7 Disconcertingly Intimate Things I Have Said To Starbucks Customers

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to work at Starbucks. I learned a lot during my time there, made a lot of friends, and spilled a lot of mocha powder. I also said a lot of things that were totally normal in the context of the job, but could easily be misconstrued as dirty talk or snippets from a serious relationship discussion. Let’s take a look at a few of these classic barista quotes out of context, shall we?

1. “I’m not sure you know what you really want.” The first thing you learn as a Starbucks barista is the menu, and more importantly, the official Starbucks way to order and call out drinks. The first thing you learn when you start helping customers is most people don’t really understand either of these things. It’s not a big deal, and I was never the type to get grumpy when people asked for a large drink instead of a “Venti,” but sometimes people would come up to the counter and request iced cappuccinos or cranberry steamers and I’d have to lay it out for them as if they were a boyfriend with commitment issues: Sir, I’m not sure you know what you really want.

2. “Hot enough for you?” I inherited my dad’s penchant for tepid drinks, but many customers prefer their drinks to be esophagus-melting hot, and aren’t afraid to send them back if they’re not up to temperature. I asked this question a lot.

3. “Let me grab your buns real quick.” There’s a pastry on the Starbucks menu called a morning bun. It’s sweet and crunchy and delicious, and when it’s 6AM, you have a line out the door, and a customer orders two of them, well, you end up saying things like this.

4. “You came early today.” At every store, there’s a roster of regular customers that stop by for their coffees at exactly the same time every day. When certain people arrived earlier or later than usual, it was noticeable enough that I would comment on it, and then immediately regret it.

5. “Do you like it wet?” Obviously this in reference to cappuccinos, which can be made wet or dry. What did you think I was talking about?

6. “So, do you want me to take your sausage out?” Sometimes customers would order sausage breakfast sandwiches, but they really wanted an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, so they’d mumble something like, “Sausage breakfast sandwich, but, like, without the sausage.” And then I would try to clarify, and then things got weird.

7. “I’d like to see the bottom half of you.” OK, I don’t really have a good excuse for this one, but here’s how it happened: the Starbucks I worked for was a drive-through store, so I spent a lot of time working the register at the window, handing out drinks. I got to know a lot of regular customers from the torso up, because the rest of them was always obscured by their car door. One time I was trying to convince a guy to order his drink in the lobby someday and I ended up saying this, then promptly turning bright red, backing away from the window, and hiding behind the pastry case til he drove away. Smooth.