Advice from a Starbucks barista

In my opinion, it should be a mandatory law for everybody to work at least one day to work in customer service. I’m talking retail and food service, the whole nine yards. I’ve worked both retail and food service, both heavily involved in customer service, and it’s opened my eyes to just how awful people are to customer service employees.
It took me about four retail jobs to realize that I hated retail. Not only did people throw clothes around, leave them askew on hangers and come into my store five minutes before closing only to peruse the store for ten minutes and not buy anything, but they were just downright rude. I know people have to assume that yes, I do indeed have to pick up those clothes just left on the floor. How hard is it to put them back on a hanger? Not too hard, but they’re the customer, and they get what they want.
Instead of doing the smart thing and just leaving the retail industry all together, I kept getting jobs in retail. First it was Love Culture, then Pink, then Aerie, and then Fred Meyer. Each place had its perks and the discounts didn’t hurt either, but having people depend on you to clean up after them every step of their shopping trip was just too much.
Now, at 20 years old and about three years out from having my first retail job, I work at Starbucks. Hands down, it is the best job that I’ve ever had. I get benefits, weekly tips, free product every week, free drinks during my shifts and a thirty percent discount. On top of all of that, the job is fast-paced and incredibly fun, which makes even the longest of shifts feel like they fly by. Whether I’m on register, in the drive-thru or on bar making customer’s drinks, I always have a blast. What I don’t have a blast with though, are the pretentious and downright vile customers.
Let’s start with the pretentious customers. Not only do they have a grocery list of an order, but they will hover over you and make sure you make it right. “Oh, can you add a little bit more caramel? And less foam. Definitely less foam.” In the end, I always make it perfectly.
The customers with no consideration for others are the ones that really get to me. I’ve had people honk at the person in front of them in the drive-thru while waiting for their food or drinks when clearly that person can’t do much about it. If you think honking is going to make us hurry up, think again, buddy.
I’ve also had people actually cuss me out because I didn’t have a blueberry scone available. Or a chocolate croissant. That’s always fun.
So, my plea and advice to anybody who has ever had the audacity to yell at a server, barista or retail employee is this: don’t be that guy. Don’t be that guy who lets a cup of coffee or a pastry ruin the day. Don’t be that guy who makes a barista feel like crap for something they had no control over. It’s simple, people. It really isn’t that hard to be a considerate human being.