Thursday, September 25

It's a Ranty Sort of Week, Apparently

Waaaay back in the Stone Ages, otherwise known as when I was in high school, I briefly worked in a fast food restaurant. I. HATED. IT. It took exactly two weeks for me to figure out that I would have preferred a career as a professional medical experiment subject. Seriously, I would enjoy experimental lobotomies, pupil transplants, and having someone test how many punches to the gut it takes until you puke WAY more than working that drive-thru window. Not. My. Thing. It lasted the full summer because I'm a committed sort of girl, but WOW did I hate it.

So, I have total and complete sympathy for anyone who does that job, and nothing but admiration for anyone who seemingly enjoys it. When I encounter someone that seems to actually LIKE working a drive-thru, I turn into the aliens from Toy Story, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah." Mesmerized.

And yet, here I sit, with a complaint letter drafted because of a little streak of events at a drive-thru. I can't seem to send the letter because I'm a wee bit worried I'm being a nut case. So, I ask y'all . . . what would you do?

OK, so I said I was quitting Starbucks to help cover Alexis' gymnastics lessons. That lasted all of three days, I do believe. I'm sure you're shocked. Starbucks was calling my name WAY too loudly, so I'm back to doing my part to keep the economy stable. A few times a week I slide out of the office for a quick liquid lunch in the form of a Cinnamon Dolce Latte (my new obsession thanks to the discount for using a registered gift card). Since I positively HATE waiting in line when I'm trying to do a quick trip, I don't leave the office until 1:30 or 2:00. Works every time. There is seldom so much as one other soul at my Starbucks (yes, I own it).

So, earlier this week I ventured over to Starbucks and oddly enough, there was actually another vehicle in front of me. As I patiently sat waiting for my yummy drink, I was fidgeting with the coin holder. I was battling a penny, trying to convince it that it would fit in there with all the other change, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a Spaniel puppy traveling from the barista's arms into the car in front of me. Yes, a Spaniel puppy was in the Starbucks and then was handed out of the drive-thru window to the vehicle. I didn't see any signs saying that they are running a "Buy a Chai, Get a Spaniel" deal, so I assume the pup started out in the vehicle, got handed in, petted a few times, and headed back out. Whatever.

I got over my confusion on that one.

But! Apparently it is Take Your Pup to Starbucks Week here in the Burgh! Today as I sat waiting behind an SUV, I realized they had a Black Lab pup. Immediately I groaned to myself, but then I realized that Peppy Chick wasn't the one working the window that day (she's a super happy kind of lady who very obviously loves her job--she was the one that handed the Spaniel out the window).

No worries.

I stopped thinking about it a few moments later when a little classic Depeche Mode came on the radio. At precisely 1:41pm I reached down and turned up the volume so I could jam for a second. As I glanced up, I saw the barista handing a grande cup out the window. Except, there was no lid on the cup. And there was a heck of a lot of whip cream in the cup. And she wasn't handing it to the driver. Nope! The whip cream-filled cup was tilted towards the Lab pup and he or she promptly started slurping up a whole lotta calories. And slurping. And slurping.

It took the Pup six minutes to finish the whip cream. Annoyance had started to set in. Hello! Drive-thru! In hurry!

Whatever.

I prepared to pull forward, assuming that annnnnny second now things would get going.

NOPE!

It was time for more dog-petting, another cup of whip cream, and ANOTHER SEVEN MINUTES OF WAITING.

When the Black Lab toting SUV finally pulled away with some human-intended beverages, it was 1:59pm. 1:59pm! One car in front of me, and I waited 18 minutes to get to the window. Then! Then! My drink still wasn't made because apparently the entire store was taking part in the whip cream adventures. That part I pieced together from the conversations that were going on inside the little window. Anyway, I finally pulled away with my drink at least 22 minutes after I pulled up (this I know for Depeche Mode and the car clock told me so). In the middle of the afternoon with only one other customer in sight.

So, would you be mad? Or just load up the dogs and go get you some of that Starbucks lovin'?




