Starbucks often gets a bad rap for employees misspelling easy-to-write names. But one barista in Leesburg, Virginia, proves that she’s wholeheartedly devoted to her customers.
Her kindhearted gesture has helped raise awareness about the special needs of the deaf community… but that was never her intention. She was just trying to be helpful and friendly to a customer who stops by her Starbucks location several times a week.
Ibby Piracha has been deaf since he was a toddler. He has different ways of communicating with those who can hear, but typically, when he went to Starbucks, he’d type his order out on his phone and show the text to whoever was manning the register.
Krystal Payne had only recently started working at the Leesburg location when she met Ibby.
He’s a regular customer and she said she wanted “to make that connection with my regulars.” She continued, “I should be able to at least ask him what he wants to drink.” She came into contact with him twice before making a decision.
She went home and spent hours learning a few words in American Sign Language!
The next time Ibby stepped up to place his order, she asked him, “What do you want to drink?” — in ASL. Then “she gets a piece of paper out, and I thought maybe she had a question for me or something, but it really wasn’t a question at all,” Ibby said. “And as I read through it, it shocked me.”
Talk about great customer service. Watch the short video below to hear more about this story, and share to spread some smiles!