You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat service people. If you have ever worked in the service industry as a sales person, a waiter, or anything else, you know that there are two kinds of people: those who see you as a person and those who see you as a slave. The latter of the two are always a nightmare to deal with, often times screaming and potentially throwing something at you.
All the while, you have to sit there and stay calm. God forbid you respond to this customer with anger. In the case of one Starbucks drive-thru barista in Bishop, California, he was able to bite his lip and offer a smile to a woman who thought it would be okay to treat him like he was less than a person. You will not believe what she did next.
This woman, known as Debbie, went back to the Bishop Starbucks the next day and gave the barista a hand written letter and 50 dollars as an apology for her poor behavior.
According to the barista, Debbie did not even act THAT crazy. He said that she was upset that the store had run out of styrofoam cup holders and that he could not throw away her trash from the inside of her car. She threw a pity party for herself, and this barista just smiled and offered her alternative suggestions. Nevertheless, she drove off in a fury.
However, when Debbie returned the next day, she was more than apologetic. She gave the drive-thru barista a card with a 50 dollar bill tucked between the fold and gave her sincerest vocal apology as well. The barista was just doing his job, but, because he did not blow his top at her, she was more than thankful. In a public statement, the manager of the Bishop Starbucks said that the company was very proud of this barista and have used his behavior as an example.
This is one case where a nasty customer actually feels bad about their behavior. Maybe just maybe there is hope for the other people who treat service people as less than. No matter who you are, a person is a person and a smile can go a hell of a long way.