Why Your Obnoxious Order is Making the World Late


Almost everyday I find myself waiting in line at Starbucks. Something I can never understand. I just want coffee. Starbucks Coffee. I don’t need all that other whipped low fat soy anything. I just want someone to put a cup under a nozzle and press down. That’s all.

Anyway, if you wanna find idiotic douchiness, Starbucks is your place. People ordering one drink that sounds more like a Haiku then ONE item. You want your coffee low fat??? Don’t put crap in it. You want no whip? Take it off.

So there I was waiting…and I’m next in line. However, the lady in front me is taking a while. I listen in. She’s ordering hot water. Yes just hot water. But VERY specific hot water. Hot water at a certain temperature, with hot milk on the side, a lemon and a large cup. Whilst finally getting this indulgence beverage the cashier said, “that’ll be 80 cents.”


Instead of willfully paying this small amount, she argued that it should be free and demanded to talk to the manager.

I then walked up, ignored the lady and said to the cashier, “I’m buying this” and proceeded to order my own cup of flavored hot water and pay for hers. She insisted “no you don’t have to do that”. I insisted on pretending not to hear her talk anymore. She had her time-she was done.

As a former waiter. I saw this all the time. People with their insanely picky orders. Can I have “Sauce on the Side?”, “Can you just tell the Chef to…(insert obnoxious demand here)”, “Can you get me ice on the side with some hot water in a small container?”. I get it some people have allergies and “dietary” restrictions -I’m not referring to those people.

What people don’t understand…is sometimes you’re not just affecting the waiter, or the cashier, or the hot dog vendor on the street. Instead you’re affecting everyone else’s time around you.

While you’re making your own picky order, there are three people behind you who are late for something. While you’re making your waiter run around like crazy trying to get you ten things,  the table next to you will be late ordering. Remember that time you were infuriated that it took so long for your waiter to get to you? Well he/she is not just in the back reading a magazine, he/she is probably running all over the restaurant looking for blue cheese to physically stuff into an olive for the lady that demanded “blue cheese olives”.

Before you demand to have your pasta reheated because you had woman issues in the bathroom, remember that you’re taking up a cooks time, which means someone else’s food will be that much later.

Sadly, most people can’t see beyond their own tongues, they want what’s theirs while being unaware that others do in fact exist.


28 thoughts on “Why Your Obnoxious Order is Making the World Late

  1. I can not agree more! Completely self absorbed and needing more and more details “attended to” by those of us in the service industry since her budget (and possibly attitude) finds her alone and without “ladies in waiting” to assist her in bathing, putting on her undergarments or painting her nails for her.
    What a treat it is when she comes to visit one of us and sets the entire dining from on a slippery slope spiraling downward and out of control as she waves, snaps, “Yoo-hoos,” whistles, eye-rolls her way through lunch and then finally Mr. MaGoo’s her exit after a 5% tip.
    Oh joy! She said she had a lovely time and will be back. Could you be more specific so I can plan my trip down the back stairs and aprox. 8 hour “bed rest” at the bar around the corner now? Or will you be surprising us combination poison ivy, Gangrene leg, love of life-broken-heart, lung infection style of enjoyment? … Oh wait you forgot the quarter of the burger/no-bun/well-done/this-is-over-cooked/I-want-to-talk-to-yor-manager burger you wanted me to wrap while my 49 other tables waived at me but then eventually died of old age.
    Oh rats! Your gone and my slow motion fake run to the door won’t make up the distance… fairwell. xoxox
    (PS loose the customers by not giving them a seat in your section!)

  2. I’m picky, hope you don’t hate me!! (And the soy thing – if it helps at all – some of us experience pretty severe tummy issues with dairy. The smell of cow’s milk alone makes me want to vomit. As crazy as I am, most of my pickiness has been doctor prescribed — thanks Celiac disease!!.) (Well, doctors probably want me to eat bell peppers, but hell no. Those things are satan.)

    • I don’t mind picky eaters. But when you’re asking to totally reconstruct a dish and have the waiter running around it diminishes the time I have with other guests. What people don’t realize is when you alter an order I have to talk to a manager (who Is always hard to find) then the chef then figure out how to ring it in the computer. It sounds like an easy thing but that one change can waste 15 minutes of my time. But just saying No Sauce or No peanuts is not a problem.

      • Read below and just to add, I really think your in the wrong line of work. You should re-evaluate your where you want to be in life.

