Monday, January 3, 2011

Baggin on the "Bucks" again

I didn't want to do this.  Did not want to post this blog. Yes I know, my last few blogs have been all mushy and lovey, gratitude journals and "ahh positivity" as a dear friend put it.  But that's it, I'm over that.  At least for another blog or two. Back to the real world, the 5:00 rush hour (that now starts at 3:00), the curbs we scrape up a little too close to and that run of red lights we can't seem to avoid.

I actually wrote this a few days before Christmas, thought it a bit Scroogey, and besides, I've bagged on Starbucks many times before, thought it redundant, but just once more, for old times sake, let me kick this dog and then I can pretty much promise you I will let it rest.  Metaphor people, I really don't kick dogs.

Some people complain about their kids, their husbands, their boss, the weather.  But when I get frustrated there is no one I'd rather bag on than Starbucks.  I don't know if it is them that I get so angry and frustrated with or if it has something more to do with something about me (I'm guessing it might be me) and the fact that I can't make a commitment.  I said I would boycott them and I'm back.  And if the truth be known, I've secretly been back many times since my last rant.   This lack of self-control, this complete lack of discipline may be the real underlying issue here.

The other morning I stopped at Vallergas (our local grocery store) to pick up a few items before work.  I only had a matter of about 20 minutes, it wasn't a leisurely visit, like one would have at perhaps, Macy's Union Square on a Sunday for example.  Starbucks happens to be right across the parking lot from Vallergas - so trying to kill two birds with one stone, I merrily hopped and skipped across rain puddles, grocery bag in hand, happy to get in line behind 7 others for my "have to have" morning latte.  Seven people, not too bad. I'm enjoying scanning the room as I always do.  18 people are seated.  Hmm, who is here working, who is here meeting a friend, who is here again with their screaming mimi kids.  I will give them a break today - it is almost Christmas for goodness sake.  The kids are out of school - all naughty and nice of them.

In line I'm beginning to fidget, shifting my weight back and forth, and the line hasn't moved in 5 minutes.  5 minutes can seem like an eternity when you are standing still in a waiting line, unless of course that line happens to be at Disneyworld where you know the end result will be one of pure delight and amazement (think Pirates of the Caribbean).  But a latte?  It is something I could skip all together this morning, or instead, visit the little coffee place by the gallery where I work.  But then it becomes this big ordeal, this big math equation, "if I leave now and drive over to the next shop, what if a line is there, how long will that take, and will the coffee be as hot, as good?" So, rolling my eyes, I decide to bite the bullet and wait it out.  But now I am wearing a scowl where just minutes earlier I was smiling at all the other jittery coffee addicts in this chain gang of a line, listening to the muzak mix of milk steamers, crying babies and overplayed Christmas tunes.

I stare blankly ahead, mildly amused by the woman arguing with the Barista, something about the Via coffee packets she is purchasing.  Only mildly.  But after several minutes and with the line now winding out the front door, I am just getting down right pissed off. When I finally got to the counter and the little Barista asked me my name I wanted so badly to say, my name is "Starbucks Sucks" - but I was afraid he'd ask for my ID to prove it, and there I would be, an out and out liar for the entire Starbucks community to see.  And what if they blacklisted me?  That would only make me want their nonfat two pump mocha extra hot with whip that much more!

So, what really annoyed me beside the ten minute wait in line to place my order?  They gift wrap now!  There on the counter is a sign "We gift wrap".  Are you kidding me?  Yes, why don't you take up more of my precious time.  You can gift wrap the coffee mugs, the Via coffee to go packets, the french press, all while heating up the spinach and egg wrap and the ham and cheese English muffin in the microwave.  I impatiently tap my foot to the beat of, I can't believe it, but I think it is the Chipmunks rendition of  "Here comes Santa Claus" waiting to order my one simple latte!  Ugh, can't you just do coffee?  Do you have to have your hand in all of it?  Do we all really need to take over the world?  Fill every need one can imagine? Can't we just find a thing or two that we excel at and do exactly that, excel?

So Santa, if you are asking what I'd like for Christmas, here it is, let me delegate;  McDonald's go back to your burgers and fries and leave the caramel mocha lattes to Starbucks. Starbucks you can leave the breakfast sandwiches to the likes of McDonalds and Subway and the gift wrapping can remain in the competent hands of Macy's and other "gift" shops. (By the way, do you know that Starbucks has a merchandise outlet in Ontario, California?)

If things keep going like this, Starbucks you will remain on my "naughty" list for next year, and In-N-Out, with your double double, animal style, fries and real ice cream milkshakes, you, once again are on my "nice" list. making me feel all is calm, all is bright,  I love you and please don't ever change. xo

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