*******************************************************************************
We're donating all September ad revenue to the Flight 93 Memorial Fund, and could use a little help in reaching our goal. Every little click gets us closer, so why not take a second and find out why I won't drink my true Starbucks love, the Pumpkin Spice Latte?

60 comments:

  1. dawnmski12:01 AM

    OMG. I would be sooooooo piiiiiiissseed! It's bad enough they did it once, but to fill up another cup and do it again?! No freakin' way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh I would be pissed. 22 minutes! i would complain too.!!

    Angie :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You waited how long?
    First off, you should have left. period.
    Second, that is unacceptable. period. end of story.
    Be pissed, write the letter, that's just not okay.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good grief, 22 minutes and puppies aside, where's OSHA when you need them. How many violations was that?! FIVE AT LEAST! Every dog deserves a lid.

    I say you write it. Do it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. HUH??

    A dog that likes coffee? no way.

    OH and that 22 minutes thing would NEVER fly with me. I have the patience of a knat.

    Let's see... how to start the letter...

    ReplyDelete
  6. no--- i would be flippin' ticked...

    ReplyDelete
  7. doooooooooooo it!!!!!!!!

    that's an outrage.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Write that letter and sock it to em bad! Write it for every one of us here who's pissed for you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Take it from someone who work in a fast food restaurant for 7 years (7 long years!)- you have a right to be pissed! never in my 7 years did I take a dog into the store from a car or at all. And 22 minutes to wait for a coffee is insane- if you wait 22 minutes, you better be the 10 millionth person in line and getting one of everything on the menu. Seriously not cool! And to have it happen twice!! Complain- maybe you will get a free coffee!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wouldn't just complain to the store. I would write duplicate letters to the main headquarters for Starbucks and the BBB as well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. JenniferC7:39 AM

    Send the letter, because that's just not acceptable. If there were no other customers waiting, sure... but you WERE waiting.

    What's the worst that could happen if you send the letter? They think you're a nut case and spit in your cinnamon dolce. Best case? They send you their deepest apologies in the form of a pre-loaded gift card. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I need a coffe drinking, whip cream eating puppy!!!

    I'd be annoyed and probably would have left, but I never have the energy to complain. Plus, I think it's bad karma when the offense wasn't malicious and could cost someone their job. I mean, it's not like they put hepatitis saliva or rat babies in your coffee.

    Poor customer service? 100%.
    Against health codes? definitely.

    But, I'm just not the type to write letters unless there was malice.

    Apparently I'm in the minority though based on your comments. Not that I don't agree with them or you for wanting to write it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oooh, not cool. My son worked at Starbucks for 2 years, and I can tell you that while they are allowed to hand out doggie biscuits, they aren't even supposed to hand them to the dog (nor pet the dogs), much less bring the dog into the store!

    So many health codes were violated there. I wouldn't have wanted to buy a coffee from them after that. I would have simply asked for drink coupons that I could have used at another Starbucks that didn't allow dogs in the store.

    Send the letter, girl. You aren't being snarky. You're being realistic. My son's store used to get graded on the times in the drive-thru. He was one of those peppy people who always said, "Welcome to Starbucks. How can I help you today?" And I was impressed at how many people he would have friendly conversations with. They liked him and he liked them. And he never brought a dog in the window.

    And you know how much I love my dogs...Peace - D

    ReplyDelete
  14. We don't have dogs, so those kind of antics completely elude me!

    But if I was jonesin' for coffee and come cute dog was in my way, I would NOT be happy!!

    He should be lucky you didn't ram his car :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I would have been really tempted to lean on my horn after cup #1.
    Or to have put the vehicle in park and stormed in and asked to see the manager after about 10 minutes.
    Reinforcement (negative or positive) is always most effective when utilized as close as possible (time-wise) to the event in consideration.
    That said, I think a firmly worded letter regarding your disappointment at their lack of service is not out of place. I can't see how a manager should a) think that is acceptable service (assuming the manager was aware of what was happening) or b) not be made aware so that it doesn't happen again (assumine s/he was not aware of puppy hijinks).

