Saturday Jan 13 2007
What's your Starbucks name?
By: Ansel Oliver, The Press-Tribune
To give or not to give your real ID for refreshment orders
In Roseville alone, there are teenage girls named Bartholomew, a businessman who calls himself Ben Affleck and a Kaiser doctor who goes by Frankenstein. At least those are the monikers they tag on themselves when asked for a call-out name on a food or beverage order. The name game is a quirky trend at places like Starbucks and Jamba Juice. "It never occurred to me," said a woman outside a Granite Bay Starbucks. "People really do that? Why would I do that?" Katie Logue, waiting for a drink to be blended at a Roseville Jamba Juice, said her 13-year-old sister sometimes gives the name "Bob." "I think she just gets a kick out of it when they say 'Bob' and she goes up and gets her coffee," Logue said. For movie buffs, "Star Wars" names are popular. Logue said she's heard the name "Chewbacca" called out, and Doug Leach, after ordering at a Granite Bay Starbucks, said he encourages his son to use "Darth Vader." But all prankster names aside, there are also practical reasons for falsifying an identity. A person with a hard to pronounce or hard to spell name might simplify the process. A woman with the first name Mogjgan said she always gives an abbreviated name, usually "Megan" or "Maya." Another woman said she always uses "Kate" when she's by herself. She said she feels safer when an employee calls out her alias in a crowded store. Jamba Juice employee Ally Peterson said last week two teenage girls used the name "Bartholomew" for their order. Store manager Scott Pedersen said some kids give names of rock stars or other celebrities. He's heard "Jessica Simpson." Others get creative and give an abstract figure - "The Man." Leah Lossner said her mom is a fan of the fake name. "'Chloe is her alter ego wherever she goes," Lossner said. Dan Pastor said he sometimes gives the name "Tom," after actor Tom Skerritt who played Viper in Top Gun. "People think I look like him," Pastor said. Shereen Souza came out of Starbucks and reported that store employees didn't ask for her name, instead just calling out her drink order. "The decision to ask for a customer's name upon ordering is a decision made on a regional level," said Erika Mapes, a Starbucks spokesperson. Two people said they never have to give their name because they always get the same thing - black coffee. "I never get that foofy stuff," one man said. Foofy? Would that make a great Starbucks name? - Ansel Oliver uses his middle name "Charles" at Jamba Juice. It's easier than trying to explain his unique name over the loud roar of blenders. Reach him at email@example.com.