Total Pageviews

Monday, 9 April 2012

#1: Alien Encounter on Planet Starbucks

So... I was in my local (Lynn Valley) Starbucks the other day, feigning interest in buying a small sack of Blonde Roast Veranda Blend while waiting for my order to be whipped into shape, when a guy wandered in and asked for a coffee. Clearly (and remarkably), he’d never come across (or at least ordered java from) a Starbucks before.

Because, in our brave, new 21st Century world where the number of choices for types and strains and flavours and sizes and places to go for coffee is enough to make your brain explode, specificity is crucial. Particularly at Starbucks. At least if you want to avoid being metaphorically caught with your pants around your ankles.

The server (or partner, as Starbucks likes to call its minimum-wage staff to make them feel more distinguished and important) looked at the guy (let’s call him Guy) like he had three heads. Like that was the most ridiculous question in the history of mankind.

As if to say: “You want a what?!”

What she actually said (or would have said had I actually been within earshot of the conversation and not making this up), was (sparking the ensuing dialogue):

Starbucks Partner (SBP): What kind of roast would you like?

Guy: Roast? Um… chicken? I haven’t had a good Sunday dinner in a while. Could I get a coffee, too?

SBP: No, roast of coffee, sir – blonde, medium or dark?

Guy: Um... well... blonde? Hmm... that sounds a little lady-like, and I’m a man’s man—don’t want to come across as effeminate. Scratch that one. Medium? Then I’ll be Mr. Average… I’m so much more than that. Dark (& mysterious)... yes, that’s me. A little edgy (at least since he decided to grab a coffee at Starbucks).

SBP: Size?

Guy: Size?

SBP: Short, Tall, Grande, Venti or Trenta?

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

To read the rest of this column, check out BC Johnny's upcoming book: Chilled Almonds.


Nancy T said...

Hilarious! You covered a lot of bases without even having room to make fun of the prices--like the way they increased them by 10% just before their wonderful "Gold Stars" program which saves you maybe 6% if you always use your card!

BC Johnny said...

Thanks Nancy! And, yes, the issue of Starbucks prices -- ie. the fact you often have to take out a second mortgage on your home (if you own one) to finance a daily Frappuccino -- will provide ample fuel for a fiery future post!

greetmorning said...

That is why I always ask my date to order his coffee first, and then later say the sweet "me too" just to avoid the trouble.

To minimize the trouble of ordering, KFC has this easy order number system for its menu. So when I call "no. 7 please", it is no more questions asked and I will be served crispy chicken sandwich. Now, for starbucks, I wonder how many numbers they need for their menu-- like the number of stars in the sky?