Starbucks baristas have it rough enough with the complicated, trendy drink orders to then have to deal with these horrific customers straight from
“This lady in her 30s wet her pants in front of the register. She then requested a towel to clean herself off with. I reluctantly, but politely gave her the only towel we have, a cleaning towel. She was mad about the kind of towel she got”
911 At Starbucks!
“This jacka– burst into our store during our afternoon downtime while we were cleaning, powerwalked to the counter, slammed his lidless drink on the counter (spilling it everywhere in the process) and yelled, ‘I SAID NO F—ING FOAM!!! HOW MANY F—ING TIMES DO I HAVE TO ASK FOR NO F—ING FOAM!!!!’ I said, ‘Sir I am really sorry, I’ll get you a new one.’
He violently refused my offer by saying, ‘F— YOU, I’M NEVER COMING BACK TO THIS S— A– COFFEE SHOP,’ kicked the trash can on the ground on his way out, kicked open the door (shattering the glass) and then got the f— out. We called the police but he was long gone”
I Don’t Work THERE!
“‘WHAT THE F— KIND OF A S—TY F—ING STARBUCKS IS THIS YOU STUPID C— W—-!’ This was followed by having bags of nuts on the counter thrown at me.
I do not work at Starbucks. I work in a coffee kiosk in a hospital right next to the physician and nurse’s lounges in the building furthest from the cafeterias. My sign has a hospital logo with a coffee cup next to it. I can’t make your cotton candy rainbow fart latte smoothie frap. I have a cart wedged in a back corner of the hospital.
So that’s the worst Starbucks customer I’ve ever dealt with….”
Shaken, Not Stirred
“I haven’t worked at Starbucks for a while but my worst customer was this rude guy who came in sometimes. One time I was working bar and about to start making his iced tea, as soon as I grab his cup to read the order he leans far over the counter and loudly whispers, ‘You are going to F—ING shake that.’
I stammered. Had no idea how to respond at first then I said, ‘Well of course!’ I looked around for the shaker and didn’t see it instantly. I later found it right by me but I was just so startled I didn’t notice it. Not thinking straight I stammered, ‘Well, I think it’s being washed in the dishwasher.’
He got furious but, not wanting to cause a scene said: ‘F—ing get it.’ Again, I was just completely caught out of the blue I said the first thing I could think of, ‘It locks for its 5-minute cycle.’
He was on the verge of throwing something at me at that point when I snapped to. ‘I can just shake it between these two cups though!’ I said.
He instantly relaxed and smiled and said, ‘Oh thank you so much! You know it tastes better when it’s shaken and sometimes they don’t shake it.’
I should have called him out but instead, I said in my cheery friendly customer voice, ‘Oh it sure does, sir. I wouldn’t have it any other way.’
Looking back on it, ‘You’re going to f—ing shake that’ sounds like a really cheesy yet extremely aggressive pop song line. If I hadn’t been the one he was putting on the spot and cursing at I think I would have busted up laughing”
….We’re A Store…
“So today, I had a guy come in and order a large cappuccino, I ring him up and it turns out he only has $2.50.
Baffling aspect #1: He knew he only had $2.50. He said it before he took it out of his pocket, after looking at the menu board with prices and while ordering. Is this some #wastehertime s—?
Anyway, I cancel the transaction, I tell him for that amount I can either do a cup of coffee, iced coffee, or a double shot of espresso. He enthusiastically chooses the latter. Great, easy peasy everyone’s happy.
I hand him the double shot and he makes a face. I ask if everything is alright and he said, with a hint of attitude, ‘Uh, I thought you were going to make me a large cappuccino?’
‘No sir, you decided on the double shot because the cappuccino was $x.xx and you had $x.xx, so this is what I could do for you’
‘I really wanted a cappuccino, can’t you just fill the rest with the hot milk and put a little syrup in it too?’
Actually, f—wad, while I’m totally capable of doing so, I absolutely will not. And for the record, that’s a damn LATTE.
