i walk into starbucks and order a pumpkin spice latte with 13 shots of espresso. i tell the barista that i intend to transcend humanity and become a god. i ask for no whip cream
you say this jokingly but i had a customer actually order a pumpkin spice latte with 9 shots of espresso (also no whip) and when i asked her to verify that she did indeed want 9 shots of espresso she looked me dead in the eyes and said “i have 5 kids”
I once had a woman come in and ordered an Americano with 19 shots of espresso. The drink took ages. It held up the line. I asked her why, and she shrugged and said “I just don’t care”. We still talk about that woman. We never saw her again.
new cryptid: exhausted woman at starbucks
Actual conversation I had at register:
“Hi, welcome to [Starbucks]! What can I get you, today?”
“How much is it to fill a Venti with Espresso?”
“I- I’m sorry?”
“A venti cup. How much to fill it with Espresso?”
“Oh. uh. Well, it’d be I suppose… I only have a button for a Quad. I don’t have special pricing for twenty ounces of espresso in a single… drink.”
“Price is the furthest thing from my mind right now. How many ‘add shots’ is that?”
*deep breath of fear* “It’d be a quad with,” *clears throat* “uh, sixteen additional shots of espresso. But, ma’am, I should tell you that the shots will start to get really bitter if they have to sit and wait for us to pull twenty of them-”
“Taste means nothing to me.”
At this point I am truly fearing for my very existence in the presence of what must clearly be an eldritch being.
“Oh. Well, okay.” I put on my absolute best customer service smile to hide my terror and accept that I must face this dragon, fae, or demon with dignity. “We can certainly get that for you! The price will be _____.”
She begins to pay, I shit thee not, with golden dollar coins. We are a block from Wall Street, and this eldritch demi-being is paying for an unholy elixer with golden coins. My life will end soon, I am sure of it.
“Do you still have the ‘Add Energy’ packets?”
My heart began to race at this request. “Yes ma’am.”
“How many can I add?”
Futile though it is, at least I know the rote response to this. “For health reasons, we won’t add more than one per drink and we cannot sell the packets individually.”
I alter the order and tell her the new price. She pays, dumps the change and five golden dollars into the tip box. I write the order on the venti cup and pass it silently to the girl working the hot beverage station. Normally we called and pass, but this was … not something to be spoken aloud.
My fellow takes the cup, not thinking anything of the minor break with protocol, until she sees the order. She stares at me. “No.”
The woman, which I call her for no other greater insight into her terrifying being is within my grasp, simply stands on the other side and says, calmly but with a commanding tone I expect of Admirals in bad movies, “Yes.”
My fellow barista pales before her task. But we are dutiful, we are true to our task, great though it may be. She sets about clearing the two brand new Matrena’s of all distraction, and sets two tall cups in the ready position. The energy packet is emptied into the venti cup, and the shots begin pouring.
The barista was damn near shaking. This woman’s gaze felt like the fires of the sun. Finally, the shots are pulled, the cup is filled, and the hand off takes place.
Our visiting Incomprehensible takes it to our milk bar and adds a dollop of cream. Satisfied, she proceeds to down what must have been half the damn cup.
Then she smiled at us, like a benediction and I was honestly filled with joy. And horror. She left, and we knew nothing more of her after that.
When I talk with other former employees, we quickly begin talking about “The Company” as if we’d never l, perhaps knowing that part of our soul still powers that awesome and terrible corporate machine. And when I share this stroy, other Baristas at first act shocked but quickly settle and comes the chorus,
“Yeah, I had one like that.”