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November 17, 2008


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I remember this moment quite well. I was the register on till when I was still a green bean and I was in the midst of ringing up a customer and I accidentally call her order in the wrong order for the bar person. Anyway, I apologized for my blond moment. Little did I realize that my customer was a blonde! When it finally hit me, I prefusely apologized to which she laughed it off and was not at all offended by it. From then on, I keep these little comments inside my head! :)

I have a story from when I was working at a store that still had an active "bean land" register and was busy enough to have all 3 registers open during morning rush.

The register I was at was a ways away from where the first person in line, a woman with a shaved head, was standing. I couldn't really make out any more than that this person had a shaved head and glasses, so I yell out "I can help you over here SIR!"

And he comes over to me and politely says "Actually I'm a maam." She was a maam. Shoot me now I thought. I couldn't stop apologizing and she said its not the first time she's been mistaken for a man because of her shaved head. She was really cool about it, I gave her some drink coupons, and it was always a little joke between us when she came in every single time after that. One time she even came up to me and was like "Hey how you doing girl..." (and I'm a man)


ok....i think this is the most embarassing one for me....i have two customers infront of me and theyre both ladies....they kind of look a like so you know i asked if they are sisters..then one of them said with a starightface "no. she's my partner" and i was like "oops" i apologize and they didnt say anything....when they left the store i told my partner and we were both laughing soo hard. lol. they effing look a like thats why. i wouldnt ask if they dont look a like. after that event i never saw theyre face again! LOL

I was working the drive-thru, and after I greeted a lady I thought I had hit the button to turn of the headset. She asked a question, "Does the Awake tea have caffiene?" Because I thought the headset was off, I said out loud to what I thought was only the baristas around me: "Duh!" She quickly said excuse me and I began to cough into the microphone and said "I'm sorry mam, I have a small cough. Could you please repeat yourself?"


The most awkward experience I've had at Starbucks involved a group of "ladies". I was expediting during a rush and called out, wish a big smile, "Hello ladies, what can I do for you?" They all turn around revealing... that they were all transvestites; all transvestites that made it their sworn duty to hit on me as I turned redder and redder.



I saw that one customer had what looked like shot on his nose. I debated telling him it was there or just let it go. I decided that I would rather have someone tell me if I had snot on my nose so I mentioned something. He said, "It is not snot, I had surgery and that is ointment." I felt about five inches high.

I have a great drive-thru story lol. I was working the headset and noticed on the drive-thru video monitor that the girl who was ordering was really hot. I working with 2 other guys and we all started checking her out on the video screen.

After she was done ordering, I thought I hit the button to turn it off, but I didn't. So I turn to the partner working drive thru register with me and say "OMG she is so hot"

And then....

"Uhhh *laughs awkwardly* excuse me, what was that?" says the girl

And then I, in a moment of panic say, "oh umm....I can't recover from that. I said you are really hot. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it in an offensive way. I'm going to go shoot myself now."

She had a good laugh, was a great sport, and even asked for me to come out of hiding from the backroom so she could tell me to my face that she wasn't offended at all and that it made her day.

That girl is now my girlfriend ;)

Chucktown Barista

to anon @ 04:38 PM - oh now you can hardly say you REGRET that, do you?? At least, not yet ... ;)

I think the most embarrassing thing I've said (to date) was when I was called out a drink during training, "Venti Java Chip Crappuccino for John!"

It wasn't that I'd ever heard them referred as crappuccinos (though I have since), but that I'd spent years as a barista where the only "-appuccino" drink was a cappuccino, and I just got tongue-tied.

Apologized to the customer and we had a laugh. Thankfully, most of my customers were really cool when I let them know I was training.


I can't think of anything too regretful I've said, but on the flip side of this thread, my favorite embarrassing (slightly, but unknowingly, vulgar) thing a customer has said to me came from this scenario:

This guy came back from the condiment bar after I'd given him his coffee and handed it back to me, asking me to add more coffee because he had put too much half and half in. His choice of words: "can you add a little more coffee, I'm afraid I've over-creamed myself."

Poor guy, he had no idea what he'd said, but the other partner on the floor had to excuse himself to the back room to compose himself. Luckily, I think he left still unaware of his unfortunate choice of words.


At my store, we are all fans of "The Office" and it's common for us to insert the phrase "that's what she said" into our conversations where appropriate (or inappropriate as the case may be.) So one day, I have a customer at the handoff plane who says she likes Java Chip Frappuccinos but not the chocolate(y) chips because they get stuck in the straw. She says "I suck, and I suck, and I suck, but nothing comes out." Guess what I automatically said next without thinking?


A lady came through the drive through with an SUV and dark tinted windows. She is a regular and she ussually has her dog with her. I saw movement in the back seat. I gave her her order and we had dog treats and I asked " Would you like a treat for your dog?" Her mother was the one in the back seat with a newborn.

We still laugh about that to this day and yes she is still a regular.


This isn't something I've said, but something my shift said. She was making a Frappuccino and she took the lid off of the blender before getting rid of the air bubble. Needless to say the frappuccino exploded and splashed everywhere. She screamed, "Ah! It got in my hair!" I bust out laughing. She goes, "What? It's all in my hair and it's sticky!!!" I laugh even louder. Then a customer starts laughing. She then realizes why I'm laughing and turns red and hits me.

Another moment with this shift: A group of regulars who we called her fan club are in the store talking to us. At one point they ask her if she likes to drink. She says, "I don't really like to get drunk, but I do drink until I'm loose..." Later on, in the back room I ask her in my best cheesy pick-up line voice, "So... you like to drink till you're loose do you?" which she responds "I DIDN'T MEAN IT THAT WAY!!!" Needless to say, the guys who were around 17 and 18 took it the wrong way.

I've never let her live those moments down.


OMG, FLA SM! That is too funny. I can only imagine the reaction that got. I'm still laughing about it.

Have you ever had teh customers that come through that dont know how to pronounce venti or grande? Once at my drive thru store some one came through and ordered ( and 2 other people swear they heard this) "a vintage black coffee" I said "sure what year?" he got really embarrassed and just pulled up to the window to pay... lolz

Hotlanta Barista

The moment I said this out loud I realized how dirty it sounded--at least to me and my mind-in-the-gutter co-workers: I was on register and a lady placed her order, which included a cranberry orange muffin. It was a busy morning with a long line, and she started walking off before I got her pastry. I yelled, "ma'am, just a minute, let me grab your muffin for you." I had to stifle a laugh at my own unfortunate phrasing.

I met my partner at work too. Starbucks does more than serve coffee. It served me a beautiful, caring, honest, and conscientious man.

Hotlanta-what store are you at? I love Atlanta Starbucks.


It was one of my 1st days at Starbucks and at home we were teaching our then toddler how to say please and thank you. Well, I was tired or just forgot I was at work and a customer asked for a "grande coffee" and my response was "what do we say when we want something?" He laughed and said "please?". My face turned beat red and I apologized over and over. He said "no worries, I have a toddler at home too". Still can't believe I said that!

expired shot

Two days ago an older couple who happen to be regulars informed me of the great service they received from a shift at my store. The husband said "He got down on his knees, so that I wouldn't have to strain my neck. This staff always goes the extra mile. You should give him a big raise for that service!" I did not make it to the back room to laugh, and the partners and other customers were enjoying that moment just as much as I was.

Jessicaramel macchiato

FLA SM - I'm still crying after laughing so hard from reading that. Hysterical. What was the customer's reaction?


At my old drive thru (I miss it so much!!!) I was taking an order for a customer who had absolutely no patience for us, regardless of the fact that he was in a diesel truck with a barking dog in the back. We so couldn't hear him, and asked him to turn the engine off to complete his order. At this point he was irritated and repeating his order and shouting at us over and over again. We had heard the last part including cashews and a paper earlier, so as he repeated the end of the order I said "Not to worry sir, I have your nuts safely in my hand." GAH! Of course it had to be the one time I worked with all the guys in our store, and they gave me so much grief for weeks!


My funniest moment would have to be I was working the DTO one morning and a lady asked me if a certain scone and had nuts in and thinking that she was probably allergic to nuts, I said back to here well maam everything in our pasty case has been touched by nuts! Which the lady responded back with excuse me?! I had no response becuase I realized what I said, so my DTR had to finish the offer. I had everyone cracking and making fun of me for the next week


So this kid (probably like 7 yrs old)comes up and orders a grande caramel apple spice. I write the cup and then the mother says, "I'll have one of those too" and I asked the mother "would you like a grande like his?" and she looks at me and says, "it's a SHE." I played it off (though not too well) by brushing it off and saying "oh Im sorry she has a hat on!" She did! She had a beanie and the colors of the hat and the clothes didn't give it away that she could have been a girl or guy. Needless to say I went in the back room for a minute since I wanted to die!


Lol I'm not sure if I have any but I do have something a customer said to me that I regret for him!...He was an older guy who I think was trying to be cool, and would generally chat with all of us while he was getting his coffee every evening. One evening, I was talking with a barista about how much we hated the bananas for the vivannos (both of us just hate bananas in general), and he apparently misheard what we were saying and out popped, "Well that's kinky."

My fellow barista ran to the back room while I was forced to have an EXTREMELY awkward conversation about bananas with a regular who was at least 65. Yeah. I regret that one for him.


