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Stupidest Starbucks Employee Ruins My Iced Caramel Macchiato

Posted by Phillyman , 14 January 2010 · 5,989 views

Today I went to my local Starbucks which happens to be located inside of a Safeway grocery store. I proceeded to order an Iced Caramel Macchiato to relieve the stresses of my workday. Now I deal with stupidity on a daily basis with my IT job, everything from forgotten passwords to explaining why a computer will not work in a power outage. The last place I expect to deal with stupidity is at Starbucks....but today I was not so fortunate. After ordering my Caramel Macchiato, I got back in my car and started to drive back to my work. The first sip of my drink and I noticed something was off, but hey maybe its just me. I continue to drink away and notice that I can not taste any caramel at all, but yet I see it in the bottom. I finally found out why I could see the caramel but not taste it. The stupid clerk who I will refer to as a clerk because he is surely not a barista.....put the caramel in a SEPARATE cup! Yes that is right, he filled the bottom of my cup with caramel.....then put another cup on top of the caramel.....then filled the cup with ice, milk and espresso.

I am left with questions that will probably never be answered....

1) Why two cups, surely the iced drink would not give me frost bite?
2) Did you not feel the resistance of the sticky caramel as you inserted another cup?
3) Why did you not top off the drink with more caramel as is usually done (partially negating out your stupidity)?

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Damn the Bad Luck!

Stupid people should not own PC's

Stupid people should not be working @ Starbucks pretending to be a barista

Hey lOOk on the bright side @ least you have a job as well as a local Starbucks, nearest one to me is 45 minutes away

:D
It should probably be pointed out that using caffeine to reduce stress is rather like attempting to stop a toilet from overflowing by peeing into it. ;)

That said, though, I really do have to wonder at the level of competency often seen in food service. The local Texas Roadhouse was closed down for a couple weeks after failing a health inspection that the restaurant had been told was happening two weeks prior to said inspection. Failing a random inspection, while not something I want to see happen ever, is still far, far more understandable than failing one about which you had ample warning. I'll take a caramel error like this in lieu of a health code violation any day of the week though. :)

*huggles*
Areala
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Mister Zero
Jan 15 2010 12:48 AM
HAHAHA! I'm sorry, but that's hilarious! WHO WOULD DO THAT?!

That guy seems a bit more incompetent than me, and that's hard to beat sometimes!
Sounds like the same guy on Simpsons Homerpallooza when this groupie gets hit in the face by a frisbee and doesn't even feel it.
If you were paid minimum wage in a job with no chance of advancement and treated like garbage by most customers (who wield a superiority complex) how much would you care about doing your job right? Even in a recession all those bottom of the barrel places are hiring, why not just switch to a different on in the case that you got fired?

Its not as though they really care if you come back or not, they have absolutely no stake in the business and it doesn't effect their tiny paycheck. They are just peons. All the big decisions are left to corporate. Perhaps if their employees had a vested interest in the business they would perform better.

Yeah, I'm a little bitter as I worked at a coffee shop in college. I think if everyone worked in fast food at some point in their life perhaps we wouldn't treat people working those jobs like human trash.
I love how I am being attacked <_<

1) I do not have the power to post this on Consumerist!
2) Yes everyone makes mistakes.
3) Not my fault if they make minimum wage.
4) I was the only customer he had
5) Any comments with personal attacks will continue to be deleted.
Kind of a funny story. Silly on the barista's part, yes. If you're looking for a good Starbucks experience, the licensed ones at Safeways are not the place to go because they don't have as much training, experience, or have to follow exactly the same procedures that real Starbucks locations do. But could you not have just poured what was left of your drink into the outside cup that contained the caramel on bottom?
True, and if I had caught the mistake faster I would have. I got the drink and headed back to work, I did not start drinking it until I got back to my desk. I did not figure out that my drink was separated into two cups until I was two sips away from finishing it. You have to keep in mind that 50% of a drink from Starbucks is ice, so a few sips and your drink is finished. I am a frequent customer of Starbucks and have never experienced such incompetence before.

Anyway, Comments have been disabled because some childish people wish to launch personal attacks. Take it up with the websites that referered you here....if you dont care for the story :rolleyes:

If you were paid minimum wage in a job with no chance of advancement and treated like garbage by most customers (who wield a superiority complex) how much would you care about doing your job right? Even in a recession all those bottom of the barrel places are hiring, why not just switch to a different on in the case that you got fired?

Its not as though they really care if you come back or not, they have absolutely no stake in the business and it doesn't effect their tiny paycheck. They are just peons. All the big decisions are left to corporate. Perhaps if their employees had a vested interest in the business they would perform better.

Yeah, I'm a little bitter as I worked at a coffee shop in college. I think if everyone worked in fast food at some point in their life perhaps we wouldn't treat people working those jobs like human trash.


When I delivered pizzas for a couple of months I was at the depths of low. I was treated like garbage by not only customers but by the pie assemblers as well. They tried to cheat me on my wages every day. When I figured it out I had to ask my boss why I got short changed 40 bucks. Anyway it wasn't worth the wear and tear on my car so I gave that up.

At no time did I let up. I gave 110% and worked like I was getting paid twice as much. So all the lazy nobodies who feel sorry for themselves and reflect it on their work get no sympathy from me.
    • Phillyman likes this
An Iced Caramel Macchiato has an obvious crosshatching on top of the ice in the drink. Just looking at it as you picked it up you should have noticed it was missing and asked for it.

