Via Hong Wrong and thousands of other sources comes this photo —
— accompanied by this angry posting to the Facebook page of Starbucks Hong Kong:
This is my sister’s cuppa from your HKU branch. Fancy your staff not being able to spell an American name like Virginia. Forgiving she has been with every misspelled cup. Her cup was once ‘Virgin’. Every Starbucks experience for her has been coupled with fear and anticipation. But THIS is just UNACCEPTABLE. Starbucks HK, you have to buck up or just not spell your customer’s name anyway. It is a derogatory attitude even if it is unintentional. What do you have to say about this?
I can sympathize with the embarrassed customer, though “coupled with fear” is a bit over-the-top. I can sympathize with the hapless barista too. How many Americans would nail the correct spelling of unfamiliar Chinese names after hearing them once? And I assume that working behind the counter at Starbucks is low-paying drudgery in Hong Kong just like everywhere else.