Rude customer grind her gears


I feel negative energy emerging from my left. A woman about 50 years old hunches over, zoning in on the caramel macchiato I am making. She has as much intensity as a lion about to catch its prey.

Ahh it’s one of those customers, I think to myself. “You need more caramel than that,” the woman demands. I line the cup with globs of it.

“Foam, I didn’t want foam. The last time I checked that wasn’t in the recipe.” She spits out the words. I hold my tongue, remove the foam and hand her the drink. “You need to get it together today,” she snarls.

After working at Starbucks for two and a half years, customers from every background continue to yell at me no matter what I do. I can’t control the time we close and some mistakes can’t be avoided because I am human.

Early one morning, a man about 5-feet tall with over-gelled hair came in running toward the cash register. He asked me for 32 gift cards and envelopes, but after grabbing the 32 cards I told him we only had 31 envelopes left. “How can you not have what I need?” he asked. “What an awful business.”

He then asked for the person in charge and when my manager came out, the customer told him how rude and unprofessional I was. I could feel my throat tightening. “I’m not mad,” my easygoing manager said. The man, realizing that he could do no more than complain, left the store in heated frustration.

Working at Starbucks, I have learned to smile and be cordial regardless of rude or insensitive customers.

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