Weird World

A barista subtly called out a rude customer – and asks “Am I the Asshole?”

The service industries can be incredibly frustrating for the poor workers trying to remind themselves that the customer is always right, even when the customer is a massive wrong’un.

One Starbucks barista had a very subtle run-in with a customer who was incredibly rude, and she didn’t even have to be explicit about her displeasure.

It’s a longish read, but worth it.

This customer clearly didn’t understand the need to be specific in a coffee shop with dozens of options.

I’m a slave to the siren (a Starbucks barista). I’m pretty decent with most customers and I’m pretty good at having convos with customers and sensing when someone just wants the line moved forward.

Anyway, I was on register the other day, taking people’s orders. Two older men were ordering from me. One of them said “a coffee, black”, so I just asked to clarify the size he wanted and the roast (blonde, medium or dark) to which he first spoke to his friend and said, rudely

“Nou zeg, niet de slimste meid die hier werkt, hè? Ze zouden en beetje kunnen leeren om hun hersenen te gebruiken”

Which is Dutch and translates roughly to

Wow, (this is) not the smartest gal that works here, huh? They could learn to use their brains a little“

Rude, right? She was only making sure he got the coffee he wanted. Luckily, she was able to let him know she was onto him without being rude back – which would be a sacking offence.

Then he told me he wanted a medium dark roast.

So I nodded and then replied to him in Dutch, asking him the regular questions I would to complete an order (anything else to eat or drink today?, What was your name for your other drinks? Do you have a Starbucks rewards card?). I was perfectly pleasant and smiley for the rest of the transaction but just conducted it in Dutch.

He answered the questions in English but his eyes were bulging out of his head. His friend looked kind of worried but burst out laughing when they walked away.

The customers friend obviously thought it was funny that he’d been caught out, and the customer himself didn’t say anything, but Redditor u/ditchthatdutch‘s colleague wasn’t happy.

I realize it might not be the best look for someone in service, and when my coworker asked me what it was about and I explained, she seemed kinda confused as to why I would do that.

I don’t think it was an asshole move because I was still nice to the guy but I definitely called him out and made it clear to him that I’d understood the stuff he was saying. But maybe I shouldn’t have because of the position I was in at the time (like customer service?)


Here’s how other Redditors judged her sneaky clapback.

NTA – to the power of infinity.

Who says this?

“Wow, (this is) not the smartest gal that works here, huh? They could learn to use their brains a little”

Fast food is rough. To survive I recommend looking at it as live theatre. He probably is going home to 101 Dalmatian puppies that he is going to turn into a jacket.


I could not work at Starbucks. I swear i’d go off on a guy like that. Just choose the fuckin size. Jesus


If you aren’t allowed to ask questions, you probably have to resort to being careful: Smallest cup size (you can’t expect people to want a more expensive drink, can you?) and lightest coffee.

So acting like someone isn’t smart for asking you to clarify what you want is just shooting yourself in the foot and boasting about it.


NTA you were simply making sure he understood the questions you were asking, since he started speaking Dutch and didn’t give you an answer.

You should never use another language to trash talk someone. He got caught and was upset at it. Not your problem and good on you for courteously (and hilariously) checking him.

MagicMauiWoweeColo-rectal Surgeon

Nobody thought the barista was an asshole, but one person understood how the Dutch-speaking guy had ended up in trouble.

Who says this?

It’s really easy to lose your filter and make comments like that if your mother tongue is fairly obscure. After staying abroad a while you kind of get used to having a secret language noone understands. You can say anything. It’s great.

Until it backfires.


Got to go – just off to sign up for Dutch lessons.

Source Reddit Image @brookecagle and @jtylernix on Unsplash

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