Starbucks Handles

There is no local independent coffee house within striking distance of the BlueTitan/SOA HQ. Therefore, my colleagues and I must resort to patronizing the nearby Starbucks. Since Starbucks processes drink orders asynchronously, the customer must provide a name to the dispatching barista in order to be notified of drink delivery.

Problems often occur during the transmission of names when the provided identifier is unfamiliar, or of foreign origin, to the receiving barista. For instance, if the barista is an American-educated1 English speaker, the name Srinivasa Ramanujan stands little chance of being retransmitted with acceptable fidelity.

All of my San Francisco-based colleagues at BlueTitan/SOA have similarly barista-unfriendly names, and have each adopted Starbucks-specific "handles" that are provided in lieu of their actual names in order to facilitate the exchange of money and caffeine.

Here are a few examples:

Sadhana Jain"Jane"
Anil Edakkunni"Neal", "Ed", or "Ed O'Neal"
Eberhard Hummel"Abe"
Fabrice Medio"Vijay Nahasapeemapetilon"

Perhaps Starbucks should think of applying some technology to handle the identifier issue:

1No comment on the current state of American education and the ability of American-educated students to compete in a job market that is increasingly non-US centric.