  3. Whiney-ass servers like you NEVER lasted with me in my restaurants (18+ years). It’s the job, you chose it. Don’t like it? Take your whiney ass someplace else. Bitching about the little tip? Maybe your poor attitude actually showed through. Long order? Communicate pleasantly with your other tables. They’ll probably understand. Don’t want to wait in line for “just a cup of coffee”? Buy a coffee pot for home (your mom probably has one, since I’m guessing that’s where you still live). In short, grow up. These people you complain about so much are merely displaying YOUR attitude from the other side of the equation.

    • Amen not to mention, that is the beauty of these coffee houses, like Starbucks, it’s a specialty they have. It’s not a fast food joint, a 7Eleven, or McDonalds, in a hurray go to McDonalds or some fast food place, or better yet call you order in, or make your coffee at home. Starbucks offers this service and these specialty drinks so people can enjoy their experience. That is why they have been so successful and people like to go there. That is just the way it is. It’s not about picky eaters, they go there because that is the kind of place it is, it’s what they enjoy, or maybe have to drink because of health issues, it’s the nature of the business, like in the God Father “it’s the business we choose”. Slow down enjoy life, be kind to others, don’t put people down because you are in a hurry for a cup of coffee, don’t judge others for that, what a thing to judge and insult others for. REALLY??? It’s not good to live a hostile and uncaring life, have compassion for others, a life of anger gets you no where. All of this for a cup of coffee, seems so trivial.

      • Just to add, it’s not for us to question why people order what they do, it’s none of our business and really why should we care. It’s not your money, your order, your reason, or your business, so they can order what they want, when they want, what they want, and for what reason they want. Who are you to dictate what, why, how and when people should order. REALLY????

        Additionally, each customer should be treated the same not rushed, with politeness, just like I’m sure you would expect to be treated, and not rushed off, that’s good customer service that is why Starbucks is still in business, once that starts to end, people will go else where for their business.

        The sooner some folks start realizing you can not dictate the way you want the world to be, start having respect for others, except the fact that not everyone thinks the way you do, maybe you will find some peace and compassion in your heart, which comes with happiness.

      • NO if you want your crap so specific make it yourself, dont be a douche.

        I dont have time for some idiot to want a cup of water at 187.32 degrees F with a lemon, and a whole lot of other bs. If I worked in a restaurant and had to put up with it, I’d make it worth my while.

        And this even happens at McD’s, 7eleven, It happens every where. If you want to be so picky then make it yourself.

    • The point of this article is that is has nothing to do with the server, or the barista. Yes that’s their job. That’s not what I’m complaining about. What I’m saying is, it’s not affecting the SERVER’S job, it affecting other PEOPLE. It’s about being considerate to the table next to you. To the guy standing behind you in line. If EVERYONE was extremely specific on what they wanted it would take me two hours to get a cup of coffee.

  4. Certain seemingly idiosyncratic order that people make are for health sake. For example: sauce on the side. Many sauces are laden with sodium, butter, and are very high in sugar. It might be important for people, such as hypertensives or diabetics (or simply those who care enough to watch their intake of such things) to control how much sauce goes on their food.

    As for the issue at Starbucks, I was once wore a green apron. Starbucks prides itself on making a hand-crafted beverage made-to-order and charges a premium for it. Such things are expected, and unless the customer puts up a fit like you described, it doesn’t really slow things down. What slows things down is customers who talk on the cell phone while ordering and don’t confirm when the order is repeated back to them. When its not made right, then things are slowed down.

    If someone is already running late waiting in line at Starbucks is not what said person should be doing. If one is late, 99% of the time it’s his or her own fault (even traffic: if one lives in a metro area, traffic is a way of life and he/she should compensate for it). If one wants to get coffee AND be on time to where he/she is going, he/she needs to give himself/herself plenty of time (e.g. going to bed earlier so one can wake up earlier and therefore leave earlier) to get to point B on time. Planning ahead seems to be something people don’t think is important anymore.

    • I’m not referring to one or two changes due to health restrictions. There are a lot of picky people who think the chef should creat a dish from the ground up just for them. That’s just making everyone else’s order that much longer.

    • Yes you can plan ahead. But the point of the article is that people should be more considerate of the people around them. Being considerate is REALLY something people don’t think is important anymore!

  5. I’ve been a server/bartender over 10 years. I rather have someone be picky and happy then order something and complain. They are paying for it so why not get what they want. And I am a picky starbucks drinker too. And if the person behind me is running late for something, that’s not my problem. They should have made the extra effort to leave earlier enough so they can stop for their coffee. And if they are running late.for something, a coffee stop should not be on thier route.

