Why are the people at Starbucks so happy?

Is it the coffee; the endless supply of free flowing caffeine that pumps a bizarre giddiness into their (usually) youthful systems? Are barista’s contractually obligated to be chipper and joyful no matter how ungodly the hour may be? (Is barista gender neutral? Is a male server a barist? Hmmm…I’ll stick with barista) Do they have to greet you at the drive-thru with a drawn out, “Wwwwwwwwwweeelllcome to Starbucks, what can I get you?” And upon ordering send you around the corner with a peppy, “Grrrreeaaat. See you at the window.” If they were as short and rude as those at, oh say, McDonald’s, would they be fired? Would they be sent on their unmerry way with a pat on the back and a “Have a great life?” Could be…

Maybe it’s me. Perhaps it’s the fact that I, as a non-coffee drinker, usually visit Starbucks under the direst of circumstances in need of a quick fix so that I do not bring harm to my children through my sleep deprived stupor. Or, if I’m not visiting out of necessity, but rathe out of pure indulgence for a Soy Chai Latte (yes, Wanida, I tried it again…and againandagain and I do indeed like it with the soy. I feel so SoCal!), then perhaps in my self absorbtion I am hyper sensitive to the giddy nature of those who are indulging my new addiction.

At any rate, I like it. I love the happy little fella that cheerfully sends me on my way, my belly full of warm comfort. I find myself driving away whistling “It’s a Sunshine Day,” all Brady like and happy. Well done Starbucks. Keep up the good work!


  1. Having been the parent of a part-time barrista (from what I can determine, by the way, that term is gender neutral!), I can tell you that these Starbucks team-members receive a free pound of coffee each week as a perk. I’m guessing that the caffeine content (in addition to any Seattle-based secret ingredients) is partly responsible for this seemingly plastic happiness.

    Additionally, I am pretty certain that their long periods of time spent breathing in that caffeine-ridden environment would have a similar affect as the orally-ingested coffee.

    Finally, I have to believe that the prospect of being able to charge such significant prices for a series of beverages that, historically, have never been anywhere near that high is probably an amazing source of this giddiness.

  2. blessedpath says

    I have experienced their “zest for life” too. I always seem to dumbfound them though…..I NEVER order a drink….just an occasional scone to go with my Hugo from McD’s. That seems to really take some of the Jolt out of their voice:) I LOVE the smell of coffee that comes through the drive-thru window though!

  3. Starbucks is out of my price range but their hot chocolates are great. When I was single I went on a few dates there.