    ReplyDelete
  16. Write the letter. You know you want to. And they completely deserve it. I would copy a whole lot of people.

    Maybe send one to PETA. I'm sure feeding your pup coffee is against something they preach. Wait! Don't do that. I like Starbucks. I don't want PETA on their case. Especially after I recently read that they want Ben and Jerry's to use human breastmilk in their ice cream (they declined). I don't want that in my/your coffee (even though I'm all for giving it to babies)!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Stuff like this is why I have completely quit Starbucks. I even posted about it, here (http://becoming-mommy.blogspot.com/2007/08/gratuitous.html).

    But Writing letters to StarbuckS??? Does. Not. Work. I have written soooo many I've probably killed a smallf forest. Nothing. Not a note. Not an improvement. Nothing. They are an unapologetic bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Stuff like this is why I have completely quit Starbucks. I even posted about it, here (http://becoming-mommy.blogspot.com/2007/08/gratuitous.html).

    But Writing letters to StarbuckS??? Does. Not. Work. I have written soooo many I've probably killed a smallf forest. Nothing. Not a note. Not an improvement. Nothing. They are an unapologetic bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  19. BTW, I couldn't just leave. It's one of those drive-thrus where once you're in it, you're stuck. Unless, of course, you are really really good at backing up through curves and obstacles, which I most certainly am not.

    I hesitate on the letter because I feel like the staff was just having a little fun and really didn't intend any harm, but y'all have a point about the health code issues. A good point.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would write the letter. Yes, hey were having fun. At the expense of another customer. Even on my 1 hr lunch break, I do not have time to wait 22 minutes for coffee and still get back to the office.

    Once I got to the window, I would have politely pointed out that I had been waiting for 22 minutes, and THANKED my lucky stars that the hubs wasn't with me, because he would have raised a stink - A BIG STINK, and I would be mortified AND ended up with spit in my coffee for sure...

    ReplyDelete
  21. inVAmissingPA9:34 AM

    Oh, where to start? There is no good reason for a pet of any kind to be passed through a drive-thru, except in the case of a fire. Health code violations galore!

    You should send that letter, and I would agree with sending copies to headquarters and the BBB as well. Even if they don't take any action, at least you've done what you can to try and prevent it from happening again. And while it may have been all in good fun, it was incredibly inconsiderate of both the person in the SUV and the one at the drive-thru. Had it just taken a few extra seconds, ok. 22 minutes? NOT ok. I think I would have been on the horn, but the letter would perhaps be a more constructive solution. I quit my local Starbucks 2 yrs ago because of their ridiculous antics.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hell yes that would piss me off. I'd rant and rave. Last time I checked it wasn't the dogs Starbucks and I'm almost positive it's breaking some health code violations.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow! I am really at a loss for words. But, if my grandpa were a coffee drinker, I can totally see him doing this. Only the best for the love of his life! Too funny!

    And... thanks for doing your part to stimulate our economy. We need all the help we can get. One small step for Starbucks, one giant leap for the US economy, right? LOL

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh if that happened my ranting would have been heard echoing up and down all 3 rivers. And I would have retold the story to everyone I encountered for a week making my husband start rolling his eyes and thinking "get over it already" by the 43rd time he heard me express my outrage.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Send it! Health code violations aside, that is just appallingly rude! As far as I'm concerned the people at that drive through stole your time and that's something you will never get back. As an aside, you mention backing up in a drive through. Yeah, don't do that. I did that once at a DQ because they forgot my Blizzard. After several hours of people helping (or, you know, staring) I finally had to call a tow truck. At $150, that was the most expensive Blizzard I ever bought.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I seriously would have laid on my horn and (provided there was no one behind me), backed up & left that place. That, or I would have demanded FREE coffee for having had to wait for half an hour.

    Send that letter to the corporate office, as well as to the manager of that store.

    ReplyDelete
  27. oh, and maybe you just want to casually mention you have a blog with a LOT of readers...

