Today I had a Starbucks first in the location on 56th street between 6th and 7th avenue: a barista and customer got in a screaming match that almost escalated into a confrontation.
I don’t want to pick a side here, but honestly, I could tell this particular set of baristas were off from the get-go. They hardly talked to me as I ordered my drink and passed it on to me without saying “Here ya go” or “Have a good day.”
Then when a woman claimed to have handed them a 20 and received change for a 10 (figures it’d be over money), the entire store had to witness the altercation. The line was backed up. The other baristas were clearly distracted. And it was a mess all around. In the end the woman received her appropriate change, but her husband insisted on an apology, which caused the scene to escalator even further. The couple left shouting and angry. The barista was left wanting to go home…
All in all, I think it comes down to people being employed at a job they don’t like. I saw it dozens of times in the eyes of the cashiers I supervised when I worked at the Target in Brooklyn. I even had one girl walk around her cash register and put her face up to a guest in an attempt to fight her. What I saw in these baristas was the same thing: disinterest and disregard.
I can still hear them arguing in the back of the store right now…
So much for the #payitforward program Starbucks tried to initiate today. Which — btw — I tried to do but of course no body was in line with my when I walked in. Better luck tomorrow!
The Location… Directly in-between 6th and 7th avenue on 56th street and just south of Central Park.
The Seating… A communal table, a long stretch of window seating, a wall-bar in the back and a long sofa set as well.
The Baristas… I’ve never listed this as a “Bad” thing before, but I find I’m forced to after what I’ve witnessed today. They need to get it together.
The Crowd… Quite a heavy crowd for after 5pm on a hump day. Apparently just not when I arrived.
Restroom… Just the one.
All I can say is that a barista that confronts a patron shouldn’t really be working at Starbucks (see above).
Drink of Choice:
Grande Iced Coffee
Overall Starbucks Rating:
The second Starbucks I’ve seen on half an avenue, and a confrontational one at that.