Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dear Sucky Starbucks Customers,

A note of warning, if you are not a sucky Starbucks customer then this letter probably won't apply and you need not read its message to stop sucking. That being said, you very well maybe a sucky customer of a different establishment and might want to take that into consideration before patting yourself on the back. If you are a delightful customer then this clearly doesn't apply to you, and kudos for being delightful, you are an unfortunate rare breed of consumer who should be encouraged. If only all customers were like you the world would be an easier place to live. If you aren't sure where you fall, the chances are you're probably only a little bit sucky, which can be easily rectified. With that warning in mind I shall begin.

Dear Sucky Starbucks Customers,

I'm sure you aren't bad people. You don't rape small animals, you don't torture children, you probably even pay your taxes on time, and those are all things you should be proud of. When it comes to your Coffee shop etiquette, however, you need a lot of work.

The first rule of all shopping: don't order if you don't have any enough money. I know, you are going to make a crack about Starbucks being over priced (and I'll get to that in a moment) but seriously, how hard is it to actually bring your wallet in with you? Not only are you wasting the time of the people behind you, you're wasting your time, and most importantly, my time. I can't give you the drink if you can't pay for it. Do you go to a clothing store with out enough funds and expect them to discount that shirt you really want because you're a dollar short? They'll tell you to put it back on the shelf, or hold it aside until you come back with enough money. Same works for coffee. No money, no coffee.

"I just forgot my wallet in the car. I'll run out and get it." Fine, great, may I recommend checking for your wallet before you walk into the store? You are penalizing the people behind you in, making them wait longer for their drinks, while you run to your car. Here's how it works. You stand in line, you order a drink, I call out the drink to the barista, the barista makes the drink while you pay. If you can't pay, the drink is still made because we assume you have the fucking money. Thus the people behind you, who could have ordered now must wait longer for their drinks because the drink you ordered but can't pay for is wasting their time. So what's a minute or so? Well, people I've found are generally cranky, people in dire need of affine are even crankier, and you're delaying their caffeine fix. I'm sure you can do the math on this one. Also, we aren't going to remake your drink because you're an idiot who can't keep track of your wallet. Your drink will be sitting out for you until you come and pay for it, meaning it will be cold (or warm if it is supposed to be cold) when you finally get it. And is that really what you want? No it is not.

Yes, Starbucks lingo is pretty stupid sounding. I know it's difficult to remember the name of the decaf, double tall, no foam, extra vanilla, breve caramel macchiatto that you love. But guess what, you don't have to remember all that. All you have to do is tell the person working the register what you want in your drink. If you want three shots extra of espresso, just say, "with three extra shots of espresso" and we'll do it for you. If you want half and half just say so. You don't have to speak in Starbucks-ese. Those of us who work behind the counter call it out in a certain Starbucks way because it actually makes the job easier. I say "double tall, breve, no foam latte" to the person making the drink because it's easier and quicker than saying, a tall latte with two shots of espresso and half and half with no foam. Just like diners have their own lingo, so do we. A Tall is a small, Grande is a medium, and Venti is a large. If you can't remember that (and no one is asking you to) just say small, medium, or large. We understand English. Most of us working don't really care what you say. For the love of god, people, jokes made about the names of the sizes or how we call out drinks stopped being funny in the early ninties. You aren't being clever, just annoying and derivative. Get over yourself. If you want to engage me in conversation that's cool. Management would like nothing less than a personal connection with each customer. But I can only hear the same comment so many times before I want to kill you. Talk about something more interesting, like the weather, or the Olympics, or even the Yankees (though I would prefer the Red Sox). You aren't funny, just fifteen years behind the times. Move on.

I'm only going to say this once, I have no control over the prices of any of the food or beverages we sell. Complaining to me will not get the prices to change. Telling me "well, this is why Starbucks is doing so poorly right now." Or "Coffee shouldn't be this expensive." Won't make me sympathetic to you. In fact every time I hear that (which is far too often) I have to resist the urge of spitting in your drink.

What you are paying for when you shop at Starbucks: A livelyhood for coffee farmers. It shouldn't be a shock to learn that just like every other independent farmer coffee growers are regularly screwed by everyone else. In fact the price of coffee beans is so undervalued that farmers barely survive on their coffee, if they can survive at all.

Starbucks is far from perfect in regards to the treatment of their growers, however, compared to almost every other multinational coffee company, They are practically saints. Because it's comparative that isn't really saying much, and more should be done, but that would make the price of coffee get even higher, and I know you'd hate that, no matter how many people it will help.

Another thing you're paying for when you shop at Starbucks: My health insurance. Unlike many other fast food companies (and that's really what Starbucks is turning into) they actually treat their employees well. As long as I continue to work at least 20 hours a week I get health insurance, vision, and dental. I also get stock options, and paid vacation hours. I am treated very well by my employers. In fact I think Starbucks should be the template for all other fast food places when it comes to treatment of employees. I lived for two whole years without insurance and believe me, it is not fun at all. If you think that complaining about the price (ie, the fact that Starbucks cares for its employees well being) is somehow going to endear me to you, well you're a fucking moron. If you are such a miserable bastard that thinks just because I work in food service means I should be treated like shit then fuck you. How about I go to your office and complain that you get paid too much to your face and that you don't deserve health benefits because it's mildly inconvenient to me? I'm sure that would make us the best of friends.

If you really think that Starbucks is over priced, I have a simple solution, don't go there. There are other places for coffee. Dunkin' Donuts, Tim Horton's, McDonalds, Burger King, Krispe Kreme, every side of the road and greasy spoon diner, and every 7-11 and every other convenience store known to man all sell coffee cheaper than Starbucks. If you really don't want to pay Starbucks prices you have plenty of options. So stop your damn complaining no one if forcing you to come here.

You are welcome to use our bathroom, even if you don't purchase anything. I'm a human being, I too use the bathroom. It's OK. What isn't OK: peeing or shitting all over the floor. The toilet exists for a reason, use it. After you wash your hands put the used paper towels in the garbage. This really isn't brain surgery. It's right next to the sink. Use it! Speaking of the garbage, if you are going to shoot up in there - fine I could care less - just don't throw the needles away in our garbage. That's an accident waiting to happen. I don't want to get what ever disease you might have getting stabbed through a garbage bag by your syringe because you are an inconsiderate junkie. This goes to the diabetics as well. Please discard your syringe safely. Lastly, and I can't stress this point enough, FLUSH THE FUCKING TOILET WHEN YOU ARE DONE. I don't think I need to explain this last one.

There is more, but those are the key points and this letter is long enough already. Please try and stop being so sucky.

Thank you.


P.S. to you fellow employees of Starbucks, if a customer asks for a small, don't correct them. If they really have that hard of a time remembering what size is called what, even though based on price on the menu alone and the cups on display it should be obvious, then it's just not worth your time. Don't be a dick about it, OK? Thanks.


rawbean said...

I like the "Love Amichai".

I read this at work earlier while drinking a starbucks coffee. It seemed appropriate. I need to ween off these damn lattes though.

AND I thought there really is a a small that's smaller than a tall....oh wait, it's called "Short"...yea what about that?

rachel. 零 said...

i heart you. i'm going to go quote this in my livejournal now but i doubt anyone will read it because whenever i write an entry longer than a sentence no one comments. :D