A Starbucks Barista Went Above and Beyond to Give a Deaf Customer the ‘Same Experience as Everyone Else’
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
Most coffee house baristas have a special talent for whipping up a decent latte in minutes. And they have to, as lines – especially at Starbucks – can get out of hand. Is it any wonder they misspell names so much? They’re churning out caffeinated drinks like factory robots. Because of this, the customer service at times can be lacking. One Starbucks employee from Virginia however is hoping to change that stereotype by going above and beyond to help out a deaf customer.
Ibby Piracha, a deaf man from Virginia, normally uses his cell phone to order his morning brew. On Friday, Piracha was welcomed with a pleasant surprise when his familiar barista passed him a note that shared she had “been learning ASL just so you can have the same experience as everyone else.”
“She was saying she looked on YouTube because she had a lot of customers that came in using text. I was very surprised she was willing to learn and it shows she respects deaf people… she’s an inspiration,” Piracha told ABC News. “I even told the Starbucks manager, ‘You know, I was very impressed by your employee.'”
The manager at the Starbucks explained that while he could not comment on the incident or the name of the employee, he was able to confirm Piracha’s account.
“We are proud that our store partner [employee] is taking this initiative to learn American Sign Language to better assist and serve her customers,” a Starbucks spokeswoman shared with ABC News. “We always love to hear stories of meaningful connections between our partners and customers.”
Piracha hopes his Facebook post emulates the message that “the hearing world and the [deaf world] are trying to communicate.”
The post has been shared over 3,800 times and has over 14,000 likes.
“I definitely want people to understand that deaf customers can have a really great review,” Piracha said.