Map of Starbucks in Downtown Chicago plus a story...
I work in the Chicago loop and was recently thinking about how many Starbucks are in the downtown area. So I went ahead and Googled it only to find this news story from 2014. Crazy! I imagine that there are even more these days.
Aside from the surprise at the vast number of Starbucks in the area, this news story reminded me of a story from when I worked at Starbucks in high school around 15 years ago.
First, a bit of background.
During the summer, I would frequently work opening shifts which would involve getting to the store around 4:30am. Being a 17 or 18 year old, this certainly was not going to stop me from going out with friends the night before. I would occasionally leave my car in the parking lot overnight, go out with friends, bicycle to my car, sleep for a few hours and wake up to my manager knocking on the car window.
Understandably, I would be a bit groggy at this point. This would result in me trying to consume as much coffee as possible before the morning rush (I worked at a location right by a commuter train station). Morning rush ended around 9am so there might be another 3 slowwwwww and tireddddddd hours before my shift ended.
This brings me to the interesting part of the story... or not, depending on what you find interesting.
The particular Starbucks store in which I worked had a tendency to goof off during the slow hours. This could come in the form of pranks, games or whatever thing that we could find to entertain ourselves. One employee liked to proudly declare us," The Empire Records of Starbucks!"
One game that we played was dubbed the "I'm Sorry" game. It involved saying those words as many times as possible to a single customer while in the store. This made it perfect for slow hours when a single employee would help a customer start to finish. The champion would be whoever could say "I'm Sorry" the most.
Here is my recollection of my best performance playing "I'm Sorry."
*Customer walks in...
Me: Good evening... I'm sorry... Good morning, welcome to Starbucks. What can I get for you? (1)
Cust: Hmm, one grande non-fat sugar-free vanilla latte, please.
Me: Certainly, that will be one tall... I'm sorry... grande vanilla... wait, did you say non-fat? (2)
Me: Oh, sorry, I one grande non-fat vanilla... wait, sorry, grande non-fat sugar-free vanilla latte. (4)
Me: Did you say you wanted an extra shot?
Me: Oh, sorry... just one of those days... sorry about that. The total will be 3.64... wait, sorry, 3.85 for the latte. (7)
*Customer pays with credit card and I try to hand the receipt over...
Cust: I don't need it.
Me: Okay, sorry, I'll just make your drink. Just one of those days you know? How is your day going? (8)
Cust: Uhh, okay now.
Me: How about I make it better - you want an extra shot?
Cust: No, I would just like my drink as is.
Me: Okay, sorry, like I said, sorry, just one of those days. (10)
*I finish the drink and hand it over...
Me: Thanks a latte! Have a grande! Oh, I can't believe I just said that out loud. I'm sorry. (11)
*Customer shakes head and leaves...
Remember I was probably 17 at this time so no judgement!
Any weird coffee shop stories as either an employee or customer??
Thanks a latte! Have a grande!