I know Starbucks is a corporate giant and I should support my local coffee shop...blah blah blah. I get it. But Starbucks keeps me coming back for two reasons: convenience and customer service.
I don't buy into the whole "we're so cool that we can't be nice to you" mentality that often accompanies the local coffee house scene. And while there's a lot to be said for the charm and uniqueness of neighborhood shops, they're often not easy or convenient to access.
All that said, I don't have exclusive loyalty to the Starbucks brand. But that might change after today. I recently moved to a new part of town, which means finding the new locations in my area. This morning on the way to work, I went to the Starbucks with a drive-through that's near my house.
As I pulled up to the intercom, the barista inside said "Good morning, Sweetie. What can I get for ya?"
It threw me off for a moment. The thought went through my mind "what if I had been a man? Can the barista see me, or do they just take a guess and hope for the best?" To complicate matters, I couldn't tell by the voice whether the person on the other end of the intercom was an older black woman, or a gay man.
After I placed my order, the barista said "alright Baby, come on up."
When I got to the window, I still couldn't tell if the person was an older black woman or a gay man. Either way, the sweetie and baby didn't bother me...I was just surprised. Then the other guy at the window leaned out and asked "do you want a piece of lemon cake?"
I told him I didn't order any lemon cake. "I know," he said. "But I have an extra piece here and I thought you might want to have it. Here ya go."
So Sweetie Baby drove off with a piece of lemon cake thinking this might be my favorite Starbucks location.