Photo: By toastforbrekkie on Flickr
The employees closest to the customer have to deal with the most crap.Starbucks baristas have to handle a particularly large amount of craziness in their always-busy stores. And with 20,000 locations around the world, there are bound to be some bizarre stories.
We’ve collected a bunch of them, ranging from the simply irritating to the totally bonkers.
Had a strange encounter at a Starbucks? Shoot an email to [email protected].
College English professor and Columbia Ph.D Lynne Rosenthal refused to use Starbucks terms to order her bagel. When she was asked, 'butter or cheese?' she said she just wanted a multigrain bagel, and refused say 'without butter or cheese,' according to the New York Post.
Why? She said that 'linguistically, it's stupid.' Then, she got really mad and started yelling. The barista refused to give her the bagel without her saying 'without butter or cheese.' Rosenthal refused to give in and just kept arguing.
Eventually, the manager called the police and they escorted her out of the store.
A young Starbucks barista gave a homeless man a cup of hot water for free, but when he went to the condiment bar, she told him he couldn't use it because he wasn't a paying customer.
So, the man flung the hot water in her face. She was taken to the hospital and treated for second-degree burns to her face and chest, according to UT San Diego.
A Starbucks Gossip commenter shared this story:
'There's a crazy lady at my local Starbucks who comes in and just takes the milk and drinks it all straight from the thermos.
'I don't add milk to my coffee when I'm there.'
A barista at the original Starbucks in Seattle shared on Reddit the most ridiculously irritating order he ever received:
'Well, the dumbest was a trenta (barf) iced coffee with 4 add shots 16 count 'em 16 pumps of white mocha (6 in a venti usually) 6 pumps of vanilla, and then she bitched that we don't have trenta dome lids because she wants whipped cream.
'So we put whip in it anyway with a flat lid. But she freaks out that I have to charge her for all of the modifiers when it's just a trenta coffee refill that would be $.55 and tells me shes trying to lose weight. I'm thinking 'BITCH YOU ON THE WRONG TRAIN', but I had to deal with her respectfully.'
Starbucks employees in Peabody, Massachusetts had a really weird problem on their hands when one customer kept taking chairs outside into the parking lot. He'd put them in the middle of a handicap spot and would just sit there.
The man became 'belligerent' when confronted, so they called the police and eventually managed to make him stop, according to the Peabody Patch.
A woman walked into a Starbucks in Bath, Ohio, picked up two coffee presses and attempted to return them -- all right in front of the baristas. When the employees refused, she simply put the stuff down, left the store and drove away, according to the Fairlawn-Bath Patch.
The police confronted her at a nearby gas station, where she dug herself into a deeper hole by giving them a false name and social security number several times.
She eventually admitted to everything and received a court summons.
One shift supervisor told his ultra-angry customer story at Starbucks Gossip:
'I got called up to the POS to handle a customer. It was the busiest part of our morning and we apparently 'missed his drink' (but not really.) I asked him what he had and he started yelling at me to ask the person at the register.
'He told me he wanted his money back but still wouldn't tell me what he had. I pulled a 5 out of my drawer and handed it to him. He was causing a scene screaming at me and everyone in the store was staring. He stormed out but before I could make it to the back room came right back in. He pointed at me and told me he wanted the number to corporate.
'I took him to the condiment bar and gave him one of the 'We love to hear from you' brochures along with the 180023latte. I told him again that if he would tell me what he wanted to drink I would walk back and make it for him in less than a minute so he wouldnt leave without his coffee.
'That apparently set him off. He took the $5 I gave him out of his pocket and threw it in the trash and started yelling at me. 'I dont want your f***ing money! I dont want your f***ing coffee!' When I told him he needed to calm down and not use that kind of language he told me he wanted to take me outside and was going to kick my f***ing arse while poking me in the chest with his finger.
'I told him I would love to go outside with him when the cops showed up to escort him off the property. He stormed out and almost hit two people in his corvette flying out of our parking lot.'
Here's another anecdote from Starbucks Gossip:
'We have had one particular man destroy 2 of our comfy chairs by urinating in them!!! The crazy thing is that he still comes in the store! Add his child running crazy around the store and fear of urination and you have one stressful time...'
Here's a story from a Starbucks Gossip commenter:
'we had the guy break throw a garbage can through our front door because he was angry we weren't open -- it was 3am in a tiny suburb, hellz no we aren't open to serve coffee to your drunk and underage arse -- and threw every bottled beverage against a wall. he cut himself on the broken glass, and stole our mr. potatohead doll from the kids' toybox. the police found him passed out and bloody in the parking lot.'
Starbucks Gossip dug up this little gem from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
'Thursday morning, I was standing at Starbucks awaiting my grande nonfat no-whip mocha when a stylishly coiffed 30-something woman with coffee stains all over her summer khakis stormed into the middle of the store, threw up her hands and staccato screeched at the baristas, How ... about ... making sure ... the lid is on?!
'She then stomped outside, steered her car onto the front sidewalk, jumped out with the remaining coffee and hurled the entire cup at the Starbucks front door. And then she was gone.'
'Early one morning one of our customers came in a bit drunk and went into the bathroom. After he left we checked it to find he had pooped in the sink.
'I told the manager we sould either lable the sink and toilet so customers could tell the difference or move the soap dispencer down a bit lower so they could wash their hands in the toilet.'
This story's even worse, from Ihatestarbucks.com:
'Late last year, some guy was in line for the bathroom, and he kept hollaring and banging on the door impatiently. After about a minute, this normal looking, white, middle class man announces to the entire lobby that 'F*** I can't take it!! I have to S*** NOW!!'
'He proceeded to drop his pants and take a diarrhoea-like number two in our lobby- in front of everyone in the store.
'No one moved for about 10 minutes, even after the man had pulled up his pants and left. WTF is wrong with people??'
These weren't 'customers,' but this certainly wasn't in the job description for baristas at this Starbucks in Manhattan's Astor Place.
A 25-person team of masked, pipe-wielding anarchists tried to smash the windows of the store. Nobody inside was hurt. The Astor Place Starbucks has Plexiglas windows that the mob couldn't break through. Three men were arrested as a result of the incident, according to the NY Daily News.
The pervy antics of the 'Honey Man' in the Boston area are quite strange. One commenter at Starbucks Gossip describes his reign of terror concisely:
'Honey man orders zen tea, asks for honey packets,and then proceeds to the mens room and eventually leaves a pile of honey and DNA on the rest room floor. He has been banned from every Starbucks in the metro Boston area.'
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