This post was written by Andrea Lightfoot, who has been writing as long as her little brain can remember. Whether it was a school assignment, personal journal writing, or most recently, her blog, Andrea has always enjoyed writing. Her writing tends to challenge popular perspectives, is introspective, and fun. On her blog, she actually wrote about the "SIx Reasons to be Kind to Your Starbucks Barista." Check her out on her Twitter & Instagram!If you would like to be a guest writer for TheBaristaLife.com, please click here to fill out a short sign up sheet. Once finished, email your work to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.
One Rude Customer vs. One Fabulous Barista
There you are. Standing behind that register, having just ring up 58 customers in a half hour (bravo!), a light glaze of sweat coats your skin much like the oily residue on a coffee bean. You feel accomplished, I mean not only were you ringing down the line like a champ, but you were practically enacting a full blown dance routine. A mixture of delicate spins and long legged strides as you conquered the brewing station, whilst simultaneously playing a game of Operation, a.k.a, removing pastries from the pastry case without knocking everything over . #skills .
You and the rest of your team give each other a pat on the back. Heck, your supervisor just wrote out each and every one of you a Green Apron Card.
And then, a customer walks up to your register.
"Hi, how are you today," you enthusiastically ask the man with the grey beard.
"Tall, blonde, no room," he snarls.
"Oh..uh, okay, let me grab that real quick..."
"...alright, here you are sir, anything else I can get for you?"
***he removes the lid on his cup of coffee***
"Yeah, ill tell you what you can get me! Coffee! I said no room!!"he belts at you with his deep raspy voice.
You instantly feel your stomach tighten, your blood boiling, and a wave of rigidness that washes over not only you but your fellow partners. All you want to do is tell this man that this "room" he believes is there can only be filled with a droplet of more coffee. Instead, you grab his cup, turn around and unleash a splash of Veranda into his cup.
"Here you go sir, that'll be $1.95," you say as if nothing even happened.
He throws a bunch of dirty, smelly change onto the counter and walks away. Only to head straight to the condiment bar where you watch him pour out some of his coffee into the garbage in order to fit his cream...
Moments like this are enough to make us baristas forget how great we just felt. How empowered we were to hit our peak goals, and how much pride we take in giving great customer service. Customers like this really know how to grind our gears, and you could have easily told that guy he was a jerk and that there was barely any room in his coffee. But you know what, at the end of the day, deciding to handle a situation like this is whats going to make YOU and your team feel good again. Not every customer is going to be friendly, or recognize all the hard work you go through on a busy Friday morning. It's up to you and your fellow baristas to kill 'em with kindness, so that your joy isn't overshadowed by someone who clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
So keep on keepin' on, you magical dancing barista you!