Observational Writing of the Sturbucks System of Customer Service

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It was three o’clock in the afternoon, and they leisurely walked in, carelessly discussing their children’s recent pre-school accomplishments. Both were in their mid-thirties, and each with a toddler circling around them and an infant in her hands. One was wearing a silky, navy-blue mock turtleneck tucked into light denim jeans, and the other ironed khaki pants and black v-neck shirt. They were both blonde, with simple yet elegant hairstyles and natural-toned makeup. As the two older children nagged and pulled at their pants, they continued their mindless chatter, every so often looking down to say, “Just a minute, sweetie,” and then returning to their exchange of fake smiles.

As they walked up to the counter, each lifted her eyes to the menu, after which the woman in the v- neck proceeded to kneel to her child’s level and ask, “Do you want apple juice or chocolate milk?” In response to a blank stare from the 2-year-old boy, she repeated slower, annunciating each word, “Milk, sweetheart, or juice? Which one would you like?” The little boy hesitated, shrugged his shoulders, took a deep breath, and said, “I don’t know…..ummmmm…….want, ummmm, milk!”

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At this point, the impatient and annoyed woman behind the counter was anything but amused. She stood, fixing her hunter green, stained, Starbucks apron, and finally blurted out,


“Yeah, sorry, you know he’s just going through this phase, he’ll be three in December, and you know, he just can’t ever make up his mind!” She flashed her fake smile, eager to tell the entire life sort of her little boy, proud of his indecisiveness.

“Is that all?” demanded the cashier, glancing at her watch, and resting her fingers on the register’s enter key, keen on ridding herself of the woman in the black v-neck. The mother, oblivious to the cashier’s irritation, was playing with the baby, swaying her gently back and forth, smiling at her, and tickling her nose.

“No, actually, I’d like a grande iced caramel frap as well, and some milk for this precious little angel. She is such a doll! Oh, and would you mind heating that milk up for me? Her tummy can’t handle the cold,” replied the woman, refocusing her attention on her daughter and continuing, “No you don’t, now do you? You don’t like the cold, uh uh, not Emily! Oh you’re such a good girl, yes you are, my little baby!”

“That’ll be $5.18, ma’am. How would you like to pay?”

“Oh hold on a second, let me just check if I have change.”

The woman put down her bundle of keys, which contained a BMW remote control, a few silver keys, one with a light pink accent, and a key chain. The key chain was a picture of her with her husband on her wedding day on one side, and on the other a proud display of her two children. Resting Emily on the counter, she began to look through her wallet, finding only a $100 bill between two singles. After a thorough search, she pulled out her Visa, flashing her infamous phony smile.

“Sign there, please,” said the cashier, ripping the receipt form the credit card processor, and marking a red “x” at the line on the bottom. “Thanks have a good day. Pick up your drinks at the end of the counter.” She rolled her eyes, sighed, and mumbled “Next,” looking up to see the woman in the silky navy-blue mock turtleneck in front of her.

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Observational Writing of the Sturbucks System of Customer Service. (2022, Dec 21). Retrieved from


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