It's pretty widely accepted that Starbucks baristas are lousy at spelling names. But a new video suggests they may actually be doing it on purpose.
As someone with a "weird" name, I am used to misspellings by everyone from teachers, colleagues and even my boyfriend. So when a Starbucks employee writes "Emmy" on my cup, I am unfazed. (It would be more surprising if they got it right.)
But it's always perplexed me when they get it wrong for friends with more common names — like Lauren and Rachel. We've seen "Lorrin" and "Raychil." Seriously.
And every time that happens, my giggling friends post photos of the botched spellings either to Instagram or Snapchat so others can laugh along with them.
I've always thought Starbucks employees were just messing with us and trying to make us laugh.
But this video from YouTube's Super Deluxe suggests a more contrived reason for name misspellings. As my friends regularly demonstrate, by posting the images to social media, they're giving that familiar green siren exposure — without being paid for it. It's free publicity.
Cue the evil laughter.
"That’s right, sheeple, you’ve been giving Starbucks free advertising for years," says the video's narrator. "That innocent little scribble on your pumpkin spice latte is tugging on the subconscious of your friends to go out and buy pumpkin spice lattes of their own, only for them to have their names misspelled, take a picture and perpetuate this frothy cycle of control."
But hold on just a second. Sure, it would make sense, but could it just be a really paranoid conspiracy theory?
"Believe whatever you want," says the narrator. "But maybe, just maybe, we’re onto something."
Now I'm convinced that "Spell people's names as strangely as you possibly can" is first on the Starbucks employee manual, right above "Employees must wash hands before returning to work." And now I'm writing about it. Ahhh! They have us all under their caffeinated control!