Treat Student Baristas Like Humans

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno


Illustration: Madalyn Drewno

The average college student carries around five dollars in cash—barely enough to fund a much-needed cup of coffee between classes.

With the rising costs of rent, food, clothes, and textbooks, some students have found a convenient job at our own Tivoli Starbucks that both pays the bills and sustains the caffeine addiction. Unfortunately, some students who don’t work on campus see a green Starbucks apron on a fellow student as an opportunity to treat the barista like an ignored assignment at the bottom of a syllabus.

The Tivoli Starbucks easily serves more than a thousand students a day, making it one of the busiest stores in the city. The Disneyland-like lines aren’t necessarily the fault of the employees, and those baristas are sure not responsible for the countless students who thought it would be a good idea to wait until 2 a.m. to begin a paper, and are now begging for espresso-flavored caffeine to keep them alive.

Coffee-thirsty students seem to check all their humanity at the door of the Tivoli Starbucks. Most of the Starbucks employees are Auraria Campus students, working before and after class, scurrying around toasting bagels and making frappuccinos, all while stressing over complicated orders and looming exams.

 Starbucks barista will often share horror stories of people ordering items off a non-existent secret menu,  like the mythical items of which range between a fancy “Captain Crunch” frappuccino or the erratic cup of boiling steamed milk that is a “latte with no foam.” Once the barista finishes attempting to compile something together, the huffing and puffing begins from the annoyed students in line.

Once students finish paying for their drink, they are scooted into a corner waiting nervously for their drink to arrive. Here begins round two of the huffing and puffing, and relentless comments from students ordering their snobbish and complicated order. Questions like “I ordered my drink 10 minutes ago,” or “is my drink up next?” are an automatic invitation to be permanently removed from any public location.

The equation is simple: there’s only one Starbucks on campus, and everyone needs their coffee fix, therefore waiting is a must.

Some people are naturally rude and lack customer service skills, but why not focus on improving ourselves and becoming the best humanity has to showcase? As idealistic an idea that as it may be, it is  a good start to be the best version of ourselves.

After graduation, no one will remember how long it took to get a latte. Instead of blaming the barista for being too slow; how about bringing a couple of things to keep you entertained while you wait? A Rubix cube, a Sudoku puzzle, a smile, or even extra cash to leave a tip would solve the problem.

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno

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