7 THINGS I OBSERVED AS A STARBUCKS BARISTA

I was a barista at Starbucks for two years after I graduated college. Here are a few things I noticed:
  1. 7.
    People are nicest on Monday
    This seems counterintuitive, but my theory is that people are recharged from the weekend & relaxed because they still have the whole week to get all their stuff done. I was always bummed if one of my days off was Monday.
  2. 6.
    People are meanest on Sunday
    People get steadily meaner & crankier throughout the week, culminating in maximum meanness on Sunday. My theory for this is that they use up all their politeness at church & don't have any leftover for lowly baristas.
  3. 5.
    People are dumbest on Saturday
    I still haven't come up with a theory for this one, but for whatever reason, on Saturday nobody can remember what they want or how to order it, & they ask a lot of dumb questions, like what the difference is between a caramel frappuccino & an extra coffee caramel frappuccino (I genuinely tried to come up with an answer that didn't make that person seem stupid; couldn't do it). They're especially terrible during soccer season.
  4. 4.
    People are weirdly suspicious of free things
    Sometimes people pay for the person behind them in the drive-thru. Sometimes we accidentally make the wrong drinks & offer them to people rather than just throw them out. Either way, most people are more suspicious of than happy about their good fortune. If I said, 'Actually it's free: the person ahead of you paid for you!' as someone started to hand me their card, the most common response was a suspicious, 'Why?' I dunno, man, I guess they were being nice? It's free, why are you fighting it?
  5. 3.
    Baristas don't care if you're only there to use the bathroom
    Okay, I can't speak for all baristas, but for myself, every time someone entered the cafe, I would silently beg them to just be there to use the bathroom. One less drink for me to make!
  6. 2.
    Baristas worry when regulars stop coming in
    My store may have been more unusual in this respect because it was the only Starbucks in a small town & had a staggeringly low turnover rate (I quit nearly four years ago & several people I worked with are still there). There were dozens of regulars we saw every day, & if they stopped coming in without first telling us they were going on vacation or cutting back on coffee, we'd worry & try to find out if they were okay... even the high-maintenance, nightmare ones.
  7. 1.
    Most people are actually great
    The nightmare of weekends notwithstanding, most people were, if not super friendly, polite, or at least not outright hostile. Even most of the high-maintenance regulars were nice, if demanding, & some would even bring us food or gifts. There were a few jerks, of course, but the good definitely outweighed the bad by a lot.