Starfucks Coffee

images-51said the cashier while her eyes rolled back into her head.

Every morning I go to Starbucks to buy overpriced coffee…a tall Blonde in a grande cup…I always think of the film The Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman whenever I say that, proving my life has turned into one old movie.

I’m lucky there are so many Starbucks to choose from in a five block radius, because the one nearest to me drives me nuts for a variety of reasons.

For starters they rarely open on time. I’ve been known to hang out in front like a stray cat waiting to be let in. They’re in there giggling setting up as if they have all the time in the world. Imagine turtles making coffee, coffee I should get for free for my tolerance alone.

I tell myself, as my temperature’s rises and the jukebox’s blowin a fuse…as the song goes…it’s early, and they probably all come from considerable distances just to serve the bitchy Upper East Side. Compassion replaces ire but I’ll admit, having to really push it out of the way like a dresser someone left in the hall.

I’ve learned to just go to the one four blocks and one avenue up to save myself the early morning irritation. They open on time, with a smile I might add, unlike their sister who growls when you’re the first customer.

“Aren’t you married?”

“No, and if I were I’d still be here, just with him paying.”

Not to blow my own altruistic horn, but I’ve also been known to help them. I’ll pull a few chairs down, bring the newspapers in that are languishing in front like pulp orphans, which brings me to what inspired this post.

This morning I was a little late myself…a good thing since they were actually open when I got there. The papers, as usual, were still outside so I brought them in. There was a stack of New York Times, and one lonely New York Observer.

I drop them on the counter without even a nod from the cashier…okay, I’m used to that plus no one asks me to bring them in calling this, rationalizing rudeness…order my usual and go sit in the corner to torture all my friends with lengthy email.

Something tells me to look at my coffee receipt since I charged it on Visa…a whole other essay…and see it was doubled causing me to zoom back to the counter.

“Excuse me, but I’ve been overcharged. It should be 2.o1, not 4 something.”

The head turtle waddles over and stares at the receipt long enough to memorize it. After I age standing there she says. “Did you buy a newspaper?”

She charged me for a paper, the Observer that I brought in.

If it wasn’t so outrageous it would be funny.

“No, I did not…I just carried it in.”

She then walks away to go make some guy a latte.

“Excuse me…could you please give me a refund.” If looks could kill I’d be in the cup she was holding dead in boiling water.

She then turtles back with a tude, as my friend Ella likes to call an attitude, that could melt ice.

No good turn goes unpunished, as they say….and I think I’ll be heading from now on to the Starbucks who at least pretends they’re happy to see me at 5:36 AM.  A little pretense goes a long way at that hour.Attackofthe50ftwomanIf I knew how, I would have superimposed my picture across hers…

anything to amuse myself.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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30 Responses to Starfucks Coffee

  1. micklively says:

    You could always report them to Starbucks HQ. It may seem spiteful, but I wonder how many customers never go back to any Starbucks after being treated that way. So workers with a good ‘tude elsewhere, potentially lose their jobs because of the bitches at your local. That can’t be fair, can it?
    On the other hand, I think you’re hypersensitive to good manners and very observant of things that might just wash over others, perhaps because you’ve always got your next blog in the back of your mind? Who cares: it makes for an entertaining read. Thanks Susannah.


    • I’ll tell you a story Mick. One of the head turtles, who raeely speaks, was on the train very early one morning when I was coming home very late. There she was with her head in her hands as if she were weeping. She wasn’t, but I saw the misery right through her light brown fingertips. She probably has to get up at 3 am to be there by 4 to start setting up to open at 5:30. This is why I loosened my impatience like a jazz singer loosens his tie. I just felt for her. I do many jobs I hate, but they’re one at a time and end before they become too unbearable. I feel fortunate so this is why I’d never report her and her peers. I could never do a job like that. I’d drown myself in a skim Venti Cappachino I can’t even spell.


  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, it’s a good thing she didn’t think you were going to make something out of paper mache and charge you for ALL the papers.
    You are one of the most empathetic people I’ve come across. Bravo!


    • Or ridiculous…it is kind of funny when you think about it. I never buy a paper in there…I’m such a creature of habit. Nice to know people notice you. It’s always as if they’re seeing me for the first time. Oh well, this is New York, the faceless capital of the world.


  3. I am cracking up at the thought of a crew of turtles working behind the counter…I think I’ve been to that! Over the weekend my daughter was home from school and she insisted on going to a Starbucks while we were strolling a Market Day. The line was literally out the door! I was watching the crew make drinks at the speed of light without an ounce of thought going into those cups. It wasn’t pretty at all. I agree with your comment above, it’s not all it appears to be.


  4. jimmie chew says:

    if she doesnt like her job, she should go get another one, f that s.b. there’s no reason to be rude. i would say something to HER. like. “hey youre the first person people see in the morning, can you try to be nice”


    • I would feel bad later if I said that. I will go to the one a little further away…it will take care of the problem…trouble is, Rosie the cat is right across the street from that one. I’ll miss her. Will have to work her in somehow.


  5. It’s amazing how you can’t spit without hitting a starbucks in this country…. that said, I totally understand the differences in each store. Used to visit often when we lived in CA…. can’t remember when I was in one last now… great post, thank you. I will never look at the logo again the same way either…. 😉


  6. katecrimmins says:

    Just this morning I was in my favorite Starbucks. They have recently had a big turnover and most of the folks in the morning don’t have a clue so it takes long. I did ok but one of my friends did come across some attitude when she asked the barista to use her free birthday drink and she forgot. Seems like it was my friend’s fault. Hopefully it will all work out as they get trained. Usually it’s a delightful place to go.


    • I was waiting for you to weigh in. I remember that great picture with your cats and Starbucks cups. My place is slightly different. The same crew have been there forever and still have a tude and a half. New York, it was born with an attitude.


      • katecrimmins says:

        I don’t think all SB are the same. We have them every few miles (instead of blocks) and I live equal distance between two. I swear the taste is different and the service at the one is traditionally slower although the employees at both are usually pleasant. I guess I’m just not so patient with this damn learning curve. Fridays are usually the busiest too.


      • You’re right about the taste. Some are much better than others…that’s why I keep switching from blonde to perk of the day, or whatever it’s called. I’m not so patient, I just reel myself in for fear of killing one of them. Rudeness grates on me. I feel it’s a test. How much can I withstand.


  7. D. D. Syrdal says:

    I never go to Starbucks, but I have compassion for anyone who has to deal with the public on a daily basis. I joke about the bus drivers in my area, but you couldn’t pay me enough to do what they do. Dealing with weirdos and drunks all day, bleah. We had a drunk hop on two days ago on the way home at 5:30PM. The driver told him to sit down and behave when the guy tried talking to a couple other passengers, slurring his words incoherently. The driver routinely tells people to turn down the music that’s blasting out of their earbuds. The thing about my bus is its an express that mainly serves the campus where I work and tends to be all professional people going to and from work, so we almost never see any unsavory characters on our bus.

    I’d be snarling and have a ‘tude too if I had to do that job 😉


  8. Just found this one. Must have been before I found you originally. I’ve been there, at least in the hanging around outside waiting for Starbucks to open part. That was in Korea though and the baristas there were super friendly. Actually, I was the only one (apparently) who ever ordered drip coffee instead of a latte, etc. so they always had to make it fresh for me. They’d start it brewing when they saw me walk in. 🙂 Hope you found a better place, although knowing Starbucks, there were a dozen within sight of it.


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