In all reality, I just stared at him for a moment and said, ‘No sir, there’s sugar and cream at the counter to your right,’ and continued closing. But who does this?”
They Always Want More
“I’ve only worked for Starbucks for about 2 1/2 years now, but working near LAX and supporting stores near Venice Beach and other posh-is areas, I’ve seen some s—.
At my home store, I had a regular who would come in promptly at 6 am every morning and order 8 shots over ice, and another of the same thing around 8 pm in the afternoon.
There was this extremely hostile woman who would come in maybe 3 times a week. She would order two drinks: One venti caramel frap with extra extra EXTRA caramel and one passion tea with 10 pumps classic and 10 pumps of raspberry. She would pay for her drinks, we’d make them, and she would walk out and immediately storm back in insisting that we skimped her on both the caramel and syrups and would request more of both.
This old woman would come in every once in a while and order a caramel frap and ask for extra caramel, and she would literally sit at the handoff area and watch how much caramel we’d put in it. My coworkers would always complain about her and I never understood why, until one day I had to make her drink. She literally had me empty an entire caramel bottle into her cup and still wanted more. Frustrated by the fact that I spent so long on her drink that my drink line had started to snake-line around the bar, I just hand it off to her and move on, this lady reaches her arm around the bar and grabs a bottle of caramel and walks off.
While I was at another store, this lady orders a mocha frap but has special preps for it so she asks me to jump off the register and make it since it’s too much to write on the cup or relay to the next person. She asks for 2 pumps of mocha, a cap full of nonfat milk, and one pump of frap base, and to just blend it with ice until it’s a decent consistency. I could not imagine that tasting good.
Another mocha frap lady comes into my store and has a reward. Now, usually, people order crazy things when they have rewards because it’s on the house so why not? This lady hands me a pitcher she brought from home for like, tea or lemonade, and wants me to make her a venti mocha, but with extra ice and frap base until it fills the pitcher”
“I had a tip jar thrown at me. I’ll never forget this, it was kind of scary. I’m a lean six-foot tall guy, who was 26 at the time. She was a small woman.
My day was going great on drive thru until…
‘Thanks for choosing Starbucks! What can I get for you?’
‘I WANT A VENTI CARAMEL MACHIATTO WITH EXTRA COFFEE! LAST TIME YOU DIDN’T PUT THE EXTRA COFFEE IN, I ONLY GOT THE GRANDE AMOUNT’
It’s in all capitals because she was screaming at me and she sounded extremely hostile.
‘Well, under the espresso beverage line the grande offerings and venti offerings contain the same amount of coffee-‘ I cautiously explain.
‘I TOLD YOU I WANT THE VENTI AMOUNT OF COFFEE! YOU GIVE ME WHAT I F—ING ASK FOR!’
…It’s not even 8 am. I mutter, defeated, ‘Okay drive around’ and just kind of slump onto the counter.
Another worker who is a shift lead overhead and tells me that this woman once accused us of stealing her credit card information and is a jerk in general. So I suggest that we just tell her that we can’t serve her if she insists on abusing us. You know, for the barista’s sake. The shift agrees and we gather the following: our District Manager’s card, our Store Manager’s card, a pen, a piece of paper, a recovery coupon and one made to standard Venti Caramel Machiatto.
I go to the window and await her.
Her eyes glare at me instantly and her neck snaps, she was just as ready to freak out as I had feared and I suspect I may be in for what I have commonly referred to as the no-win scenario. I hold her drink in the air, presenting it to her and before I can open she starts.
‘That person back there was very rude, I want to speak to that person.’
‘Well, that person was me. I have your drink, but I want to help. I was to make it right – what can I do to make the drink perfect?’
‘You can put the right amount of coffee into it! I want the Venti amount of coffee!’
‘As I explained, the recipes for both are the same in terms of the coffee, but I have to insist that you do not visit us at this location if you intend to treat us this way. We are hard-working people who take pride in-‘
At this point, I got scared, because what I saw was pure anger move someone to the core. This woman shivered as she prepared to unload on me. She shivers, then stiffens and grabs the tip jar.
