“I used to work on a business estate that was nearby a freeway so had a service station. There was a Starbucks inside there.
I would go in for coffee every day and then as a Friday treat, I would have a mocha. Just a simple medium size mocha, no cream or any of that mess.
One time, I went in there, ordered, paid and waited for my drink to be made. The person who handed it to me seemed perfectly friendly as I thanked her and took my drink. As I turned and walked away, about two or three steps, I heard, loud and clear as day, the server say ‘fat woman.’
I stopped in shock. There was a man frozen with a panini halfway to his mouth, mouth wide open in shock staring at me and then the server.
It was a quiet afternoon, I was the only female customer in the shop. There was absolutely no mistaking it was aimed at me. I’d never felt so humiliated. I genuinely couldn’t take it in, so I just walked out.
The next day I returned with a letter detailing the incident, a description of the server, and the time I was there along with my receipt. I asked to see the manager, who was the nicest person ever. I told her there had been a problem yesterday, but it made me too upset to talk about it. I gave her the letter. She tried to coax it out of me, but I teared up. I was mortified.
Two days later, I had a call telling me they had done an investigation and another staff member had confirmed what had been said and it was indeed aimed at me. The manager said there had been action taken against the server but was not allowed to give details.
The manager asked if I could come back in so she could give me a gift card as an apology. I told her I didn’t think I’d be able to return there. She asked for my address and sent out a gift card along with an invitation to come back and have a coffee with her.
I never did go back to that Starbucks, but I appreciated all that manager did.
It’s been nearly ten years and it still stings. It was the completely unprovoked attack that bothered me, much more than the words.”