I’ll preface this story with a statement. This story isn’t about me but it could be. This story is about a close relative of mine so we do share the same blood, background, and boldness. (Details of this incident have been changed to protect the innocent.)
Starbucks is a vice. It’s expensive. It’s delicious. It’s worth it. However, for my cousin Nicole there is a definite limit to how much is worth it. A couple weeks ago, she went to our local Starbucks and ordered her standard Grande White Chocolate Mocha with skim and whip. As she awaited her little cup of heaven, she noticed that the barista didn’t stir the mocha as they typically did, so she asked her to give it a little stir. The barista stated that corporate “took their spoons away.” Initially she offered the wooden coffee stirrers at the counter. Nicole’s response was that she didn’t like wooden stirrers, and they really bothered her. In addition to that, she wanted it stirred before the whip went on top. The barista went on to explain that they aren’t allowed to stir coffee any longer due to “state regulations.” Nicole, who is well versed on state regulations of the food service industry, pressed this issue and didn’t take her word for it. The banter went on for quite some time, and escalated to Nicole stating, “You charge a ridiculous price for a cup of coffee so I expect it to be the way I want it. This allows me to be ridiculous. I don’t want my coffee and would appreciate my money back.” Needless to say, Nicole is now on a strong boycott of Starbucks. As much as I agree with her statements, I haven’t joined the boycott.
I’m not sure if it’s state regulations or just corporate that is dictating the “no spoon rule.” I’ve been told by other baristas at Starbucks that corporate doesn’t want mochas and lattes to be stirred. Stirring slows up the process of making the coffee.
We all have things that we expect. This story just made me laugh because I know my cousin, and she’s the most laid back person in the world. It shocked me that she went at it with the barista about a spoon, but I do agree when you pay a certain amount, we all have certain expectations. For some it may be the atmosphere, for some the design of the cup, and yet for others it’s a spoon!
Do you have the right to be ridiculous when you pay a ridiculous amount for something? Or has this gone a little far to show more of the American way–my way or the highway? I don’t have the answers but it may be worth thinking about.
Written by: Stephanie Teslaa excels at using both the right and left sides of her brain, and that’s exactly what makes her so special. Stephanie calls Hudsonville home and is a lover of numbers and also a talented photographer.