Starbucks and Millennials

I attempted to place an order at a local Starbucks’ drive-through recently and had the misfortune to have a Millennial attempt to take my order. She was so busy talking, talking over my ordering, talking to hear herself talk that she consistently failed to get the order right (which was very simple, had she listened to it). After four attempts, during which I finally told her that if she would shut up and let me order that I could do that very well, we finally completed what should have been a 1-minute process in about 7 minutes. When one takes into account the pressure on Starbucks (SBX) to get people moving smoothly through their drive-throughs (if for no other reason than the fact that when people are moving through quickly they are continuing to go forward and spend money, rather than giving up and going away to another coffee purveyor), then one begins to wonder why a company would place such a person who is taking seven times as long with an order in a prime position of contact with customers. Millennials have very few skills in dealing with people – those have never been taught them. And they’ve also been allowed to talk at will, because, again no one has informed them that that is not appropriate form for the give-and-take interactions of normal human intercourse. As I’ve mentioned in earlier commentaries on Millennials, they have been told that they are so special (“The Last Popsicle in the Desert”) that no correction to their behavior is needed. These same, “perfect” people are now learning the hard lessons of the workforce. My consistent question is: How is this fair to the Millennials – to tell them that they are without blame and them allow them to transition to a workforce that will certainly tell them differently. The unfortunate situation is that we are doing the very same to the generation that follows the Millennials – the so-called Generation Z, or, “the Edgers.” One would think that some of the educators currently going glibly about their business of doing things the very same way that they did when they were doing Millennials such a disservice, would wake up to that sad fact and start adjusting their teaching processes to be more successful with the current generation going through the public schools.

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