Starbucks: asking for customers’ names builds resentment, not connecti – AuthenticAfrican

Posted on by Sirin Kale

If your name is unusual, it’s almost inevitable the barista will misspell it on the side of your coffee cup. And sometimes the mistakes seem downright unkind

I do not drink the coffee in Starbucks because it doesn’t taste good. But even if I did, I wouldn’t, for another reason: my name. Because if you’re a half-Turkish, half-Iranian second-generation immigrant like I am, it means you have a name that few can pronounce, and which even your parents can’t agree how to spell. (My father spells it with a Sh, my mother with an Ş. In their defence, they don’t agree on much.)

When your own parents can’t agree on the spelling of your name, and beloved co-workers continue to get it wrong after years of gentle admonishing – well, I’d rather not have to go through the rigmarole of painstakingly spelling it out to a barista. In the past, when ordering an iced caramel frappuccino from Starbucks (I am not proud of this drink choice, but there we are), the conversation has gone a lot like this: “Sirin ... No, S-I-R-I-N ... pronounced Shirin. No, not like Ed Sheeran. SIRIN.” (Is presented with a cup with “Sharon” written on it.) Which is why I have the utmost sympathy with the 25-year-old admin worker and Starbucks patron Nadia Khan.

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