“What’s your name?” the barista asks. “George” I answer, and she writes that name on my Starbucks cup. She doesn’t blink when she sees on my credit card, my name is “Koen”. A lot of strategies seem to exist about the name on Starbucks cups. Here’s mine:
The reason I give a different name is not because I might be afraid they will get the wrong name on my Starbucks cup. I do know they will get the name wrong, no matter the alias I use.
The reason I give a different name is not because the NSA is tracking the name on Starbucks cups. They have (probably) better ways of tracking a foreigner who lives in the USA.
The reason I give a different name is not because I hope the UK barista will convert it into artwork.
Changing my name has everything to do with getting quick service, assisting the barista team in getting the orders in faster, not to offend anyone, and drink my coffee to the good health of my dad:
When I would answer “Koen” (that’s pronounced ‘coon’), I get a puzzled look, and it would require me to spell my name, creating even more looks. Been there, done that. I would like to see the people behind me being served today. Providing a name they are familiar with, accomplishes that.
It’s also an advice I give to the tourists I guide in New York City: be considerate for the service, and when you have a complicated name, go with an alias. The barista will (unknowingly) be thankful and your drink doesn’t change a bit. You still can get that venti sugar-free Hazelnut Latte with an extra shot of espresso and soy milk!
Secondly, ‘coon’ is an insulting term for a black person. So the last thing I would like to happen is that I’m insulting the person asking me kindly what name to put on the cup.
And last, but not least, by using the name of an uncle, my dad, my granddad or a friend’s name, it’s my way to drink to their very good health. So for me, as an extra. The name on starbucks cup is a friendly and silent hello. Enjoy!
Oh, and if you are looking for a more elaborate reason for the misspellings of a name at Starbucks? You might have seen the video where Paul Gale Comedy shows why your name is actually spelled wrong: