The tyranny of drink sizes
"I used to work at a Starbucks and, on the whole, I really enjoyed the job. The only thing that bothered me was when customers treated me like an idiot. The most common occurrence of this was a little exchange any barista is probably familiar with: a customer would walk up to the counter and say, 'I'd like a white mocha with skim milk, no whip,' and I'd say, 'What size would you like that?', and they'd patronizingly repeat 'a WHITE MOCHA with SKIM milk, NO whip,' as if they couldn't believe Starbucks had hired someone who was partially deaf.
"Normally, I would say, 'Right, but what size for that drink?' and they'd say, 'Oh, grande,' and look a little sheepish. And that's fine, it happens. But one day we had a woman who took this damn thing to the next level. She was an upper-class-looking blonde lady with a lot of jewelry.
"Lady: 'I'll have a skinny vanilla latte.'
"Me: 'Sure, what size?'
"Lady (louder): 'A SKINNY VANILLA LATTE.'
"Me: 'OK, but what size would you like the drink to be?'
"Lady (rolling her eyes): 'A SKINNY. VANILLA. LATTE.'
"ME: 'Yes! A skinny vanilla latte! But I need to know if you want a tall, a grande, or a venti! Which size?'
"Lady (furious): 'I don't want ANY of those. I want a skinny vanilla latte.'
"Me: 'Sorry, those are our sizes. Do you want a small, a medium, or a large?'
"Lady: 'FOR THE LAST TIME, I WANT A MEDIUM SKINNY VANILLA LATTE.'
"One of my only complaints in my year working at Starbucks was that I was not allowed to make this woman's drink, call it out, and then drink it in front of her, saying, 'Mmmm, this MEDIUM skinny vanilla latte is soooo good.'" -- Ike Hargrove