We aren’t just drink-making robots

Starbucks employee looks at new Fall launch cups confused by what the problem is. (Ally Beckwitt/Lariat)

Starbucks employee looks at new Fall launch cups confused by what the problem is. (Ally Beckwitt/Lariat)

Hi welcome to Starbucks! What can I get for you today? Do you want that hot or cold? Would you like whipped cream on that?

Every single time I take someone’s order I repeat the same three questions and have been for the last three years. Don’t get me wrong working for Starbucks has changed my life in positive ways and I don’t regret a single day of working there because of the relationships I have formed with others through working for this company. But, there have also been some extremely negative moments throughout my time here.

During this time of year as the weather changes, or at least slightly changes for us here in Southern California, the mood changes with it. No longer are the days of summer and simply ordering frappuccinos on a hot day.

Now it is the endless days of pumpkin spice lattes and salted caramel mochas. But it is not just the new seasonal drinks we have to deal with, it is the transition into holiday season. Notice how it is not going into Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is broadly holiday.

Going into holiday season means that we now deal with people who give us shit for not celebrating specific holidays like Christmas.

Last week we launched the first of our Fall collection cups, these cups are just the hot cups and they are the normal cups that any drink would come out in when ordered. These cups are three different colors, orange, blue, and magenta, depending on the size. Each size would either be that plain color cup or it would have a autumn themed drawing on it.

On the first day of the launch of the cups one of the partners at my store had someone complain to them about the color of the cups saying “so this is what Starbucks is doing now to not offend anyone?”

All the way out in September people are already bitching about us not promoting Christmas, and only Christmas.

We have this problem every year. Last year we had red designed cups that were designed by customers all over the world that had hand drawn the cups and sent them in for a competition. Yet people took it as disrespectful because it did not symbolize Christmas.

It is really frustrating to me as well as many co workers because what about all of the other holidays? What about the small holidays that one specific religion practices but most of the public does not celebrate or even acknowledge.

It is only a problem for people when it offends them personally. Then we have to deal with it as if we were the team that specifically decided what each and every cup was going to look like.

It’s the holidays people! Be happy and grateful for all the things in your life. Look at where we live and how much we are spoiled with. Don’t be so nitpicky that something as simple as the color of a cup is a game changer. Just smile and order your damn coffee already!

Working at Starbucks has taught me a new kind of patience that I would definitely not experience anywhere else, and working at a Starbucks at a mall has expanded on that patience even more.

We have dealt with customers far and wide. I have had someone throw their food at me because it wasn’t warmed, one of my coworkers had a customer say “fuck you asshole” for the whole store to hear even though he did not do anything wrong. We have something happen almost everyday, ranging from minor misunderstandings to being cussed out.

Yet I still go into work. Tis the season right?