My guess is that this was a new(er) hire who got messed up and put caramel in first instead of the vanilla, then realized his mistake and for some inexplicable reason put another cup in on top of the mistake, then made the drink over up until he didn't think, or forgot, or thought it wasn't part of the drink, to put the caramel on top.

I'd expect to find stupidity more often in a low wage job than in an office where everyone has a computer that needs to be serviced by the IT dept.
i agree that this kid was obviously failing at doing his job right, however i just want to point a couple things out, as a barista myself.

first, the most important thing to point out here is that it is a starbucks at a safeway, i dont believe that these partners are necessarily partners at all, and dont go through the same extensive traning we do in stand alone stores.

second, rather than blog about it which wont do any good, simply go back and let them know what happened, im sure they would be more than happy to help you out.

third, since our cups are so thin, you can definately tell by holding it when there is an extra cup and on further examination, you would have noticed what happened. i understand being rushed, but it doesnt mean you should be less attentive.

fourth, being a common customer, you should already know that you could ask for less ice in your drink, we are more than happy to accomidate modifiers (thats what the boxes on the side of the cup are for)

see this as a personal attack if you must, because it is. correct me if im wrong but isnt this what you did to the barista by blogging about such a silly part of your day and telling him everything he did wrong? and if you are so sensative about personal attacks, dont voice your opinion on the world wide web so that people all around the world can read and criticize what you say. even the people who arent telling you what i have, are still thinking them, and possibly worse, so remember, every time you blog, someone is going to judge you.
he did it on purpose. maybe he felt you were rude to him. im a barista myself and when customers are rude to me i give them decaf. and keep in mind it was a licensed store. they are not held to the same standards.
What right do you really have to complain about the drink if you didn't even notice that there wasn't any caramel [KEY ingredient!] in it until you were 2 drinks from being finished with it?!
Guest seems to have a lot to say. Guest even talks about itself in third person.
(former Starbucks barista here, 4 years removed)

1. Iced caramel macchiatos aren't even supposed to have caramel around the cup that the drink is in, but just as a cross hatch on top. I haven't worked at SB for over 4 years so I thought I might have outdated information but the SB website backs me up on this.

2. As others have said, Safeway-Starbucks aren't really Starbucks. I don't know if this Safeway-Starbucks would even care that you're upset, but if that doesn't work chances are you could even use the situation to score a free drink from a real Starbucks. They're pretty lenient with free drinks as an all purpose apology for any slight, perceived or real. At least, they used to be.

3. The top green line on the cup indicates where the liquid is filled to before ice is added. More than a few sips for sure, but in my experience you can ask for less ice if you don't mind lukewarm drinks.

4. If I had to guess, I'd say the caramel was placed in the outer cup as a joke at your expense.
the sad part is... at least in dallas here, the licensed stores do have a SBUX district manager that oversees training and all. Now, i'll have to admit i got one of my best employees from a Tom thumb (safeway) store in dallas.
Ex-Licensed Barista
Jan 25 2010 09:26 PM

If you were paid minimum wage in a job with no chance of advancement and treated like garbage by most customers (who wield a superiority complex) how much would you care about doing your job right? Even in a recession all those bottom of the barrel places are hiring, why not just switch to a different on in the case that you got fired?

Its not as though they really care if you come back or not, they have absolutely no stake in the business and it doesn't effect their tiny paycheck. They are just peons. All the big decisions are left to corporate. Perhaps if their employees had a vested interest in the business they would perform better.

Yeah, I'm a little bitter as I worked at a coffee shop in college. I think if everyone worked in fast food at some point in their life perhaps we wouldn't treat people working those jobs like human trash.


I couldn't say it better myself. IT IS ONLY COFFEE PEOPLE!
as a regular at a local Starbucks. I have had my share of sleepy employees screw my drink up. I order a Venti Iced Coffee with Sugar-free caramel and light breve. Amazing how that can be screwed up.

If I catch it I tell them right away. If I do not until I am on the road I wait to get to my computer and go to Starbucks.com and either register a complaint online or call them directly.

Then again I am the one that makes sure on a monthly basis that the District Manager and Store Manager is aware that there people are doing a great name. Yes, I list them by name in my feedback.

I would have been pissed just as you and yes I would have wrote about my experience on my blog and yes I would expect all kinds of positive and negative comments.

I commend you on writing about your experience and keeping the persons name out of the post. Keep up the great work.
That is what you get for going to a LICENSED Starbucks! Duh! Licensed stores are not the REAL Starbucks. The person who served you is an employee of Safeway.
Ben Brown Jr.
Feb 05 2010 04:56 PM
I am a 5 1/2 year partner at one of the busiest stores in Portland, OR. Considering just how many things you could have blogged about, like health care, etc., you chose this. Amazing. I rarely every get upset over human error. Trust me, if this were the case, dealing with half-asleep, rude customers would have driven me away years ago.
Congrats on posting something that has absolutely no value. I would love to hear from your fellow employees online how many times you have botched something, only to have them rant and rave over something so trivial.
If you wish, I will send you a free drink coupon, along with some swag. As we say at Starbucks, it's just coffee.
Ben Brown Jr.
Store 401
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Portland, OR
Facebook: Ben Brown Jr.

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