One Starbucks barista sure knows how to take the extra mile and brighten a customer's day with a simple yet meaningful act. This is because she learned sign language so she could communicate with a regular customer who is deaf.
Ibby Piracha, 23, went to his usual Starbucks branch in Virginia to get his frappuccino fix. While a visit to the coffee shop has become a routine for him, nothing was ordinary during his Friday morning visit mainly because he was greeted by a familiar barista with sign language.
An Unusual Experience
Piracha usually sends a text message to the barista on duty for his order, but on that particular day, he did not need to. The barista told her that she has been learning American Sign Language (ASL) because there are lots of customers who come in and use text to order their drinks.
"I've been learning ASL just so you can have the same experience as everyone else," wrote the barista on a note to Piracha.
Piracha said he was very surprised at the barista's willingness to learn ASL and that such act demonstrates how the barista respects deaf people. She's an inspiration, he said.
Sharing The Blessed Feeling
Piracha took to Facebook and Twitter his experience. He posted a photo of the barista's note, which was shared for more than 4,000 times as of this writing.
In his post, he explains that he goes to Starbucks thrice in a week; therefore, the barista was able to realize that he was deaf so she learned sign language.
"I think she realized Leesburg, VA have deaf people.," he wrote.
He then encouraged people to share the post to everyone and said that he feels so blessed with her.
Because of Piracha's overwhelming feeling, he even talked to the Starbucks manager and expressed his joy, saying he was very impressed.
The Starbucks manager at the branch said he can neither release a comment about the story nor could he reveal the identity of the employee. However, he confirmed that Piracha's statement is true.
Meanwhile, a Starbucks spokesperson said they are proud of their employee for making the first move in learning ASL so she could better assist her customers. She also said that they love hearing stories that show how their partners and clients connect.
Piracha hopes that the incident would help raise awareness that hearing people and deaf people are trying to communicate. He wants the world to know that the deaf community can have a great review.
In a Twitter update posted by Piracha before the event happened, he explained that yelling at deaf people would not result in anything. He said that deaf people are natural lip readers so it is best to speak naturally when talking to them. Ultimately, he dissuaded people from exaggerating their words and tone and talking to deaf people like they are mentally challenged.