I was totally not happy with my Starbucks experience when my beloved 20 oz cold cup broke within 2 weeks of owning it and the store refused an even exchange because I didn’t have my receipt. (Hello!? Did you think I got this big plastic cup with a big green Starbucks logo at WalMart?!?)
I was also frustrated when the company promised me a couple free drink coupons as a result of that experience, which were never delivered. And it’s pretty annoying when the morning barista forgets to give me my cup discount. Every. Damn. Day.
BUT, last night I got very little sleep due to random people driving up the walkway past my apartment and leaving their car there with the bass thumping, shaking the glass in my windows. Yes, I said people. This happened from 10pm until just about midnight when thunderstorms rolled in and then happened again afterwards. I even called the cops. I never do that.
But then, today, after leading a 2 hour training session, I decided to go to Starbucks on my lunch break. I ordered an iced grande nonfat latte. The barista has seen me plenty of times before. She knows I either get this, a grande iced coffee or an iced grande Americano (extra ice, plus room for milk). As she took my cup and rang up my order (including the cup discount!), I said, “You know what? Can I get an extra shot of espresso? It’s been a rough day.”
She said sure and then proceeded to turn to one of her colleagues and say “Can I have your partner numbers for your markout?” (That’s the employee ID number baristas have which allow them drink discounts, a free weekly 1lb bag of coffee and limited free drinks during their shifts.) I actually got a little annoyed. As in “My god! Is she really going to ring up an employee while I’m sitting here ready to pay for my order.”
And then the price rang up on the register. $0.00. She used her colleagues discount to gift me my desperately needed and wanted coffee.
She smiled and said, “You’re all set! Hope your day gets better!”
As a former Starbucks barista, I know this was all against official company policy, but you would not believe how much it made my day and got me over the bitterness that has been brewing over some less-than-stellar recent experiences at that store. Random Act of Kindness for the win!