Friday, February 5, 2010

Starbucks, my name is XANDOR!!!

Flashback to the opening of the first Starbucks' store in 6750 Ayala.  The crowd had thinned by Day 4 and I decided to finally give it a try. Spanking new interiors greet me and the scent of coffee permeates the air.  

'Good afternoon, sir..welcome to Starbucks," chirped the barrista behind the counter.  'Good afternoon, yourself," I responded, surveying the menuboard for my caffeine fix of choice. 'I'll have a grande latte, please.'

'A grande latte..very good about a pastry to go with that, sir,' she said, in her memorized spiel. ' Not today, thanks,' I replied.'

'May I have your name for the cup, sir?' 

'Why not?,' I think to myself.

What followed was a back and forth dialogue which has been repeated perhaps hundreds of times in many different Starbucks branches across the Philippines.

'My name is Roddy.'




Didnt she hear me?...... 'Roddy.' 


What's wrong with this girl?......  'Roddy.' 


What the...bisaya?!!....... 'Roddy!' 


This is unbelievable!......'RODDY!' 


At this point, I crossed my arms, raised my eyebrows and in the deepest voice I could muster, I said, ' name is Batman...but don't tell anyone.'  

I eventually get my drink after we both have a laugh about it.  The barristas in this branch eventually get my name right...only because I would stop by everyday before going to work.

But as I said, the situation has repeated itself many, many other times.  I've come up with a variety of responses to this same situation which, at least, provide me some amusement and compensate me for the  mangling of my name.

In my best supervillain voice, I exclaim....'MY NAME IS XANDOR.....X-A-N-D-O-R!. ....XANDOR!!!    I think twice before adding a 'mwahahaha' in the end.


'Jose Rizal'



On one occassion, as I was waiting for my drink, the barrista shouted over the counter,  'Grande Mocha Frapuccino for....POGI!'  There was a middle-aged causcasian lady waiting beside me who, apparently understanding what the name meant, smiled and looked at me, 'yours?'  I smiled back and replied, 'you think so?'  We both had a good laugh but didn't hang around long enough to check who this mysterious person with a good-looking name was.  Maybe he waited 'til the coast was clear lest he be charged with false advertising.

I realized soon after it made more sense to order the drink under a simple pseudonym which was easy to understand and not likely to be misread, misheard or misspelled.

I settled on 'Bob.' Simple, short..3 letters..what could go wrong, right?  Wrong.

While this Starbucks-pseudonym worked most of the time, there were 2 occassions which made me question my judgement.

One was in Starbucks Tarlac...Hacienda Luisita..'Small name is Bob.' 

'Thank you sir'

A few minutes later the on deck barrista announced..'Small Americano for MAV!'

Hard to believe...misspelled, misheard and mispronounced the simple name of 'Bob'...not even one correct letter.  Besides, what the hell kind of name is 'Mav?'

The second incident was in my previous life -  a regional meeting where we had a senior executive visiting from headquarters.  I walk into the meeting with my daily grande americano, labelled with my Starbucks name on the side.  I sit down and in walks our bigshot guest, who sits down beside me and says...'Gee..thanks for getting me coffee, Roddy.'  Wouldn't you know it?..his name is Bob L.  There's a little giggle and then a pair of red faces try to tiptoe through the situation..

So..I stutter....'It's actually my coffee, Bob...even if it has your, I wasn't trying to be cute...did you want us to get you coffee?..because we can...'

On his side, the embarassed Bob also sort of trips all over himself..'Oops sorry I didn't realize and no, I didn't mean I expected you to get me coffee but if anyone's getting one, I wouldn't mind....'  

My Starbucks alter ego was put to rest that day.

Nowadays, I take pains to make sure they hear and write my name correctly or I just say my son's name...'Lucas.'  Now who can go wrong with 'Lucas,' right?  

I shouldn't speak so soon, I know.


  1. Hi I am Ethel, and have been known to be Heaven. On one occasion, I was asked if I was Trevor.....

    Heather :)

  2. Roddy, anyone who knows you knows that "Mav" is the diminutive of your real name, "Maverick." P.S. This is Gia.

  3. least Trevor's still veddy Bri-ish

    G...maverick? I likey...maybe the horse, not the pilot.

    B....Rodney? Gee thanks. I see they're calling you Antow-niyow now: )