At the first store I worked in, I was closing with my store manager. We got along very well and joked a lot, so it kind of set the tone for a shift filled with cheesy jokes. Anyway, these two ladies in their 20s come in (with a slight buzz going) and order coffee. One of them grabs a piece of chocolate from the impulse stand and say (loudly), "I'll take one of these, I LOVE these things". So my manager says "If you love it, why don't you marry it". Kind of a cheesy kid joke thing, but the woman replied "It'll feel like were married when it's in my mouth". Well, I said "uh, you've never been married, because once you get married you NEVER put it in your mouth". Thankfully the two women cracked up and thought it was funny. I always remember that as one of the good times I had while working at Starbucks.


I liked to flirt back in my Starbucks days and this led to some fun cup writing. One girl approached the register and I said "hey pretty girl". She seemed neither flattered or offended, so I wrote pretty girl as the name on her cup. The barista on bar, a good friend of mine, then made her drink and called out the drink itself. Another customer picked it up and that barista said "Oh no ma'am... That drink is for the pretty girl!" I laughed for about an hour.


We hired a middle-aged woman a few weeks ago, and virtually every time a customer gives them their personal cup for their beverage (especially when it's a woman):

"Oh, sorry hun I just need you to take your top off for me."

It gets me every time. :)


Well this isn't anything one of us said, but one day a customer ordered a caramel apple cider... the barista I was working with was new and didn't know how to mark the cup so she marked it:
CR for caramel, AP for apple, then cider =


One more...

At my old store, we had a regular who was a bit on the heavier side. His order was a venti extra hot light foam caramel macchiato. By the time I would mark the cup/ring it in the DTO, I would second-guess myself and ask if it was nonfat. Habitually. Always turned things a bit awkward...


*wipes tears from eyes* This thread is a riot!


Notice how most of these tales have either some kind of gender-based content or sexual innuendo? I wonder why that is -- because those kinds of issues are the most awkward?

Andrew from MySpace

Two stories...

One time when I was brand new and working one of my first 3 opens in a row weekends, I fell asleep standing up while helping a customer...

and I drooled on the POS screen.

Yeah, embarassing.

Another time about 6 months later, I had a conversation with a middle aged man like this:

To set the stage, it was early on a Saturday morning when a lot of the men come in to get their wives drinks (I noticed the ring on his finger)

Me: Hi sir, what can I get for you?
Him: I'll have a triple grande latte.
Me: Okay, and your name?
Him: John
Me: Okay, anything else?
Him: (Hesitantly) A decaf, nonfat, sugar free vanilla, no foam, extra hot latte.
Me: Okay, for your wife? What's her name?

Him:....Actually it's for me.

*Complete silence*


haha, andrew.....its always the chicks that get the awesome drinks.....and the "men" that get the STCF...yeah. I said it.

I had a time in the DT that this woman had the worst smokers voice ever. Well I thought I turned off the A button....but missed....and said to my budies (next to me....not over the B button) that she must smoke 2 packs a day....then I realized the A button was on.



a girl asked me for a tall ice coffee and said she was very tired so i made her a venti and said you look really tired and handed it off.... OMG like bad move 101 haha


My first night training on drive-through, I was so nervous that I said "Welcome to Starbucks, my name is Rose, what can I do to you tonight?"
Luckily no one mentioned it at the window, I was so mortified! I know they were laughing when they pulled up though.

Also, back before skinny lattes were called that, there was a joke at my store that a decaf sugar-free vanilla nonfat no foam latte was just a "What's the Point?" or a "Why Bother?" Some regulars knew about that and would order them that way, which was pretty cool. But one time, after a rather unpleasant sorority girl came through the drive-through and ordered that, I leaned to the partner taking the order and laughed, "She's getting a What's The Point?"
When she got to the window, she was maaaad and as he handed her drink out, she goes (quite sarcastically) "Thanks for my 'What's the Point?'." I turned bright red. I had no idea the headset would pick that up!


so lets see who i work with thats reading this...

one night we were on three person close, store manager was shifting. it was slow and we had been talking about my manager and her husband (how they met, etc.) when a guy in his young 20's well dressed walks up and orders a drink. on the headset the other barista had misheard my manager and thought she had said her husband was 10 years younger than her and we started making cougar jokes... that carried from the headset to open bar conversation.

and then up walks the customers date. i'd like to think it was his mom, but the body language did not say family. we all turned red and didn't say a word until they had left.


I was stocking the bar fridge while the barista was making drinks. I'd learned not to say "If oI'm going down here" but my new phrase of "I'm going below you" was drastically misheard and my barista replied "EXCUSE ME! HERE>"

cause it sounded like "im going to blow you" when I'm crouched down shoving milk into the fridge.


Everyday seems so funny.


LOL you guys are awesome!

Mine is just awful...

I drove to another store to pick up product and as I was slowly backing out of my spot I heard a slight bump and then someone yell "HEY!!!"

