.

13. Pay with a crap ton of pennies.

Pay with a crap ton of pennies.

14. Be a “bitchy white girl.”

Be a "bitchy white girl."

15. Drop the “DD” bomb.

Drop the "DD" bomb.

16. Bring your whole PC setup.

Bring your whole PC setup.

17. Request a “hot” Frappuccino.

Request a "hot" Frappuccino.

18. Ask for this:

Ask for this:

19. Try to get free drinks because you’re a girl.

Try to get free drinks because you're a girl.

20. Be coy with your coupon.

Be coy with your coupon.

21. Order a pumpkin spice latte.

Order a pumpkin spice latte.

22. Be dramatic about aspartame.

Be dramatic about aspartame.

23. Order a Snickers bar.

Order a Snickers bar.

24. Give the drive-thru person your garbage.

Give the drive-thru person your garbage.

25. Put your garbage ANYWHERE BUT THE TRASH CAN.


26. Be on your iPad.

Be on your iPad.

27. Be demanding and vague.

Be demanding and vague.

28. Order a Frappuccino.

Order a Frappuccino.

29. Be a general pain in the butt.

Be a general pain in the butt.

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