Friday, October 15, 2004

Better Latte Than Never

There is a barista at the Starbucks I frequent who was born without an internal volume control.

“HI. WELCOME TO STARBUCKS. WHAT CAN I GET FOR YOU TODAY?”

Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue for me. She yells. Big deal. But seeing as how I have developed a bit of a complex about the drink I order, I’d prefer not to have it broadcast to the whole store via this woman’s superhuman windpipe.

See, my theory is that the longer the name of your Starbucks drink of choice, the more high-maintenance and needy you are. Someone ordering a venti drip, for example, is a stable, normal, well-adjusted human being. To the contrary, the patron with the venti Americano with an add shot and two pumps of hazlenut syrup is severely disturbed and likely to be keeping a sex slave in the dungeon below his house.

When I order my drink, I know what it says about me: it says I’m completely whacked. That’s why sharing my drink order with Ms. Happy Lungs is such a sphincter-tightening proposition. My insanity is about to be revealed to the whole store.

“Um, hi,” I say. “I’d like an iced venti decaf soy latte. And a piece of banana bread.”

For a moment, there is silence. Perhaps I’ve escaped her wrath.

But then…

“ICED VENTI DECAF SOY LATTE. DO YOU WANT WHIP?”

Every head in the store whips around and leers at me. A couple in the corner whispers to each other. The customers behind me in line take a step backward. I hear someone mumble the word “Zoloft.”

“No,” I say, mortified. “No whip.”

“ICED VENTI DECAF SOY LATTE, NO WHIP. AND A PIECE OF BANANA LOAF. WILL THAT BE ALL, YOU SAD, PATHETIC, NEEDY SON OF A BITCH?”

“Yes,” I say sheepishly. “That’ll do it.”

“OK. SO THAT’S THE ICED VENTI DECAF SOY LATTE AND A PIECE OF BANANA LOAF. CAN I GET YOUR NAME?”

“It’s Danny.”

“OK, CRAZY, FUCKED-UP DANNY. YOUR TOTAL COMES TO FIVE-FORTY-FIVE.”

I hand her six dollars and seriously consider changing my order to a tall mocha, just to prove to Happy Lungs and these other rude people that I’m not as crazy as a five-word coffee order indicates.

She hands me my change and I shuffle away, my head hung low. The humiliation I will endure for a five-dollar cup of coffee borders on psychotic.

17 Comments:

At 7:31 AM, Blogger ck said...

glad to hear i'm not the only one who's been sucked into starbucks' irrisistable coffee concoctions....mine is the tall nonfat chai latte so the long name isn't what troubles me. it's the fact that they raised their prices on the already overpriced caffeine jubilations. the nerve! i've attempted a boycott by buying pre-made chai latte in the organic aisle at my local grocery, but it's just not the same! they need to package that shite for home use so we can all escape the humiliating, shouty starbucks experience.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Starbucks is to coffee what reality TV is to reality. Overblown, contrived, and really not worth your time. "Starbucks coffee" is an oxymoron for the ages.

Still, I don't think any less of you for your drink order. Course, I don't know what I think of you, so maybe that's not helpful.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Shiz said...

Hee, hee ...

The secret is ... baristas order the most complex drinks EVER. Yours is easy. Take it from me, a former SB barista. Your order may shock some of the patrons, but the staff think nothing of it.

If they're normal, that is.

And how more disturbed can one get than to order a SHORT hot chocolate in a VENTI cup with whipped cream ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP? And she seemed normal; she was a regular. I'd never have the guts to order that, even if I wanted it and antde it baaaaad.

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

You can get whipped cream all the way to the top? Wow, all the things I've been missing out on. Can I order just a cup of whipped cream with those orange sprinkles? Do they charge if they don't put any coffee in it? Sounds like a real nice way to get dessert.

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Fish said...

Don't worry, my friend, its not your fault that Starbucks is a front for Satan.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Lala said...

I actually don't drink cawfee but I will have a toffee nut grande creme frappucino(5 words, means glorified milkshake)

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger nyl rebma said...

hahahha, it's true, baristas order the most complicated drinks! like, now that i am no longer a barista, i don't feel comfortable ordering my grande misto with 2 pumps of mocha, 3 pumps of cinnamon, whip cream stirred into the coffee, and cinnamon and vanilla powder on top.

but you think yours is bad? we used to have a regular that ordered the following: 1/3 decaf, 2/3 regular quad venti 6-pumps sugar free vanilla nonfat caramel on the bottom, caramel on the top, two sweet and low, with whip, caramel machiatto.

i kid you not.

i promise, your barista is likely to be a little annoyed, especially if while you order it you say "um" a lot, and go back to revise your request here and there ("did i saw TWO sweet and lows? i meant four.")

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Pink Lemonade Diva said...

Pray tell, do you frequent the Starbucks on 42nd and 6th?

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

A hahaha. That's hilarious. I found your blog through the Media Bistro boards and will regularly come back!

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Shiz said...

The yelling thing, though, I would hate that. We can hear you, Barista Girl. Please use your inside voice.

 
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At 5:14 AM, Blogger LSRDylcx said...

Hey,
Your blog is different than the rest of them. I found it on the blogger home page. I have a site on coffee maker maybe we could trade links?

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Joe Deckard said...

Hi,

interesting story. Actually, the second one I have found on people having...er...let's say: cultural confrontations... with Starbucks. Check out http://www.willamowski.org/vita/vita.html (follow the link "Decaf Tall Soy Latte")

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Joe Deckard said...

Hi,

interesting story. Actually, the second one I have found on people having...er...let's say: cultural confrontations... with Starbucks. Check out http://www.willamowski.org/vita/vita.html (follow the link "Decaf Tall Soy Latte")

 

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