    ReplyDelete
  28. I too survived a summer in a drive-through. But I actually enjoyed parts of the job! Like working the window and getting asked out a lot! ;-)

    I'm experiencing a ranty sort of month also. My husband-- ohhh..weee... way to much travel time over the next month.... This happens every year. I should be used to it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Christine10:46 AM

    Of course you have to complain! Starbucks is in the SERVICE business, and while we hate to get people in trouble, if they're not doing their job, their employers need to know. 22 minutes in line is ridiculous. Part of what you're paying for is good service. I'd send it to that store's manager and to corporate.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Per my husband, the horn was invented for just this type of situation. He says you should have laid on that horn when the licking fest started and never let off of it until the car drove away.
    It is not doggy daycare it is a drive-thru, let us give the drive-thru the respect that it deserves. Also, you need to send the letter to the manager with a copy to the owner and let them know about the dog-thru window they have going on.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Per my husband, the horn was invented for just this type of situation. He says you should have laid on that horn when the licking fest started and never let off of it until the car drove away.
    It is not doggy daycare it is a drive-thru, let us give the drive-thru the respect that it deserves. Also, you need to send the letter to the manager with a copy to the owner and let them know about the dog-thru window they have going on.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You should send the letter, but you need to follow it up with phone calls. That's just GROSS behaviour and now you have to wonder about the sanitary nature of anything you order from there.

    Letters get letters in response. You should CALL them. Start with the manager of that store, tell them the situation that happened and that you wish to speak to their district or regional manager and get that number. I have learned that you only get results the higher up the managerial ladder you go to complain. This isn't just an incident where you waited to too long, or your food was prepared wrong. It's a violation of health codes, and you should also call the health department on them. If they are breaking those rules, who knows what else they are doing? I would literally be too scared to eat (or drink) there ever again.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yeah, my first thought was the health code stuff. But waiting that long for fluff dog fun would have me seriously torqued. I might have considered turning off my car and walking in to the store. I say go in and talk to the manager.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'd have let the spaniel incident slide with nary a second thought, but the whole lab thing hacked even me off! I, especially, can appreciate when someone takes the time to stop and pet the pooch. And I'm always grateful for a little whip for the road (although I've not gotten any yet!). But to knowingly make someone wait nearly 20 minutes!!!! Unacceptable. Really.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh - end rant. :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Dude - I have to ask (as I fill up your comments). Did your coffee even last that long once you got it?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Letter to the headquarters in Washington state, letter to the store and definitely a letter to the health department with a cc of that letter to the store and HQ. Unacceptable.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Starbucks is an evil enabler with a delicious repertoire. I hate it. And love it. And hate it. But I love it more.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous12:14 PM

    Oh beyond pissy I would be! They are surely lucky taht I was not the one in line that day....cause I've always known taht you have more patience than I. Although I do live in a Detroit subburb...I would have had to whip out a can of D-town style whoop ass on their sorry butts...I would have taken em all out with a karate chop leg kick thingy! I can see the headline now "Soccor mom goes nuts at Starbucks"

    ReplyDelete
  40. OMG...once in college, I ate at a Perkins (it was like 2am on a Thursday...so you KNOW it was college) and there was some 40ish year old woman there with a "seeing eye dog". Ok..whatever, only this woman was READING her menu, so I'm thinking NOT BLIND, and the dog was disgusting. It was stinky, and it walked around sniffing other people's tables. GROSS!!!
    First off, you have every right to be mad! Second, did the barista wash his/her hands after petting these critters? That's SICK!

    ReplyDelete
  41. oh...and just fyi...the dog at perkins...was a seeing eye dog...my roomate, very politely (with very little snarkiness) asked the woman......Oh...you brought back memories. I think I'm gonna vomit!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Send the letter. Health codes have been broken (and I have to wonder how much hair was flying in the drinks) not to mention the wait. Maybe it won't do any good, but it would make you feel better that you didn't just sit back and take it. I can't believe that, I love dogs, but really there is a place and time for everything and this was nither the place or the time.

    ReplyDelete
  43. If you don't complain, I think I will have to. This is worth at least two free trips to Starbucks for whatever you want. You should insist upon it.

