Baristas are turning to Reddit to vent their frustrations as autumn looms.
pumpkin spice latte starbucks support group
Credit: Courtesy of Starbucks

As children, the waning days of summer brought with them a growing sense of dread. Then one day it happened: You’d walk into a store and see the display of pencils and notebooks… School was nearly back in session. For Starbucks baristas, as the warm weather fades, a different signpost announces their impending fall doom… a jug of Pumpkin Spice sauce.

Over the weekend, Reddit’s always active Starbucks subreddit (which seems to serve as a casual online hangout for employees) received a post entitled, “It’s coming. God help us all.” The content: Nothing more than a photo of a 63-ounce bottle of “Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Flavoured Sauce/Sauce Naturellement Aromatisee A La Citrouille Epicee.” Yes, apparently even French baristas dread the start of PSL season.

The post racked up 145 comments featuring a surprisingly wide range of opinions on the annual event. “Winter is coming…” went one pop culture-referencing quip. But another interesting sentiment was that, compared to the madness that was the Unicorn Frappuccino craze (which many baristas openly despised making), whipping up a simple PSL is a breeze. “Gimme basic white girl PSL hype over [limited time only] frappuccinos with their 5 million steps and components ANYDAY,” wrote one commenter.

But as Grub Street points out, PSL season actually comes with another problem you might not realize: Rogue stores jumping the gun and serving Pumpkin Spice Lattes ahead of schedule. Though PSLs aren’t supposed to officially debut until around Labor Day, with the above existing photographic evidence, clearly the cat is out of the bag that the ingredients have already shipped to some stores. In a separate Reddit thread, one user wrote, “My [manager] is making us sell it to anyone who asks. Don't even have the POS button so it's just a ‘white mocha’.”

Needless to say, one Starbucks jumping the gun on serving a PSL ahead of schedule can cause trouble for everyone. “Well the other store made me a Pumpkin Spice Latte…” another Reddit post is titled. “I hate this,” explained a commenter, “when you get a customer who was mishandled by another store or barista and then they take things out on you when you don't know exactly what they did to satisfy this insane person.” The moral: PSL season is hard enough for Starbucks baristas. Don’t make it worse by not respecting the rules! The best PSLs come to those who wait.