By Steve Moran

I belong to this Starbucks employee group that is almost entirely a place for employees and ex-employees to complain about how terrible it is to work at Starbucks. I am mostly a lurker, but once in a while, something stands out for its application to life and senior living.

Here’s a post that a member linked to. It’s since been removed from Reddit.

I want to also acknowledge that we are missing big parts of the story, and I even find myself wondering if this was made up.

There were a huge number of comments in the Starbucks group — with people defending the cashier and others very critical. A couple samples:

“Wow … male entitlement, Karen behaviors, and a temper tantrum all in one!!!”

“Customer was entirely in the wrong. You are not entitled to someone else’s time.”

“Nah, that barista was dead wrong. Yes, we all have bad days, but that doesn’t mean you get a free pass to be an ass#@%$. He wasn’t being invasive or pushy, he just asked a simple question. Starbucks builds these exact kinds of interactions into your paychecks and calls it “customer connections.”

“Not going to lie, I straight up have an entire anime sleeve and love when people compliment it or strike up a conversation about the subject. I suck at making small talk at bars so being able to talk about something that really interests me makes it so much easier. And I’m not sure where some people get that we’re not paid to talk, that was the entire idea that daddy Schultz wanted to bring back to North America.”

What I Love About This

This is a great discussion starter for a stand-up meeting. Some of the questions I would ask:


  1. Is being nice to people, making small talk, part of the job description for every team member?
  2. What does a team member do when they have a bad day? Should that be taken into consideration with residents and families?
  3. What are the boundaries, and are they the same for all people? For instance, I would guess that in most communities the boundaries for what is acceptable is broader with residents who have dementia.
  4. Is it possible to be too easily offended? (In this case, perhaps both sides were.)
  5. How do you react/respond when a customer, resident, family member goes beyond reasonable boundaries?