Brewing through life one Starbucks mistake at a time

It’s no secret that I like my Starbucks a little too much.  I look forward to these trips and while I’m not an everyday user, I hit the brew more often than I should. 

By the time I enter the crack house, I have my pre-consumption expectations roaring.  The primal slurping sounds and ahhhs which, I inherited as involuntary reactions to coffee exposure (thanks Dad), are soon to follow each sip.  Now, what is most disappointing and totally throws a punch to the addicted gut is when the Barista screws up the order, especially when it doesn’t taste anything like this user knows it should. That is one expensive cup of disappointment and the reason why I stalk certain Baristas who can create liquid works of genius. 

I don’t know about you but I have had my share of Barista mess ups.  I am usually very gracious with the stressed out Barista because I can only imagine what it must be like to serve a bunch of shaky, twitching, sniffling nosed addicts who are on the verge of jumping the counter and snorting some grinds.   My exchange of words typically goes like this:

Me: “Um, excuse me….I ordered a White Chocolate Mocha not a Vanilla Latte.”

Barista appearing annoyed: “OOOkay” Followed by silence. 

After several minutes of awkwardness the Barista presents a new drink, the correct drink, with a slam-dunk-splashing-my-precious-coffee on the counter maneuver.  Usually during these mistakes one of two things happen BUT never both.

  1. They make a new drink
  2. They make a new drink AND I’m given the old, mess up to take along for the road

Yesterday, the second scenario occurred.  I ordered a Vanilla Latte and the Barista made a White Chocolate Mocha.  She gave me the mistake and because, I kid you not, I could not find anyone to give it to (unbelievable!) I force drank my second Grande.  I was NOT about to waste the liquid gold.  As a result, I had the heartbeat of a frightened rodent and was shaking like a Chihuahua for HOURS!!

After both of these I stuttered like Elmer Fudd

Mr. Pavlov also enjoys Starbucks only on a very controlled level.  Even with his controlled intake, he has experienced his share of Barista mess ups but his scenario plays out quite differently.  He always, always, always orders No Whip.  Period.  He informs the Barista several times of the NO WHIP preference like so:

“NO WHIP Grande White Chocolate Mocha NO WHIP…(clearing throat) I don’t want any whip “

However, seven out of ten times the Barista delivers him a frothy whipping.  To which the scene of events then goes:

Mr. Pavlov sternly: “I said NO WHIP.”

Panicking Barista: “OMG, OMG.  I am sooooooo, so soorrry.  I’ll get you another one and give you a free card to use the next time you come in AND you can keep the whip coffee too!  I’m very sorry. I really apologize!”

Did you get that?  Mr. Pavlov’s mistake experience is a three-way win.  Each and every time the same options are given him by a very apologetic Barista.

  1. He gets a new cup of coffee
  2. He gets to keep the mistake
  3. He gets a FREE card!!

He has accumulated his own personal deck of free coffee cards that he enjoys taunting me with.  With a big smile, he waves the prized card in my face just before shoving it down his pants.  I guess he expects me to act like a legit junkie and card dive. Not gonna happen – at least not in public.  I do the proper public thing and hold out my hand indicating that Mr. Pavlov needs to fish out his hidden prize and promptly deposit it into my ready palm.  He does.

So I must ask why the difference?  Is my experience or Mr. Pavlov’s the norm?  What happens to you when the Barista makes a mistake?  Are you treated like Mr. Pavlov, like myself, or another way????

Is it a man thing?  Mr. Pavlov does appear more intimidating (when he’s not stuffing things down his pants) than myself and he utilizes the “you can hate me as long as you fear me” approach.  If I were a total beeotch would they treat me better?

I feel an experiment brewing.

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20 responses to “Brewing through life one Starbucks mistake at a time

  1. It’s rare I can find time to read a whole post and your blog is consistently making my daily reading list. A very humorous post and one I can relate very much. I too am an ardent lover of both coffee and Starbucks and have experienced this same extraordinary service! More power to ya and good luck in your future adventures at the coffee house.

  2. You, my man, are too kind and I must say the blogger respect is mutual.
    Thanks for your experience input – I’m keeping track of the results!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog, Botut…really enjoyed this post…funny stuff! I have had a similar experience at our local coffee establishment: http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/chicken-salad/

    Wendy

  4. Another great post that I this coffee gal can relate with! I’m given a new drink and offered the old. I have not received a free card yet. If you ever find out Mr. Pavlov’s secret let us know.

  5. I never acquired the taste for coffee so can’t relate, but I laughed nonetheless. Funny post.

  6. Well, with the word “Starbucks” in the title I had to read this right away… great analogy: comparing Starbucks to a crack house! Ha ha ha …

  7. Now, I’m upset I don’t get the free card when I state “Soy, no foam, no whip!” three times at any new barista I encounter! I get a glare and a drink remade while the other is tossed in the trash because 9 times out of ten, it is wrong. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever be intimidating being 5′ tall and usually standing next to an easy-going 6’5” man (my fiance)…but it is still my drug and I will continue to go to get my fix. Haha

    • Ok so far the free cards are something only Mr. Pavlov gets the thrill of experiencing. You SHOULD absolutely get a free card! Thanks for the input and for stopping by. I’ll be over to visit you.

  8. Let me know how the experiment goes. I can think of a few other places I am nice about mix ups that I wouldn’t mind getting a card for.

  9. I’m laughing too hard at your description of yourself shaking like a chihuahua with the heartbeat of a frightened rodent…

    If I’d drunk that much coffee in one shot, I think I’d be too busy peeing to notice my tremors.

    As for me, I’m too shy (think frightened rodent) to ever inform anyone if he/she has messed up something I ordered. Pathetic. I know.

    In my next life, I will speak up. And drink more coffee.

    • Oh yes, I was peeing like a race horse! It was most annoying. Don’t wait until your next life….speak up now. Anyone who can parade around in a cowgirl outfit, a granny bathing suit and space shuttle sleeved gown can, by all means, speak up! 🙂 You got this!!!

  10. Hahahhaha…great post…I think you will be like coffee 🙂 I’ll be back …

  11. every Barista should remember that: coffee deprivation is a serious problem, and the longer you wait for your coffee order the more irritated you get.
    for me “Caffeine isn’t a drug, it’s a vitamin! “

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