To The Woman Who Yelled At My Barista

To The Woman Who Yelled at My Barista,

I wasn’t there this morning when you took your pent up rage out on my barista. I arrived after you left, just in time to watch as she wiped tears between pouring espresso shots and steaming milk. I watched as she never slowed her pace during the morning rush, flawlessly making lattes and cappuccinos, while tears poured down her cheeks. When she moved to place my drink on the bar, I took her hand instead, squeezed it and looked long into her eyes.

That is when she briefly told me about you. Oh, don’t worry. There were no details. (If so, I would have already confronted you in person!) She only said that you had let her have it and it had cut a little too deep.

“I always tell my kids that when a person treats them that way, it says a whole lot more about that person than it does about you,” I told her softly.

She nodded her head.

“I am just the most sensitive person in the world,” she replied, “and when she…”

Her voice trailed off and she placed a hand across her heart.

“Shake her off,” I said gently. “She doesn’t deserve any more of your day.”

She nodded once more and then turned to keep cranking out drinks. I walked to my car and thought about just what I needed to say to you.

Let’s begin here-

Starbucks cupThis is a cup of coffee.

And I don’t care how many shots you have in it or what kind of milk you choose. I don’t care if it is dark roast or cold brew. I don’t care how many fancy syrups you pump into it. It remains a cup of coffee. A luxury. No matter how much the barista screws it up, this is not a hard thing.

This is a hard thing…

mother starving child

And this…


And this.

immigrants separatedGetting your latte wrong is not hard. Are you beginning to see the difference?

I will tell you something else that is hard, something closer to home. It is hard to be a kind girl, working hard in a service industry; a girl with the word “life” tattooed on the inside of her wrist, a girl who is doing her best, just trying to make her way in this world who gets shouted at for making mistakes by people who think the world revolves around their lattes.

Yes. I think that is hard too.

I hope you will do better next time.


The Woman Who Came After You

2 Replies to “To The Woman Who Yelled At My Barista”

  1. Wonderful post. I am passing it along to my daughter, who is a barista. Hopefully she will remember your words the next time a customer yells at her. Thank you for reminding us of priorities.

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