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:
- 7.People are nicest on MondayThis 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.
- 6.People are meanest on SundayPeople 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.
- 5.People are dumbest on SaturdayI 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.People are weirdly suspicious of free thingsSometimes 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?
- 3.Baristas don't care if you're only there to use the bathroomOkay, 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!
- 2.Baristas worry when regulars stop coming inMy 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.
- 1.Most people are actually greatThe 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.