Life: When #Starbucks spells your name wrong… *sigh*

Starbucks on Tottenham Court Road, London

I’ve been in New York for just about four weeks now and my Starbucks habit has reached new heights and I’ve noticed something – I tend to sigh, a bit too loud, whenever I’m asked for my name. No matter how much I enjoy a frapp [with soya/soy milk ] here and there and I understand what it is the people at Starbucks are trying to do, it frustrates me when the person behind the counter brings out his or her pen to write my name on a cup. You see my name sounds one way and is spelt another – so having to spell my name on a daily basis has me sighing.

The real reason for sighing is because I sincerely dislike people spelling my name wrong, especially when I’ve spelt it out. It really isn’t that hard. Apart from spelling my name wrong, people then become hit wonders within seconds by remixing my name with their pronunciations, be it that I’m in the UK or in America, it seems to be a universal thing.

I think deep down the reason I sigh is because my name is deep with meaning, sweetness and “power” – so I get why some may struggle. 😉

I haven’t always felt so strongly about my name being spelt or said correctly, I was that child who didn’t mind my name being remixed be it at primary school where my peers and school teachers threw in their English twang to dissemble my name (Nigerians included lol). I’ve gone from Lie-dee to Lay-a-dee, even been referred to by my middle name because “Layide” was that hard for some *smh*.

How I wish I corrected everyone whoever said or spelt my name wrong at the time, but of course one cannot go back in time. Truth is, names – be it nicknames, real names or fake names – always stick! A community of people will always know you by it, so it’s important for me that it’s said right and spelt right.

You may say, “But it’s just a name, so what?” Well let me tell you what my name means so you understand why it’s important to me.

My name – OLAYIDE – means “This joy/wealth has come” or “My joy/wealth has come” (OLA orla – Joy/wealth; YI yee – This; DE de! – Has Come).

Indeed I am the joy/wealth of parents and to those around me, and I pray that I continue to do so! I’m not expecting everyone to get my name right, but I think it’s fair that they at least try…that’s all I ask.

I could also save myself the frustration and money and stop going to Starbucks, but we all know that isn’t going to happen and they have gotten my name right a few times – so I can’t fault them, but for more universal errors made by Starbucks check out:




Signed @OlayideM


8 thoughts on “Life: When #Starbucks spells your name wrong… *sigh*

  1. I totally share your frustration!! I I get infuriated when I get “Julie” instead of “Julia”. Catch me in a bad mood and I will refuse my drink until my name is corrected. Yeah, I think I got a little too far. But seriously correct it.

      1. haha they just look at you weird. I usually say something like “that cannot be me. I specifically said JuliA”. I am sure there is a photo of me back behind the bar

        1. I actually laughed out loud! I think they should receive new training and use people like us as case studies. Pretty sure they’ll have us write our own names soon.

  2. Why do Starbucks staff get people’s name wrong? That got me thinking girl!

    So why do Starbucks staff write people’s name in the first instance. Why not just call us thirsty customers by the beverage we order? Like: (..and please read through the list)

    Coffee! Coffee! Plain black coffee, where are you?

    Caffe Misto or Cafe au lait, come and collect!!

    Hey! One to go Cappuccino!!

    Caramel Macchiato your order is ready!

    Americano you again?

    Mocha! By the door!

    White Mocha no sugar skinny milk!!

    Toffee Nut Latte (a dark handsome gentleman approaches, ex-body builder!)

    Espresso Macchiato!! Are you drinking in?

    Espresso Con Panna, are you large or medium?

    Hot Chocolate, nice to see you!!!

    Steamed Milk , have a nice day!

    Frappuccino, don’t forget your wallet!

    Chai Latte, extra shorrrrt!!!

    Steamed Cider, come and collect!

    Caramel Apple Cider, where are you?

    Decaf! Decaf!! Decaf!! With cream!!

    Half-caf! Come and have your half-caf, it’s on the house!

    Seriously? Somehow that won’t work, right? Besides that’s a totally separate issue to ponder! But I must admit that the beverage-name-calling thingy is rather amusing. Lol!

    Okay, so why do they get our precious name so wrong? It seems a lot of customers have experienced this puzzle. Could it be a game, part of the whole having coffee at Starbucks experience? For instance, I like the picture of the coffee cup with the name crossed out and a smiley face drawn instead, which by the way was supposed to say Francisco! Lol! Surely, you ga’ro laugh out somewhat about that, right?!?

    That said, I try to put myself in the barista’s shoes, behind the counter, positioned right next to the hot coffee machines, the till just ran out of paper, been on my feet for hours, music I won’t really buy blearing away repeatedly all day in the shop space, I’m new to the job, there is college for me tomorrow with enough homework to last me for weeks, I could smell the toilets from where I am standing – moreover, my landlord, who is also a relative, just sent me a text asking for last month’s rent..the plot thickens…and on and on! Oh, yeh! On top of all that I’m from Outoqmokohkovonaxmi and my English is the same as the Queen’s (disclaimer: no queen specified).

    There I say, absolutely no excuse still for getting our names wrong! What am I saying? There may well be a ‘legit’ story on their part. Don’t ask me what it could be but they may well just have a story, including dyslexia?

    Now, if I take that view, there are five things I could do:
    1. Return to Starbucks with a great sense of humour, ready to engage with whoever serves me and never tell them my name because they will get it wrong.

    2. Print a business card with my name in large print and when they ask me for my name, I push my business card across the counter with a straight face and say: There!

    3. Start my own ‘You’ve been Starbucks’d’ series on Tumblr whilst sipping my hot coffee loudly without care or caution, title my series “I am more than my name!”, to draw the reader’s attention.

    4. Remember to thank Papa [God] in all things and say a prayer for those who serve me even when they get my name wrong.

    5. Do all the above and leave a smile on someone’s face.

    I enjoyed the narrative DearLayide.

    Love BabaLayide

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