‘DON’T YOU F—ING TELL ME WHERE I CAN OR CAN’T GO NOW YOU GIVE ME MY F—ING EXTRA CARAMEL! AND GET ME A CUP OF WATER!’
And with that, she throws the tip jar (we did dueling tip jars, so we used heavier ones..) and hits me square in the chest with it. I am just dumbfounded and now, quite upset.
‘Now you listen here, I’ll get you a water but I’m calling the cops! You can’t just go throwing things at people you psycho, now take your drink and take a free one and get the hell out of my drive thru!’
I get the water. She pulls off too slowly to evade me as I quickly jot down her license plate number. So we call the cops with this information. I am given a break from the drive thru and put on the front register.
I s— you not, two minutes later the woman storms into the store, comes to my area we hand off drinks and puts her drink on it. Looks me dead in the eye and says, ‘I don’t want a free drink, I want good service!’ and smacks the drink in my general direction. I was 26, and I’ve worked since I was 14, mostly in food service or retail. I’m good with people, and this was just the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced outside of Bat Country. And to top it off she said the wrong thing like six times, she was trying to say extra caramel and simply was so angry the word she wanted eluded her”
The Infamous Dark Roast Lady
“At my shop, there is this lady we all call ‘The Dark Roast Lady.’
She comes in really early in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and even pops in on the midnight shift.
So the way we have our dark roast is, we keep it in a special container to make its shelf life 1 hour. (It stays hot and fresh for 1 hour while in that pot.) EVERY SINGLE TIME, she comes through, she pulls up to the window and begins asking when we last brewed it, is it fresh, etc etc etc. And every time she comes in during the morning, the answer is always yes. BECAUSE IT IS FRESH!
She came through the drive thru, orders her coffee and requested ice in the cup to cool the coffee down. When we gave it to her she took a sip and said it was way too cold. We had to then pull her forward because she took the last of our pot. In smug anger, she goes, ‘So you lied to me when you said it was fresh..’ And when I ran out to give her the new one she was a big b—-.
One time one of our newer employees told her that they always try to keep on it being fresh and she told him, ‘No you don’t. You guys never do unless I say something'”
“We have a guy we call Crazy James come in every now and then. Never orders anything, just brings in s— that he got from some other Starbucks way too long ago and tries to either get it remade or refunded. Every time he just causes a scene, waving s– tons of cash in our faces so we know he makes money, tells us how he spends so much of his hard earned cash at Starbucks, and starts dropping names like Bill Paxton, Rene, and Jenn like he’s their homie. He always swears he’ll have us fired for our apparently s—ty customer service. Pretty sure everyone in the district knows who he is by now too.
Anyway, we’ve been slowly building a case against him as per our manager’s instructions and we’re all just hoping we can ban him from all Starbucks for life. Fortunately, but also kind of, unfortunately, he hasn’t shown himself in the last couple of months. But I’m pretty sure with enough time, he’ll reappear and keep being s—ty at us.
Of all the bad customer experiences I’ve ever had, Crazy James has definitely been the worst”
Who’s Making My Drink?
“I’ve worked at this coffee shop for about 3 years now and I know how to do every station and make every drink.
I was working the afternoon shift, it was half way through my shift when this woman comes through the drive thru. She comes in almost every day, sometimes more than once. She always orders the same thing.
ANYWAYS, She comes thru drive-thru and recently she’s picked up the habit of only wanting certain people to make her drink, so this is how this went:
Me: ‘Hi, What can I get for you?’
Lady: ‘Is Name here?’
Me: ‘No, He won’t be in till later.’
Lady: ‘What about name?’
Me: ‘He no longer works here.’
Lady: ‘Uh okay. Well, I want medium hot coffee with 5 creams, 5 sugars and the shot of UNSWEET Vanilla. Medium ICED coffee the same way. And a blueberry muffin.’
