Bold Starbucks Barista Sings a Song…and Gets Fired.

Yep, it was ill-advised on his part, but it seems to me that this is another case of corporate greed at work.  How many of you have stood in line at Starbucks behind someone – anyone – who can’t seem to make up their mind what they want, then decide, then get what they’ve asked for, and come back, butted in front of you, interrupted YOUR order to tell the Barista that it’s wrong and they want something else?

I live in a rather upscale neighborhood that is surrounded by expensive prep schools.  Our neighborhood dreads the start of the school year.  The Stepford moms (and they ARE Stepford moms) drive their precious little ones to school each morning in a gas-guzzling SUV, or a beamer, mercedes, or sometimes, the moms drive the younger kids and allow their teen to drive separately.  They all pull up in front of Starbucks, double park, spill out of their respective vehicles and practically trample other customers to get in the store.

On one occasion, one of these moms came up to me as I was about to order and asked if she could cut in front of me (with the SIX school-aged children she had in tow) because if she didn’t, the kids would be late to school.  I asked her if all the kids were going to order, too and she replied in the affirmative.  I replied:  “No.  If you do that, I will be late to work.”  Her response?  “It’s more important that these kids get to school on time.  They’ll get detention if they’re late.”  My response:  “Then take them to school.  Now.”

I’ve waited in line behind all the people this (former) Starbucks Barista sings about and he’s dead on.  I’m certain he was fired for the following reasons:

1.  Starbucks was afraid of the backlash because ignorant people would hear his song and immediately attach all kinds of social denigration to it.  There is social denigration, but it’s TRUTH.  He’s not being racist.  He’s not being sexist.  He’s not engaging in reverse snobbism.  He’s telling it LIKE IT IS.

2.  He didn’t toe the company line that says a Barista MUST simply serve, and do it with a superglued smile and accept whatever abuse these people wish to perpetrate upon them.

3.  He dared to vent his frustration with a policy that does NOT cater to customer service, rather; it caters to corporate greed.

Hey Starbucks!  I’ve stopped buying coffee at your stores.  I won’t go in any longer specifically because of your policy that says I have to wait a VERY long time in line behind stupid selfish people who have no manners, who are impolite, who could give a crap about holding up the works so they can get their Venti frappuccino in mocha with a dash of cinnamon, three squirts of vanilla, half a squirt of peppermint mocha and then heated to precisely 150 degrees so it has the warmth of a cappucino.  And don’t forget to use skim milk, and whatever the hell you do, do NOT add the extra chocolate shavings on top because my GOD, think of the extra calories!

And then, once that’s ordered, Mom turns to her brood and instead of ordering FOR them, she simply says “what do you want?” to each child in succession, so all the customers behind this Stepford family have to wait while each spawn reads the menu, asks questions, runs their grubby fingers across the pastry display glass, picks up stuff to look at it, orders, then changes the order, gets the order, tastes it, spits it out and says they want something different.  So then they order something different.  30 minutes later, if you’re still in the store, it’s your turn – with a Barista who is teetering on the abyss and that superglued smile belies the killing power behind his or her eyes.

If you’re like me, you haven’t waited 30 min unless you’re with a friend who doesn’t mind waiting.  I waited 30 min once, with a friend, who  started to order something complex and I simply punched him in the arm and said:  “We’ll have two large coffees, whatever is your darkest blend, room for cream.  Thank you.”  And then I dragged him away, as he was protesting that he wanted a mocha latte with a half-teaspoon of cinnamon stirred in first.

WTF is Starbucks doing, forcing their baristas to put up with this crap?   If people want this kind of specialized stuff, then there should be a separate “Elite Special Orders Because You Don’t Give A Shit About The Customers Behind You” bar where these people can make their own bloody fancy, not-on-the-menu drink.

Starbucks provides horrible customer service – not through their Baristas, but through their corporate policies.

Hey Starbucks?   Guess What?  I go to Royal Farms for my coffee now and it’s just as good and if there is someone in front of me who can’t make up their freaking mind or is counting out pennies, or wants their order in a special way, Royal Farms will ask that person to WAIT until the customers who are READY TO ORDER, READY TO PAY AND NEED TO GET OUT FAST have been served.  And they don’t give a flying red one if the unready customer feels entitled to make everyone else wait and leaves.  So what?  They’ll get MORE business because of it.  Maybe that one disgruntled customer will tell 20 people who won’t come in.  But the 6 happy customers who got in and out quickly will tell 20 people who WILL come in.  Let’s do the math on that.  It’s pretty simple.  It totals 100 brand new customers for Royal Farms.

Starbucks is getting the opposite. They think their BRAND will see them through?  Hardly.  Their coffee beans are oily.  Coffee beans aren’t supposed to be oily.  Fresh coffeebeans are dry.  They only get that oily sheen when they’ve been sitting around for 6 months.

Starbucks used to be a great place.  That was about 15 years ago.  Now?  They suck dirty canal water.

This dude got fired.  Yep – it was ill-advised of him to post this song on the web, but you know what – I applaud him for doing it because he knew his job would be on the line.  I hope this song goes viral and he makes money from it somehow.  Starbucks?  You need to get with REAL customer service.  Stop abusing your baristas and you won’t wind up with songs like this about you all over the internet.

and here’s his post-firing song:

I know, because a family member of mine has worked at Starbucks in the past, that the crew you work with can be very tight.  I also know that the crew hates most of the customers.  I’ve heard many horror stories.  The pay is not worth the abuse you take as a Barista.  They start you at either minimum wage or $8 an hour.   How many of you, even if you were desperate, would accept so little pay to be subjected to the abuse doled out by entitled customers who would complain to  Starbucks corporate to get you fired for giving them the “wrong” drink and not smiling as they tell you how stupid you are?

I know people to whom this has happened.

Next time you walk into Starbucks to get your fancy drink, think about this.  Think about what it is that your purchase is supporting.

If you liked this post, then click the “like” button so it appears on your FB page.  If you REALLY like it, grab the video and post it to your own blog.  Make this thing go viral because the only way a corporate entity like Starbucks will be forced to toe the CUSTOMER line is by getting bad press from customers.  Starbucks doesn’t care about you.  They only care about the money.  Don’t EVER forget that.  Starbucks, like most huge corporate entities could give a crap about their employees, OR their customers.  If you work there and you don’t smile and obey each stupid, entitled customer request TO THE LETTER, the odds are good you will be fired.

If you complain publicly, like this guy did, (and in a rather creative fashion!) you don’t need to wait to be fired – just fire yourself.

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