The Unofficial Starbucks Customer Interaction Simulator

800Px-Latte ArtLured in by the comfy seats, plentiful electrical sockets, and lack of lunchtime traffic, I wrote for an hour or so at a local Starbucks today. (I know, I know … they’re the evil empire. But at least their wall-mounted menus aren’t framed with poster-size enlargements of Holy Scripture, they way they are over at Fusion, the locally-owned place.)

Today, the crew — forewarned that a corporate trainer would be coming through to pose as a customer and evaluate them — amused themselves by dreaming up and responding to realistic customer scenarios. As I was the only patron in the shop — and once I settled in, I became virtually invisible — I was treated to a curious little drama.

800Px-Latte ArtLured in by the comfy seats, plentiful electrical sockets, and lack of lunchtime traffic, I wrote for an hour or so at a local Starbucks today. (I know, I know … they’re the evil empire. But at least their wall-mounted menus aren’t framed with poster-size enlargements of Holy Scripture, they way they are over at Fusion, the locally-owned place.)

Today, the crew — forewarned that a corporate trainer would be coming through to pose as a customer and evaluate them — amused themselves by dreaming up and responding to realistic customer scenarios. As I was the only patron in the shop — and once I settled in, I became virtually invisible — I was treated to a curious little drama.

One of the employees rounded the counter and approached the register. “I want one of those lattes. No — make that a lemonade tea. No — a double decaf grande mocha! No! Wait! Do you have one of those frozen fruity things? A pomegranate … something … with a white tea something?”

The somber young manager shook his head. “I got a sale on leftover Christmas drinks with peppermint in ’em.”

“But what if I don’t like peppermint?” the faux customer asked.

“M’am,” the manager said, “if you don’t like it, I’ll take the cup back from you, turn it upside down over my head, and douse myself with it.”

“Sold!”

The crew dissolved into much laughter and shrieking at this point … but then, suddenly aware of my presence, they sobered up, cleared their throats, and turned their attention to wiping down the countertops.

Photo credit: This image was originally posted to Flickr by Mortefot at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tussius/133695304/. It was reviewed on 22:12, 19 December 2006 by FlickreviewR, and confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

2 comments

  • I enjoy your posts all the time, but finding out the folks at the Evil Empire are actual humans? Wow. You may have changed my life.

  • LOL! Yup. I worked for Evil Empire *mumble* years ago. I think that’s when I began to hate people. The customers can get to you. And the company can get to you. Before you know it, you’re laughing maniacally behind the espresso machine wondering what the portafilter would look like embedded in someone’s head. Maybe even Howard Schultz’s

    Gee. Did I say that outloud?

Who Wrote This?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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