Holiday Hell: Starbucks Edition

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Once Halloween is over, everyone begins to get ready for what should be the “happiest” time of the year, Christmas. But when exactly does “Holiday Season” start? According to Starbucks, the holidays start once they release their holiday beverages on November 1st.

    Everyone goes crazy for the Caramel Brulee and Chestnut Praline lattes from Starbucks, and sure enough there’s a line to the door just to get your hands on one if these delicious beverages. While all the customers have eagerly been waiting for the holiday drinks to return, Starbucks baristas have been dreading this time of year.

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    As a Starbucks barista, my holiday experience at work can go one of two ways. I can be greeted by our regulars who always meet us with the warmest of smiles, or I can have the customer who complains about absolutely everything and think it is absurd that they waited an extra two minutes for their drink to be handed off to them.

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    For some reason, holiday cheer doesn’t seem to enter the hearts of Starbucks customers when they come in to order their coffee. With all the stress of Christmas shopping and planning holiday parties, I can see why every customer can come off nasty.

    I once had a customer tell me, “ I know that your job is stressful, but I have been waiting for my drink and I’d like you to make it now.”

    What she didn’t know was that I was actually almost done with her drink, and we have had a line to the door for the past two or three hours and I was beginning to tire myself out on bar.

    My tip to customers is this; if you know that our job is stressful, don’t make it less enjoyable by putting us under more pressure. Most of us don’t do well under stress and become overwhelmed, because believe it or not, we’re human too. I can guarantee that if every customer practices some patience, they will be less stressed not only while waiting for their coffee, but during the entire holiday season.

    The best time to practice patience is during Starbuck’s famous, “Buy One Get One” promotion for holiday drinks. When this promotion is released, everyone sprints to Starbucks for the rare opportunity of paying five dollars for two drinks instead of just one. It’s only natural that you wait a little more than normal, especially when these promotions are in effect. Not every barista has superhuman speed, and the vast majority take their time with every drink to make sure it is done properly and honestly, it’s also to avoid any spills.

    What many don’t know is that most Starbucks stores don’t even close for the holidays.  While everyone is at home on Christmas day, my fellow baristas and I are at work, making coffee for those who choose to come in that day.

    The holidays in Starbucks are as good as you make it. You can either let one rude customer ruin your day, or you can look past it with a smile. We do our very best to make every customer’s experience memorable so that they will continue to come back to our store. The holidays are meant to be cheerful, not stressful. With the right attitude, baristas won’t go home on the verge of tears and customers will continue to come back to that same store for the delicious holiday drinks.

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About The Author

Hi, my name is Gabriela, or Gabby for short. I am currently a sophomore at Adelphi University. I am also a psychology major and plan on pursuing a career in clinical psychology. I am 20 years old and live in Staten Island. I have been working as a Starbucks Barista for approximatley 2 years. I also enjoy doing yoga and watching movies. 

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