"And your name please?"

I'm Rick James, bitch. 555-1234. Napoleon. Why do you want my name? Slim Shady.

These are just a few of the thousands of names on cups that I wrote up in my sixth months as a barista for Starbucks Coffee Company. Though I was thoroughly annoyed on several occassions, I completed each transaction with a fat smile and thank you. Why? Starbucks' "Just say yes" policy forced me to. As indicated by the title, it is a policy in which employees are instructed to submit to the desires of customers.

How to take advantage of this policy:

-So you get a venti drink and halfway through you think, "I could use another drink." I almost guarantee you that if you spill it, they will make you another drink. Also, if you tell them, "This drink tastes weird" (or any equivalent statement), they will make you another drink or give you a refund. The same thing goes for pastries: eat more than half of it, bring it back, say that it is horrible, and get a refund or a new one.

-Maybe that doesn't sound impressive. Every Starbucks location is also equipped with "service recovery" coupons. They are little tickets good for any drink, any size, and any additions at a later time. So bring back your drink, bitch a plenty, and they will give you a coupon.

-Also (for the cheapo) if you don't want to pay the 35 cents for extra caramel, don't order it at the register. Ask for it at the bar and they will do it for you and most of the time with no additional cost, especially at busy times.

-If you ask for a free drink, they will make you a sample. It can sometimes mean a tall-sized drink because drinks are not pre-made except for freshly brewed coffee and they don't want to waste an entire drink.

-Let's say you want a non-fat drink. Do not order it non-fat. When they hand you a drink, ask, "Is this non-fat?" When they reply no, instruct them to make you another drink. More than likely, they will ask you if you want to keep the original drink. It would go in the trash anyway.

Disclaimer: This doesn't work at Franchise locations (i.e. airports, malls, and certain locations in Los Angeles), where they don't really care about customers.

For those uninterested in acquiring a free drink:

Ask for it extra hot, extra sweet, extra caffeinated. If you frequent your local Starbucks but still aren't familiar with the specialized terms, let me help you:

breve-If you're on a carb diet, you might want half and half instead of milk.

doppio-Used instead of "double". (i.e. - doppio espresso)

dry-If you want a cappuccino with more foam than milk.

skinny-non-fat. (i.e. - skinny latte)

upside-down-The shots normally sit on top of the milk in a caramel macchiato, but this will have them on the bottom.

wet-If you want a cappuccino with more milk than foam.

Invented drink ideas:

Tastes like a mint chip shake: Grande cream based frappucino, 3 pumps peppermint, blended with chips.
Tastes like a 50/50 bar: Grande cream based frappucino, 2 pumps valencia, 2 pumps vanilla.
Tastes like cookies and cream: Grande cream based frappucino, 2 pumps caramel, 1 pump vanilla, blended with chips.
Passion Tea Apple Juice: Passion tea, apple juice, and raspberry syrup.

I will leave you with my favorite interaction with a customer:

What size would you like?
The big one.
I don't know, I don't speak Spanish.