Starbucks Has Officially Crossed the Line

For someone who doesn’t like Starbucks, I’ve spent a fair share of money and time there. I accept it is part of our culture, but as a loyal tea drinker, I’ve never quite gotten the appeal. I’ll meet friends there because the parking is easy, but the lines are long, the service ranges from overenthusiastic, I suspect ecstasy is involved, to a condescending, you are lucky to even be here, attitude. The tea is terrible and overpriced, and frankly, if I am going to be handed an overflowing to-go cup with boiling water and a tea bag, I may as well save the four bucks and make it at home. At least at Dunkin Donuts, they add the milk for you.

Recently on a college road trip, my daughters and I were treated so terribly by the millennial behind the counter at a Virginia Starbucks, we all burst out laughing. It was so rude, it was funny. And, I swear, all Madelyn did to poke this bear was to politely ask what a certain very small, very expensive pastry was. Speaking of daughters, that’s another reason I take issue with the franchise. My teenage daughters and all their friends are hooked on the high sugar, high calorie beverages, and no matter how many times I insist they are throwing their babysitting money down the drain, they get giddy at the thought of a Starbucks’ run.

Despite all those personal complaints, when someone says, “Let’s meet at Starbucks,” I say, “Sure, what time?” Yesterday, after such a plan was made, I arrived, pleasantly surprised to find no line. It wasn’t too cold out, I had already had my caffeine for the day, and I was looking for something different. I glanced at the boards behind the counter where I remember the menu to be, but, alas, no menu, only an ad for a new very sugary, very caloric-y concoction. I looked around. No menu. I looked for a handheld one. No menu. I asked the two very nice people behind the counter, who responded in a patronizing tone, “We don’t have a menu. We have what we always have.”View Post

Uhhh, O.K. Wait. What?

“Well, if I don’t know what you always have, what am I supposed to do?” I am always intimidated ordering at a Starbucks, because I feel like I’m in a foreign country and everyone else knows the language. Without a cheat sheet, I am royally screwed.

They looked at each other in confusion and at me, the old bag who hadn’t bothered to memorize the Starbucks’ drink options by 2018, with slight annoyance.

“Well, I guess you could have a latte. We have vanilla, cinnamon …” The other employee chimes in with, “mocha?”

I didn’t want a latte! I didn’t even want coffee. So, do you know what I did?? I had a medium (I was corrected but I still don’t remember the corresponding size in Starbuckspeak) vanilla latte … because that’s what they told me to do! I hate myself for it.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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