Starbucks Complaint - What can I get for you "Bro"?
HILLSBORO, OREGON -- I am a professional in the High Tech industry, and currently am employed by such a company.
At Approximately 1:30am on Thursday morning December 22nd, I left work and stopped at the nearby Starbucks . My job is only 3 minutes away from this location. I entered and approached the counter, and the associate behind the counter asked, "what can I get you bro?"
I cannot remember this young man's name but there were only two individuals working at that time, the aforementioned young man, and a young woman.
After ordering my beverage I was curious to know if this was an isolated event or if it was his usual method of greeting. The next gentleman in line was caucasian and some years older than myself. The Starbucks associate addressed him as "Sir".
I am an African-American male, and I have NEVER, and I would like to emphasize the word Never, been called "Bro" when greeted in a business environment.
I am also a frequent customer of Starbucks, though this was my first time at this location not having been in my current position for an extended length of time.
In this day and age the word "Bro" is NOT to be used or even considered in any proper greeting, and doing so is an invitation to an escalated action. Having patronized other Starbucks locations I assume this is not a company sanctioned form of salutation, and I would very much appreciate an apology, and because this is the closest 24 hour Starbucks to my place of employment, I would like to patronize that location on another occasion and I would like to know what action is going to be taken so that this offensive episode does not happen again. Had I been a journalist at one of our local papers I certainly would have taken this incident to pen, and written an article on the degradation of customer service. I'm not sure if his reference to the word "Bro" had anything to do with my ethnicity, but I must say, having experienced his greeting of other customers in a much more dignified manner the evidence is daunting.
In closing, I would not think proper business etiquette, where salutations are concerned, needs to be taught in the current business environment. Knowing what to say and to whom is just as important as the product being sold as such interactions can make or break a sale.