In San Francisco/Daly City, everyone needs coffee. I noticed since I work at a really busy Starbucks. Like one of my former shift managers used to say, “There are busy Starbucks, but this Starbucks is like on crack. Literally on crack.” We don’t get downtime and the line is nonstop for hours on end. But working for almost two years, you notice familiar faces. Even stereotypes. Like that “Intern Who is Buying for the Entire Office” or the “Complicated Order Guy Who Needs his Coffee Right The F*&K Now.” Yeah, don’t forget them. So here’s a guide from Holy Taco on the Starbucks archetypes 101. They make life so complicated sometimes, especially during the holidays.
8. Manager Who Refuses to Recognize the Words Small, Medium, and Large
I understand, you’re a corporate guy and thus must abide by company policies by calling the different sizes by their Starbucks Christian names of Venti, Grande, etc…. But if I ask you for a small, don’t act like I’m speaking to you in that Native American langauge we used in World War II to deliver coded messages. You’re familiar with the sizes small, medium and large, and if you’re not, then you might want to change underwear because there’s a good chance there’s a sizeable amount of shit in them due to your inability to grasp the concept of wiping your asshole after defecating.
7. Intern Who is Buying for the Entire Office
Wearing an all-white or striped button down shirt, this guy shows up with a legal pad full of hastily scribbled orders. “Yeah, I’m gonna need 24 tall skinny soy lattes with sugar free hazelnut extra hot…and 32 grande no caff cappuccinos with light whip cream, sugar free hazelnut and vanilla with white chocolate mocha. And 14 grande supremos with a triple shot, sugar free vanilla, extra white mocha, no whip, no foam and an extra drizzle. Oh, and can I get a smiley face on the bottom of all those?” And he knows if one of these orders is screwed up, it’s going to cost him a chance at the a full-time gig as assistant editor where he can bring coffee to even more important people. So instead of just grabbing his bags and leaving, he inspects all 70-odd cups in his 17 flimsy cardboard holders. If you get behind this guy, you may as well give up any hopes of getting a cup of joe in your lifetime. You’re better off flying to Colombia, slitting Juan Valdez’s throat and stealing his coffee-harvesting burro.
6. The Writer Who Wants You to Know They’re a Writer
Being a writer is a pretty cool occupation, but unfortunately you can’t tell someone’s a writer just by looking at them. And having to tell someone you’re a writer is way less impressive. Therefore, these people go to the busiest Starbucks and pop open their iMac, making sure their screen is clearly displaying a full page of text (or clear screenplay format for those in Los Angeles). Their next step is to make sure they’re facing away from where everyone goes to pick up their drinks while staring at the screen while remembering to take deep breaths which will indicate to others that deep and creative thought that normal minds are not capable of, is taking place. Who gives a shit if an asshole and his mac have spent six hours taking up a table normally reserved for four people, it’s important you know that they’re juggling a complex story about a boy in Alaska who comes of age and befriends a bear. That’s right, they’re creating that using only their minds!
5. Overly Happy Line Greeter/Order Taker
At some point, the Starbucks Corporation realized that their growing legions of employees didn’t have the best people skills. Their answer was to create their own version of the Wal-Mart Greeter who also takes your order. But since they don’t pay shit, you end up having some G.E.D.-havin’ dumbass or an excruciatingly-lonely elderly woman force their brand of corporate chit-chat down your throat. Instead of waiting to pay for your overpriced chai in peace, you have to deal with: “Goooooood morning today! How are you? Some kinda weather we’re having isn’t it? I wish I was outside in the park! Wouldn’t that be nice? It’s sooooo sunny! And what’s better for you than a nice big dose of Mr. Sun! Maybe some coffee? Ha! So, what can we get you today? Need a little pick-me-up? You do! I think we ALL could use one, yes we could! YES WE COULD! Anyway, I’ll get this chai order right up for you. What’s your name? Terry? That’s my cousin’s name! Small world. Yes. It. Is. Small world indeed….Hi! And how are you doing today?!?!”
4. Complicated Order Guy Who Needs his Coffee Right The F*&K Now.
When you order coffee, it shouldn’t sound like you’re giving the pass code to a missile defense system. If you’re lactose intolerant, on a strict diet, and can’t handle a full dose of caffeine, how about instead of ordering a “non-fat, grande, soy chai latte with a half shot of espresso and no foam” and then stand in front of the pick up window and pace like one of Michael Vick’s pitbulls watching Vick pull out the rape stand after losing a fight, you just grab a glass of god damn water and drink that. Last I checked that won’t give you exploding diarrhea or anxiety… unless you’re at the Starbucks in Tijuana.
3. The Guy Who Hates Starbucks But Goes There Every Day
Armed with armchair political rants, this guy is the world’s biggest bore and the world’s biggest hypocrite combined into one big uber-shithead. He won’t shut up about how Starbucks is bad for the environment and how they’re taking over the world and how their coffee totally “doesn’t taste like the gourmet stuff downtown.” But when you bring up the fact that he’s ranting about Starbucks while he’s actually inside a Starbucks, his crappy hippie-wannabe excuses just start piling up. “Well, here’s the thing, I just didn’t have time to make it over to my usual coffee place. You know the one way over on 2nd Ave? Yeah, it’s one of the last mom and pop coffee shops in the area. I toooootally love that place. It’s so real. I was on my way over there, but the traffic was a killer, so I was totally forced to get my fix at this place. I mean, the rich get richer, right? That’s the law of the land. I totally can’t stand that I have to come here, but that’s what they do. They tie your hands, man. These big corporations. They just own you. They’re everywhere. Can you hand me one of those Splenda?”
2. Study Groups
Hey, screw the library with all it’s “room” and “group space.” It makes way more sense to go to an incredibly busy and crowded Starbucks with tables that have insufficient space to lay your books. Everyone knows you have a poli-sci midterm, mostly because they can hear every fucking thing you’re saying because you’re yelling so that you can be heard over a frappucino being made. If you could, would you hold a study group session in a Turkish prison? Because Starbucks is basically the same thing, except with less gay sex, and a little bit better coffee.
1. The Person Who Peruses the DVD Section As If They Might Purchase.
It’s really great when you’re waiting in line behind somebody only to realize that they’re not in line, but instead deciding whether or not they want to purchase the “Pursuit of Happyness” DVD. “Gee what’s this movie Pursuit of Happyness about? I didn’t hear of it last summer when it grossed over 100 million dollars. Even though I’ve come here for coffee, I should carefully peruse the back cover to find out more about it!” Also, please don’t pick up a copy of “Akeelah and the Bee” as if you were going to buy it. No one buys that movie. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not even a real movie, it was just a box cover created by a group of white Starbucks executives so that customers could hold it in their hands and pretend to read the back, giving the impression to those around them that they’re progressive thinkers who seek out and enjoy films with African American casts.
So Who’s Most Annoying? You Be the Judge.