Me: ‘Pull forward for the total’
I know this woman, I know what she gets. I make it, I even mark the cup with what I put in it. She pulls up to the window, I hand her the drinks, I hand her the muffin and she hands me the money. I got to hand her the change and…
Lady: ‘Excuse me, How did you make this?’
Me: ‘I put 5 creams, 5 sugars, and the shot of flavor in there.’
Lady: ‘It tastes like you used the sweet flavor.’
Me: ‘I did not use the sweet flavor. You asked for unsweet.’
Lady: ‘Can you remake it? And can you do it where I can see you?’
I remake her drink at the drive-thru station so she can watch through the window, I hand her the new coffee and she continues to say it doesn’t taste right but she drives off anyways.
She came back about 3 hours later while her favorite employee was there, ordered the same stuff, and he made it. She pulls up to the window and asks if I made it again, I tell her no and she takes a drink and says ‘Perfect, it’s good'”
Maybe You’re The Problem…
“We have a woman who regularly comes through our drive-thru and orders a complicated venti white mocha. Stirred, no foam, no whip, at 180, triple, and there’s always another random request I can never remember. The order itself isn’t too bad; her attitude, however, is horrible. Every time there is something wrong. She can never describe what, it just ‘tastes horrible.’ She always wants a refund and a free drink the next morning. She always hands us back the old one she didn’t drink, so it’s not like she’s getting two drinks for free, but come on, woman! Did you ever think that maybe it’s you who has the problem?
Yesterday I was on drive thru and she did this s—. When she got to the window she handed me her old drink. I said I’d write in the book for tomorrow’s drink, but I forgot about the refund. As she was getting her app out, I was momentarily confused as to what was going on and asked, ‘How was I helping you?’ and she immediately asked for my manager.
The manager on duty also hates this woman, so he went to the window, shut it, voided her earlier transaction, and handed her void slip out the window without a word. I watched like a proud dad as we didn’t make that moment right.
The kicker? The GIGANTIC cross hanging on her rearview mirror”
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
“A woman the other day ordered through her phone app: grande white mocha, 7 pumps mocha, extra hot, no whip. That’s what I make. She complains that there’s mocha syrup and she wanted seven pumps white mocha and she wanted it 200 degrees and that there’s too much foam. SORRY FOR MAKING EXACTLY WHAT THE STICKER SAID MA’AM.
I literally had to remake the drink twice. The first remake I made it a 7 pump white mocha as hot as I could before it boiled out of the pitcher. I hand it off and suddenly, ‘I wanted no foam can you add more milk?’ Ok, let me steam more I already rinsed the pitcher. ‘No just pour more in it’ll take too long.’ Uhhhhh, I already rinsed the pitcher there is no more (shows her empty pitcher)
‘Can I just get a gift card this will take too long. Also, I want it 200 degrees.’
Me, already done steaming milk as hot as I can make it and hand her the grande seven pump white mocha with no foam, ‘In the future please try to make your mobile order reflect what you want, so you can get your drink quickly and correctly.’
She then complains that every time she goes to a new store they give her this same issue. That’s probably because you don’t ORDER WHAT YOU WANT! But whatever. I was then told that she does this every week in hopes of getting a recovery card”
This Is My Bank Balance!
“On my last day as a barista, a woman pulled up to the drive-thru window while she was smoking and talking on the phone. She had ordered four drinks and two sandwiches. While she was waiting she blew smoke in the window (our manager insisted the window never be closed when a person is waiting) and talked on the phone. She dropped the ‘f’ bomb 8 times, said ‘s–‘ 4 times and ‘douchebag’ twice in the 4 minutes she was at the window.
The other memorable one was the woman who had a debit card that was declined. I had to hand enter the number, which I did twice. She was reloading her rewards card, or I would have just comped the drink. But I had to tell her I couldn’t reload her card. She looked me in the eye and said: ‘Was it declined or you just couldn’t swipe it?’ I said I’d entered the number by hand more than once, it was probably our system and I was very sorry.
She replies, ‘That’s impossible. There is six thousand dollars in that account.’ Then she pulled out her phone to pull up her bank balance and show me. I wanted to tell her, ‘Look, I’m not doing this just to f— with you.’
