Meet the Barista Who Learned Sign Language for a Customer

A Starbucks barista’s effort to learn a sign language so she can communicate with a deaf customer captivated the hearts of many and it quickly went viral.

Twenty three-year old Ibby Piracha goes to his local Starbucks in Leesburg, Virginia two to three times a week to buy coffee. Everytime he goes there, Ibby, who is deaf, steps to the counter and types his order into his phone and shows it to barista for him/her to see.

But little did he know, all that is about to change. Why? Becauses one barista at the branch has made it her mission to make Piracha feel welcome.

That barista is Krystal Payne. She has just started working at Starbucks when it happened. Actually, it was just a chance encounter that motivated her to expand her American Sign Language (ASL) skills.

According to the Starbucks‘ site post, “On a night out to pick up pizza, Payne noticed a customer who frequently visits the Starbucks store in Leesburg, Virginia, where she’d started working earlier this year. Customer Ibby Piracha, who is Deaf, looked frustrated as he tried to place an order. She didn’t notice a similar problem at Starbucks because Piracha generally places beverage orders by typing them into his phone and showing the barista.”

Still, Payne wondered if she could do something else to make his experience at Starbucks more welcoming. During that time, Krystal already knew basic sign language but she decided she’ll learn more sign language words.

When Ibby arrived at the store February 19, Krystal greeted him with a note she’d that read: “I’ve been learning ASL just so you can have the same experience as everyone else.”

Photo credit: Facebook

He then posted about the experience on his Facebook page and asked his friends to share it so people can learn about the “hearing community supporting the deaf community.”

Here’s his Facebook post:

And quickly, his post became viral.

According to Krystal, “My job is to make sure people have the experience they expect and that’s what I gave him,“.

Awwwww. It’s not everyday that someone would go the extra mile for the service of their customers, and this one’s surely something that would make you smile. Kudos to you, ma’am! We hope there are more people like you that we would meet.