Just yesterday, this reporter was talking with a colleague about how we sometimes use fake names at Starbucks to make the process easier. I’ve gotten everything from ‘Berry’ to ‘Morgan’ to ‘Mario’ (yes, a man’s name) when I say 'Mary Ann' at the counter.
Being called a man’s name is nowhere near as offensive as what one woman in Hong Kong experienced.
The woman was understandably upset when her Starbucks cup said “Vagina” instead of “Virginia.”
On the Hong Kong Starbucks Facebook page a customer posted a photo of the mistake, writing:
‘This is my sister’s cuppa [SIC] from your HKU branch. Fancy your staff not being able to spell an American name like Virginia. Forgiving she has been with every misspelled cup. Her cup was once ‘Virgin.’ Every Starbucks experience for her has been coupled with fear and anticipation. But THIS is just UNACCEPTABLE. Starbucks HK, you have to buck up or just not spell your customer’s name anyway. It is a derogatory attitude even if it is unintentional. What do you have to say about this?”
This isn’t the first time Starbucks employees have misspelled customers’ names. In fact, there is a whole Tumblr blog dedicated to Starbucks spelling fails.
We understand the woman is upset and we hope that the misspelling was a genuine mistake rather than a stupid joke from a Starbucks employee.
What we don’t understand is why “every Starbucks experience for her has been coupled with fear and anticipation.” If the customer is fearful every time she goes to the chain, why doesn’t she just find another coffee shop?
At the very least, Starbucks should offer this woman a free cup of coffee, and, you know, get her name right this time.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant