VIDEO: This Is ‘Really’ Why Starbucks Always Spells Your Name Wrong

09/10/2014 at 12:33 PM ET

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
Courtesy Starbucks

How many times has this happened to you? You order a drink at Starbucks, enunciate your name as best you can, wait for your order and, more often times than not, find that the barista wrote a name on your cup that only slightly resembles your own.

Now in a new video (warning: with language NSFW), New York-based comedian Paul Gale pokes fun at the common occurrence and claims the butchering of your name is done — wait for it — intentionally.

While posing as a Starbucks employee in the video, Gale deadpans, “I didn’t mishear your name. I am deliberately misspelling your name to confuse and annoy you.”

Even the easiest of names get caught in his trap. “Let me assure you, everyone in the world knows how to spell ‘Jessica,’ ” he says. “I decided to write ‘Gessika’ on your cup to play with your emotions in a shrewd and calculating way.”

Is there reasoning behind his cruelty? Of course there is: To get you to post a photo of your cup on social media —another act we’re guilty of.

And even if the day comes that your name is spelled correctly, don’t be fooled. “You’ll think things might be looking up for you. That’s what I want you to think,” he says. “I’m lulling you into a false sense of security. This isn’t over. It’s never over.”

VIDEO: Why Starbucks Spells Your Name Wrong (Warning: With Language NSFW)

—Ana Calderone

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FILED UNDER: Coffee , Food , Food News , Restaurants

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Showing 9 comments

Liz on

We misspell for three reason. 1. It is always so loud that when people mumble WE CANT HEAR! 2. After wearing a headset constantly and straining to hear mumblers… WE CANT HEAR.
3. We don’t for some reason take the time to ask. I
Its as embarrassing for me a starbucks barista but please be understanding and don’t pitch a fit.

Lena on

I have worked for Starbucks for over 18 years. I can assure you, in all that time I have never seen anyone deliberately spell someone’s name wrong on purpose. I’m not saying that someone hasn’t done this, but believe me we have so many other things on our minds. The main reason we might get your name wrong is we CANT hear you. Unless you have stepped behind our counter and experienced just how loud it is, please don’t judge. There are multiple fridges, ovens, coffee grinder, partners communticating with each other, blenders, espresso machines, and last but not least ALL customers in the store!! I am more concerned about making you a correct, delicious drink. So please give us a break if we spell your name wrong. Thank you.

stylesprinter on

Starbucks get my name wrong all the time and I am so tired of being called “Tall Vanilla Latte” every time baristas do not know how to spell ‘Katya” correctly! Recently they annoyed me so badly that I decided to organize a giveaway for people whose name has been constantly misspelled. Feel free to enter it and receive a $20 gift card as a compensation for years of misspellings:

Anonymous on

Poor Nykal!

Nick on

Starbucks Always Spells Your Name Wrong.
lucky for me I have never got anything from Starbucks.
But I have went to Starbucks with my mother.
the 1st or 2ed first time I went I seen a blind person with a
dog. (the dog looked so big. and I loved it.)

Kathy on

I won a daily prize for the new “promotion” that Starbucks is running! A little excited about that.

The problem with winning this prize? The cranberry bliss bar. Well, the most important one is the bar is no longer available at the Starbucks that is closest to my house. The person in charge at the Foothill Starbucks in Sunland, CA, told me that she was not allowed a substitution for anything else and I could drive to another Starbucks to see if it’s available there. And I guess if it’s not available at that one, I am free to go to a different one and so on and so on. That would cost more that the bar is worth, right? Is this a joke? if so, i didn’t find it funny…..

I believe that Starbucks is giving this prize just in case any of the Starbucks still have it they can get rid of it and not lose money on this “big giveaway” they are running at this time. The manager I spoke with seemed a little rude to me but when I mentioned that to my daughter (who worked at Starbucks for a while) she told me that she used to be concerned because sometimes corporate doesn’t give the employees at the store better options for the customer when things like this happen and the employees don’t have a good answer for the customers.

Kathy on

I just want to add that i won prizes 3 times, 2 of them were the cranberry bliss bar. Seriously i really thought it was some kind of prank that Starbucks is playing or trying to rid of any cranberry bliss bars that may still be hanging around…..

starbucksemployee on

We do it because it’s ironic

Hilda Leyvas on

upper respiratory infection

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