  6. Everyone seems to be a critic/editor these days. Every article gets picked apart like it was going into Newsweek or something and the author is judged by people who think they know his/her situation when they are, in reality, clueless, especially when it is an article about restaurants and tips. People get crazy over this shit! And it’s the same comments after every article on this topic. “Get a new job,” or “Let me justify why I don’t tip.” In the end, it’s all bullshit. I appreciate this article, I can relate. People are asses and their true colors shine through when they go out to eat for some reason. Thanks for the laugh!

  7. After reading all of the ” We hate people who know what they like and want what they pay for to be correct” complaints, please tell me why you think you deserve a 25% tip? Or, even on the worse side a 15% tip. Is it not YOUR job to cater and make the person feel as if they are being “waited on”? Go get a retail job and complain that you have to refold cloths all day.. or get me my water with 2 lemon wedges, a salad with the dressing and onions on the side and my burger with pickles, mustard, slaw, and the bun toasted with a side of servitude.

    You will meet people all day who will always tip shitty no matter what, but its still your job to complete an order 100%, or expect to keep getting shitty tips.

    The guy who gets complicated orders.

  8. I don’t care what the lady ordered. She can order specialty if the wants. What bothers me is the dumb lady argued about having to pay 80 cents. First of all it’s just 80 cents lady. Geez. Second, she doesn’t seem to realize that the 80 cents is for the cup and the service.

  9. If you are a waiter and don’t like it here is an option: a new career. People have demands due to allergies and intolerances and in order to eat healthier. Also if you just want coffee don’t go to Starbucks and then complain about it. You sound worse than those you are complaining about. I’m mad I wasted my time reading this article

  10. Its funny, I’ve waited tables and worked at Starbucks and I am not bothered by (reasonable) additions/substitutions. The water lady went s little far but Starbucks makes drink options so people will utilize them. It only bothers me if people are also rude or snobbish when making their requests…its like “I got it lady!”

    I guess I see both sides. I have always worked in service, but I have also always like my food in a particular way.
    Tiffany Ima
    <a href =”http:”//stylehonestly.com”> Style Honestly

  11. It doesn’t hurt either of the protagonists to be a little more sympathetic to the time of the other. All in all, I liked the rant. I laughed. I also know people who cannot seem to learn to make coffee and really need to have it shot into their veins before they become the adorably wonderful people they truly are. And I know the flip side also: those who jump out of bed so cheery and sweet it makes me gag. Then they turn into ‘IT IS ALL ME MEMEMEMEMEME’ by the time they get out into the public and are just rude and uncaring. All kinds everywhere.

  12. It must be an American thing. I’ve only ever heard these pathetic requests come out of someone’s mouth with an American accent. When you’re spoiled for choice and work for tips this is what happens to your food service industry, it turns to turd.

  13. When I worked at Starbucks I used to hate the people who would jam up my line for just a cup of coffee. We made an effort to get coffee drinkers to buy beans and brew at home. Saves them money and us time.
    And on the Soy- how gross are you that your drink cow lactate? No other animal does that.

  14. Anyone who hates this blog or has anything negative to say about it is not very intelligent socially. First off, it’s hilarious and very true. People upset by this are just convicted because they are the said people that this blog is referring to. Just because you tip me doesn’t mean you can treat me like crap. I know why you get the sauce on the side. Because your a control freak. I know why you want extra napkins. Because it makes you feel safe and protected. The point of Starbucks is not for you to customize your drink from bottom to top otherwise they wouldn’t have a menu. It’s annoying. Americans are nothing but ranch guzzling, strawberry lemonade inhaling snobs that think their entitled. I’m obsessed with this post. Wish I would have written it myself. To the haters: you just don’t get it. And to those of you who hate this post and are in the service industry. Shame on you. That’s why being a server I all you’ll ever be because you have no idea you are being abused.

  15. I was a server for many years, when I was the lucky one to get the picky guests I tried my best to kill them with kindness or make jokes that went right over their heads, this would keep me with a great attitude for the rest of my guests. I learned early that it takes all kinds of people and even the rudest and cheapest were helping to keep the front doors open so that perhaps I would have a job the next day. in most restaurants the seating is done by a host or hostess and so it is just the luck of the draw which table gets seated and who is the server, so hopefully no server ends up with all of the idiots in one night.

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