    Just curious, did they wash their hands before touching your coffee? I have a dog and love her dearly but I do know where that tougue has been. Gross!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. @ellyn I don't think so. I know that in the case of the Spaniel out the window, the woman was leaning on the sill as they drove off and stayed there to take my payment.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I would have been pretty pissed and probably honking my horn loooooong before 22 minutes.

    ....says the fellow high school drive through cashier who hated her job intensely.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hell to the F no. Uh uh. Unacceptable. I get pissed when a person gets more coffee cups than passengers in the drive thru. I would have probably burned that place down.

    ReplyDelete
  47. anglophilefootballfanatic.com2:45 PM

    I think you should've gotten out of the car that called you a butthole & stormed into the 'bucks and said something like, "Hey. I'm the lady who is waiting in line in the drive thru. You do realize there is another car besides the one that Fido's in, right?" But, I'm kinda witchy.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Okay, I admit that I do not understand the whole Starbucks thing, but that would make me maaaaaad. That is just rude in all kinds of ways.

    And PLEASE tell me that you didn't wind up with puppy hair all over your cup?

    ReplyDelete
  49. As a converted crazy dog lady? I wish we had a Starbucks or anywhere other than PetSmart that encouraged me to bring my cutie in. But as an impatient lady, I'd be VERY ANNOYED. Maybe not letter writing annoyed...more like suggestion box annoyed...but annoyed, nonetheless.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I wouldn't send a letter. I'd call. Then you get your free drink coupons much faster. The phone number is 1-800-sTARBUCK.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I could never quit Starbucks...it would be impossible...

    Kimmy

    ReplyDelete
  52. send the letter, or call.
    22 min in the drive thru line for ANYTHING other that a nice med rare filet is too long.

    And isn't coffee and dairy bad, maybe dangerous for dogs anyways? Or an I thinking of chocolate...im always thinking of chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
  53. That is insane. If you want to take your time, go inside! I'd be writing them a letter too. How inconsiderate.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am not a patient person. My horn and I would have had fun with that nonsense. I cannot handle bad service. Last night, I took Dylan to Wendy's by myself. I was holding him in one arm, the diaper bag, purse, and highchair cover in the other. Dylan was squirming and whining, my arm was about to fall off, and the service was beyond slow. I commented loudly, "I know, Dylan, it IS supposed to be FAST food, but it's not". The people behind me all chuckled and then the people behind the counter spit in my food(probably).

    ReplyDelete
  55. Travis and I have went through the Starbuck's drive thru at The Pittburgh Mills and he has enjoyed MANY puppy lattes. BUT, they give it to me to give to him in the car and then I get my coffee and we are on our way. No more time spent than if he wasn't with me.

    I think the problem is that the youth of today do not realize what customer service is. She probably didn't think that making you wait was a big deal. It's sad, but if you think about it, it happens everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'd still demand a bully with my latte. But that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'd still demand a bully with my latte. But that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I worked at a starbucks in this neck of the woods--
    ask the store manager for the district manager's number and make sure you get through---you'll get free drinks for a month--no lie!
    Oh, and the wait time? supposed to be out the door or driving away in 3 minutes--any longer and the drink is free--seriously--in today's economy they WILL take care of the loyal customer. trust me.

    was my fave job btw-and my own dog came to visit on my last night.
    puppy lattes are pretty fun!

    ReplyDelete
  59. First of all, kudos for surviving a whole summer at a drive through, much less any restaurant. I worked for a year at an Izzy's (pizza buffet) and quickly discovered, that as a whole, people suck. Because of this, I tend to be very sympathetic to asshats picking on poor waitresses, cashiers etc.

    That being said, this situation was over the top. I get self-conscious if it takes me too long to put away my change before pulling away from a window if there is someone behind me, so the dog people, were clueless and rude- but coffee girl's boss needs to hear about this... bad customner service and... eeew!

    ReplyDelete
  60. ImpostorMom10:41 AM

    oh i would be soooooo pissssssseddd

    ReplyDelete