Then she yanks the card out of my hand, throws another one on the ledge and yells, ‘Just put it on the other card! I’m going to be late because of this!’ I had to step in the back and jump up and down I was so angry”
The Uniform Isn’t Flattering
“This is the worst customer interaction I ever had:
St. Patrick’s day parade a few years ago, I was on the register. My store is directly on a parade route so we get hella busy.
I hadn’t really had a terrible run in with any customers while working there yet. I was assigned to a register and started ringing up orders.
Oh, I should also mention that I am on the heavy side and short. So yeah, I look pretty heavy, especially with my work clothes on. This info comes into play.
I was cranking through our mile long line when this older man (OM) came up.
Me: ‘Hi! What can we get for you today?’
OM: ‘Yeah, how many calories are in a Mocha latte?’
Me: ‘Well, I’m not sure exactly, but it says on the menu board that a tall Mocha has 290(?) cal. That includes all 3 pumps of Mocha, 2% milk, and whipped cream. So if you change any of that, it’ll be less than 290 for our smallest size’
OM: ‘Oh, yeah. Well, I shoulda figured you wouldn’t know. You don’t look like you exactly keep count of your calories. Just gimme a small coffee and that cherry bar.’
Me looking at him dumbfounded
Since I’ve never encountered this in my workplace before, I had no idea what to do. It was so busy and I didn’t want to make things worse. So I just got the geezer his coffee and bar and sent him away”
Dude, Just Wash Your Hands
“When I first started, I was on register one morning, and this guy asked for a couple of honey for his drink. I grabbed a couple out of the container they’re in and handed them to him.
He then proceeded to throw a temper tantrum about how the honey was sticky and how he had to wash his hands now because the honey got his hands sticky. He stood in front of the register for probably five minutes, even after his transaction was over and I was ringing up other people, yelling like a five-year-old about his sticky hands. I gave up on paying any attention to the guy and tried my best to pretend he wasn’t there.
He then went over and chewed my manager out over it for probably another ten minutes. To be fair, I should have checked them and rinsed them, but I was new and still learning the role”
The Secret Menu Girl
“My most ‘WTF?’ and the least favorite moment was this absolute textbook white teen comes in and asks if we can make one of those ‘secret menu frappes.’ She was holding her phone with the recipe pulled up on it. I tell her, ‘Yes, if you have a recipe we can probably make that frappuccino for you.’
She then proceeds to stare at me expecting me to start ringing it up or something. After a minute I say something along the lines of, ‘I need to know what the recipe is before we can make it though.’ Then she’s like ‘Oh’ and shows me her phone. I proceed to take 5 minutes ringing this crappy drink in (don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was a bunch of random, expensive add-ons). When I’m finally done ringing it up and it’s like $7 for a tall.
She asks, ‘So, is a secret menu drink, like, more expensive than one of your regular ones?’
I reply ‘Yes, since the secret menu drinks are not part of our menu and they usually have extra ingredients it usually costs quite a bit more.’
Then she’s just like, ‘Oh…’ and looks sad. Then defeated says, ‘Well, I guess I just take a java chip frappe’
Anyways, I ring her up, she pays, goes to the end to wait for her drink. She comes back to the register a few minutes later WHILE I’M HELPING ANOTHER CUSTOMER and stands super close to this other customer I’m trying to help.
Finally, it feels like she’s invading my space so then I ask, ‘Was there something else?’ before I even finished ringing up the other customer I was with.
She’s like, ‘Yeah, does the java chip frappe have coffee in it?’ I was like ‘Yes, the JAVA chip frappuccino does’
Her: ‘Oh…well, I don’t really want coffee in it. Is there any way you can make it without coffee?’
Me: ‘Well, yes, we have the double chocolatey chip frappuccino that is the same thing without coffee’
Her: ‘Okay, could I get that instead?’
PS: the double chocolatey chip is exactly what her friend that was right beside her had ordered. So much wasted time”