Starbucks customer sends ‘heartwarming’ apology note, $50 to barista for being rude

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The woman left an apology letter and $50 in cash for a barista after she acted “curt” during an exchange through the Starbucks drive-thru window. (Starbucks)

BISHOP, Calif. — A Starbucks barista who had a “less than cheerful” encounter with a customer got a pleasant surprise the next day — an apology note and $50 in cash from the patron.

Andrew Richardson, 20, a barista at the Starbucks in Bishop, California, was working the drive-thru window on March 20 when a woman came through.

She asked Richardson for a drink carrier, but the store had run out of them, according to a Starbucks news release. The woman then asked if she could hand trash through the drive-thru window for Richardson to throw out, but he also had to say no because of a California health code.

The woman eventually left, but not before acting in what she described as “less than understanding” and “curt” manner.

“She was mildly irritated, but she was still pleasant with me,” Richardson said.

He worked the drive-thru window the next day, thinking he wouldn’t see the woman again. To his surprise, she came by, but this time with an apology card. The note read:

“Yesterday at your drive thru we had a less than cheerful encounter. At no fault of yours, you said you could not take my empty cup (trash). I was less than understanding. My manner was curt.

I need to apologize. The thought of leaving a trail of unkindness like that is so not the path I want to reflect. Not for you, not for me. You are a young man, clearly working hard to build a future. You should be commended. Keep up your attitude of cheer and hope. Stay hopeful no matter what kind of people cross your path (or drive thru :))

Surely, God has good blessing in store.

You taught this ole Lady something yesterday about kindness, compassion and staying humble. I thank you!”

The card also included a $50 bill for Richardson.

The barista said he was mostly surprised because he didn’t think the customer, who signed her name as Debbie on the card, was being rude or mistreating him from the beginning.

“It was like a two on a scale of 10 for me. When she came back, that was a lovely interaction. She was so nice and so kind. I just really wasn’t expecting that. It was very, very heartwarming,” Richardson said.

Richardson posted a photo of the note and the cash included on Reddit that received hundreds of comments.