I freaked out and this person comes marching to the passenger door to say "What do you think you're doing?!" and then we immediately recognize each other as he is a regular customer that hangs out all night at our store!!

Yeah... I lightly bumped a regular customer (not his car but HIM physically!!) with the back of my car... except it wasn't my car it was my shifts car. Who this regular customer had awkwardly asked out earlier that week!

I obviously apologized profusely and begged him to keep it a secret between the two of us! When he came in the next night I told him his drink was on me and he upgraded his drink to a venti :)

A few weeks after the incident I embarrassingly told all my coworkers how I had almost run over one of our favorite regulars. Sorry!!


Too funny! I love this, wish most of the responses were always this light and funny.


Lol one time my shift accidentally bumped my butt with his hand while I was on register and he was getting me a pastry. We have very little behind the counter space and I was used to getting bumped. The customer left and he was like "....Yea, sorry about that." And I said "It's okay, you hit my phone, not my butt." And he started laughing and said, "I wondered why it was so hard."


once this man came in and ordered a bunch of pastries and two coffees. he passes me his partner card and it read "Melissa". I'm never keen about checking ID of partner numbers but I blurted out kind of jokingly, "you don't look like a Melissa!". I look down, and behold... a chest. my face was red for the rest of the day.

My friends and I all went out for coffee one night, and my friend, who had lost about 75 lbs since his driver's license photo was taken was asked for ID to verify his identity, because he had also completely changed his signature since he got his credit card. The barista on till exclaimed "You sure have lost weight!" It was back in the day when I worked for the 'bux, so I teased her about it for weeks. It was pretty funny

Barista Joe

I remember about a year ago, a guy ordered a cookie and asked for it warmed. I bagged it without warming it, and he took it and walked away. I recognized my mistake, and quickly yelled as loud as I could; "SIR! I NEED TO WARM YOU UP!" the entire restaurant went dead silent. Definitely the most awkward moment of my life.


Me: Oops, looks like your SBUX card is out of funds. Got another form of payment?
Customer hands over credit card, says "See ID"

Me: And do you have your ID with you today?

Customer: <> Jeez, how much do I have to do to just get some coffee!!

Me: Well, maybe you shouldn't have written that on your card.

Customer hits the ceiling.

hey, it happens.

On a Monday years ago when UPS delivered the bi-weekly mail pack while I was signing I dropped the stylus. I went to reach for the stylus and I accidently rubbed his private area. He had bent down to pick up the stylus the same time as I did. I turned red and he was smiling still. I told him sorry and he said it was ok. I offered him his usual beverage. He said he was ok and did not need it today. I told him Thank You and have a nice day and he walked out silent. Normally, he wishes all a great day too. What went through my mind was he is not gay and got offended so bad he is going to report me to my SM as sexual harassment.

An hour later he calls requesting to speak to my SM. Another barista had answered the phone and told me it was the UPS guy. I was getting ready for my SM to separate me from the company. For about 10 minutes I was so nervous I could hardly breathe. Then the shift tells me the SM wants to speak to me. The SM sat me down and asked me what had happened. I explained myself. The SM told me the UPS driver was flattered and wanted to find out if I was single and perhaps if I was gay. He wanted to ask me out and left his phone number for me to call him back.

I took the plunge and called him back and years later we are still happily married. He is still the regular UPS guy for my store.


This well-dressed man walked in one day and ordered a brewed coffee for himself, and then a vanilla latte for his girlfriend. I saw a wedding band, and I said, "Oh, are you married?" To that, he said, "Oh, no. This just shows my committment, but someday we'll be there." Perplexed, I thought she just had cold feet or something. I then said, "Well, she's a very lucky lady, and I hope she enjoys her vanilla latte." He grins and says, "I'm sure he will." "Did he say 'he'," I thought? By the time I processed what he said, he was out the door. Oops.


So when partners come through the DT and we realize its them we always answer "welcome to starbucks, how can we enthusiastically satisfy you today?" in a phone sex operator type voice... our DT is only a 3 car dt so it's easy to see who is who... so anyway... our manager came through so i did my best phone sex operator voice and turns out our dm and rm and regional food service team were all in the car too... some big tour of the city ... the rm played it off but i got a stern talkin to by my manager and dm... lol eventhough i've been poq and a coffee master, its still one of my greatest moments in starbucks today...

I asked a guy if he wanted a tea bag

Ok so I was on bar during the summer, but I had a headset on so I could start orders quickly and answer when the DTO was busy. A lady comes through and just starts ordering Frappuccino after Frappuccino. It had been a super long day and I was so sick of making Fraps...so she'll still ordering, on frap 8 by now and i yell out "I'm not making them!"

I forgot that I had hit the "A" button on the headset when she pulled up. Everyone had a headset on and we all started cracking up and she was like "What was that?" so I said in the sweetest voice "Pull to the window ma'am, we'll have that right up for you!"

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