One of my absolute favourite things in this world is a good cup of coffee. A Starbucks Americano is about as close to a good cup of coffee a Flygirl can obtain in an airport. The nice thing about Starbucks is that things are generally pretty consistent no matter where you go. Some stores have better service, more interactive Baristas, but all in all the Starbucks experience is pretty much the same no matter where you go. This is why I was shocked and dismayed by my experience on May 20, 2012.
I arrived at the Winnipeg Airport at approximately 1730. I had about an hour to hang out at the airport before meeting up with the crew I had been called in to join. I sat and people watched. I made a phone call. As I was chatting on the phone, I decided that I should get myself some coffee. I wandered over to the Starbucks. There were 3 employees (two in Uniform, one just hanging out talking) off to one side, having a very indepth and animated conversation about a party. There was also one other employee very busy cleaning the floors. She was doing an amazing job at it – scraping by hand whatever it was that would not come up with just the mop. I took a quick look at my watch – yep – still lots of time. I stood there. I stood there some more. I listened to the party conversation. Oh to be that young again!! I watched the poor girl doing the floors – wondering why she wasn’t included in the party group. I made mention, rather loudly, to my phone companion that I was not being acknowledged at the Starbucks. This didn’t work. When I looked at my watch again – I had actually been standing there for 5 minutes. As it neared the 6 minute mark, the floor-cleaning girl looked up with a start, and came over to help me. She took my order, quite obviously flustered.
And then… She started to make my drink.
Now, please know that I am NOT a germ-a-phobe. I have a pretty good immune system for the most part, and I think this is partly due to the fact that I am not scared of a few germs here and there. It happens. However, this girl had been SCRAPING BY HAND the gunk on the floor. I had to say something. I had to ask her to wash her hands before she made my drink. This shocked myself, my phone companion and the girl! I explained to her that she had been washing the floors, and that I would just feel better if she washed her hands before she made my drink. Thankfully she started the process over again after washing her hands, brand new cup and everything.
In all of this, the group off to the side had not moved.
I took my Americano, and left. I said my Good Byes on the phone, and went to help the Agents at the gate. One of them went over to get drinks for the 3 Agents. Party Group still didn’t budge. Thankfully Floor-Cleaning Girl was there to step in. When my crew arrived, one of THEM went over. Guess What?? Same thing. This time, it was found out that the girl was NEW. I was dismayed. Not only was she cut out of the Party Group, but not one of those other employees thought it would be a good idea to help out the new girl. They had her doing the grunt work, as well as the fun work. Poor Thing – she had to do ALL of the work.
Shame on all of you, Party Group.
Work Place Karma will get you.
Lessons learned on this day. Airport Starbucks have some of the most awful service. I could write for another hour on the service received at the Starbucks on the Secure Side of Terminal 3 at Toronto Pearson Airport. I also now watch my Baristas very closely for hand washing.
Where have you had good Starbucks experiences? Bad?
Let me know.