Home > Bitching, Drinking, Neurosis, Silliness, Strange > The Time I Had a Starbucks Name

The Time I Had a Starbucks Name


Inspired by this post, I wanted to talk a little bit about Starbucks names.

I myself have an unusual name that is butchered by teachers, acquaintances, and doctors alike. So it is no surprise that the beleaguered workers at a busy Starbucks, who call out hundreds of names per day, are no exception. Giving my real name with an order is a recipe for disaster, and some poor employee ends up just stuttering “Ta…Taaaa…Teaaaammmm…?” over and over again until I run up and grab my drink.

However, I know I am not alone in this, and many of my friends have chosen a Starbucks name for themselves that is used not only in coffee shops, but in any situation where you have to give you name to a stranger who most likely doesn’t really care. For some of my Indian friends, Mukti has become “Maria,” or Rekha into “Rachel.” Japanese friends also tend to pick a common and easily pronouncible “American” name with Mariko morphing into “Mary” or Emiko going by “Emily.”

Alas, I hate all the more common versions of my name, and so I’ve simply gone with a completely different moniker. At Starbucks, I use my sister Jessica’s name since I already respond to it fairly well, and it’s common and easy to remember. Though this has the unintended consequence of possibly having the same name as someone else at Starbucks. This is normally not an issue for me, and I have never met another person in person who shares my given name. Though there is a girl with my first name who writes for the New York Times, which allows me to fantasize that I have some cool journalism job.

Doesn’t that get confusing for those of you with common, normal names? In a large room, there must be several Elizabeths or Sarahs in the crowd, resulting in confusion as you mingle. But at least new acquiantances can probably remember your name, whereas new people tend to call me “that girl with the weird name.” Joy.

Do any of you out there have your own Starbucks name? Do you make one up even if your real name is relatively easy to pronounce? Hell, I practically have a whole personality and back story formulated for my “Jessica” alter-ego, which has no relation to my sister, the real Jessica. No, Starbucks Jessica seems to be an altogether more glamorous and socially adjusted version of myself who orders fancy, expensive coffee drinks and wears nice jewelry. Needless to say, she never exists outside of a Starbucks. But while I’m sipping some ridiculous whipped concoction, it’s nice to pretend.

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