A chronological–yet not exhaustive–history of how Starbucks stays failing me

I’m not the first person to lament Starbucks’ spelling of her name. We’ve all laughed at the memes:

But I am consistently impressed—and equally perplexed—by the myriad ways Starbucks baristas manage to *&%$ up this simple four-letter word. E-R-I-N. My name is so basic. In fact, I was always jealous of my friends with prettier, cooler, longer names. To this day, my bestie, Michelle still rocks her high school-era nameplate necklace. And it still looks awesome, eight beautiful letters to balance out the chain. My name always looked like crap on jewelry. Too short to anchor a necklace, I’d catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and the name part would be somewhere up around my shoulder…


I tried different types of chains, different lengths. I can’t tell you how much cheap, gold-plated “jewelry” I copped at U.S. 1 back in the day trying to be fly. I probably spent like a whole $30 total. Shout to my Franklin/Brunswick fam! Also, the 90’s.


A friend gifted me this necklace for my birthday in 2014 after I told him of my nameplate struggle. He could have spent a million dollars on it and it still would have looked this sad. Thanks anyway, boo. xo

But back to Starbucks. As the majority of the baristas I encounter are white, I often wonder 1) whether they’re not familiar with the name Erin (which I’ve always found difficult to believe), 2) if they figured they misheard me because: black, or 3) if they heard me correctly and just expect that my Erin is spelled more creatively??? Over the past 30+ years of life, I’ve grown accustomed to people spelling my name A-A-R-O-N. I rarely, if ever, roll my eyes anymore when I receive letter addressed to “Mr. Aaron Jackson.” And if that is how these baristas were spelling it, fine. It’s still ridiculous, but it’s a ridiculous I’ve come to accept. But alas, here are a few of the variations I’ve gotten:

May 14, 2015

November 2, 2013

This one is super Key & Peele-esque. A-Aron…?

April 25, 2015

April 25, 2015

This one was was actually spelled correctly, but my friend Kelly and I were at a Starbucks in Boston, where misspelling our names is akin to blasphemy.

July 3, 2015

July 3, 2015

I am almost positive no one in the history of Erins has ever spelled it this way.

September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016

Heron. Like the bird. Or Gil Scott. Or the drug.

September 18, 2016

September 18, 2016

The hell??? Arren? I give up.

I could never have imagined there were this many ways to get it wrong. Do you have any crazy Starbucks fails you can share? Fellow Erins out there–have you felt my pain? Please leave me a message below.

Are you sure that’s not a typo?

So I’m on a plane yesterday on my way to Ft. Wayne, IN and I notice this sign above my head:


And you know how you just see a word that just doesn’t look like it’s spelled right?

I stared at it for a good minute before I tapped the woman sitting next to me (a very friendly lady by the name of Karen) to ask her if the word “flotation” was spelled correctly. ‘Cause it just didn’t look right to me. I fly all the time but I never noticed this before. Seems like there should be an “a” after the first “o” like in the word ‘float’. doesn’t it? I don’t believe I’ve ever had the occasion to write or type the word, so it’s not like I’ve been going around spelling it wrong for years… like I did with ‘down pat(I always thought it was ‘downpacked.’ Seriously. Until like 4 years ago. My mom called me out and teased me for days.) Or how I didn’t recognize the word ‘segue’ wasn’t spelled phonetically until I read it in context in a book. That one was kind of embarrassing but I figured it out on my own. I didn’t even have to tell you that…

Anyway, long story short, the plane we were on had WiFi, and Karen and I needed to know the answer right then and there, so I got on my iPod Touch and we found out that both “flotation” and “floatation” are acceptable spellings. Which is freakin’ dumb. But you know, whatever. Dilemma solved. But it still looks wrong.

What else is going on?…

  • When I got to the Ft. Wayne airport there was a guy handing out sugar cookies. For no reason. Just because it’s the midwest and people are way too nice. He asked me if I’d like a cookie. I told him yes, I’d like four. Tee hee ;) That was just a joke GF’09 is still on track.
  • We had a great show last nite. And afterwards, some of the local comics and their friends took me out to a nightclub where the DJ played “Whoomp There It Is.” And it wasn’t a throwback set. He was serious. I don’t think there’s anything else to be said about that.
  • We had morning radio today. I didn’t know it was a rock station and I just happened to have on a pretty cool Jimi Hendrix Rolling Stone t-shirt. The DJ had all kinds of Jimi paraphernalia in his studio. He even had a Jimi figurine which I made him take a photo of me with.
No really, I'm this corny

No really, I'm this corny

Well that’s about it for now. I’m gonna take a nap before afternoon radio cause my allergies are kicking my butt out here. Have an awesome day!