I hate coffee. I mean, I really hate the stuff. It tastes like battery acid. I spent 9 years in the military, including 5 years on a ship in the Navy. I still hate the stuff. Honestly, I’m not Starbucks’ target demographic. But still, they showed me some love, so I thought I’d pop in and show them some love right back.
I stopped into the Starbucks at 125 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC. It’s a pretty interesting shopping center in an overcrowded and claustrophobic sort of way. It’s one of those hybrid set of outdoor shops and apartments that I can’t understand anyone wanting to live in. Sure it’s a short walk from your apartment to Bonefish Grill, but it’s also a short walk from a public shopping area to where your car is parked all night. For car thieves. Plus, Bonefish Grill? Yech. There is a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, so if you’re willing to spend a lot of money there is that.
I haven’t been into a Starbucks since the start of the most recent Gulf War. I was counter-protesting an anti-war demonstration in DC in January 2003 (I was the guy with the 82nd Airborne flag in this story), and I’d been there most of the day. I was freezing and I had to pee. The only place I could get to a toilet was a Starbucks. Being a nice guy (for some values of nice) I thought it was only fair that I buy some coffee. I didn’t want it, but there were other counter-protestors who would drink the stuff. In my entire life, that’s the only other time I’ve spent even a penny at Starbucks. Like I said, I’m not their target demographic.
Starbucks, like any other corporation, pretty much wants to stay out of our political business. They might have personal feelings, but they realize that their core mission is selling coffee to people who want coffee. Pissing off some of those coffee drinkers is a bad idea. Accordingly, when the issue of people carrying guns inside their stores came up, Starbucks made what I think is a really good decision. They decided to stay out of it. They said, in effect, “The law outside Starbucks is the same as the law inside Starbucks.” Recently another retread anti-gun group decided to object to Starbucks’ open door policy. They not only wanted Starbucks to ban firearms, they also demanded $10 Million a year. Ban, Pay, or we boycott. What a bunch of jerks.
As is usual in situations where gun owners are attacked, we responded en masse. There are a lot of gun owners going to Starbucks today. Incidentally, if you stumbled onto this post because you are a Starbucks worker (Barista, I think they call them) those $2 bills you saw in your tip jar were from us. $2 bill = 2nd Amendment. Pretty cool, huh? Makes a point and you still can spend it. I stopped in to the same Starbucks twice.
Now I’ve always been told that Starbucks was expensive. Maybe I’m old and rich now, but I don’t think it was unreasonable for them to charge me $2.32 (including tax) for a medium Earl Grey tea. The coffee prices weren’t too outrageous as far as I could tell. Maybe they get more expensive if you get one of those fru-fru coffee things, but I think that’s just a tax on pretentious. Plus, you’re making them work hard, so you should pay for that.
So, did I sweep my jacket to the side, wave my gun around, and scare the poor short bearded guy who was patiently explaining that, yes, Starbucks had about 50 different teas? Nope. I just took my tea, and my surprising amount of change, showed him the $2 bill, stuffed it into the tip jar and said thanks.
Now, Starbucks Corporate People, let’s talk.
1. Your counter staff at 125 Weston Parkway appears to be uniformly helpful and pleasant. Let them know please.
2. You know, coffee smells really good. Why does it taste so bad?
3. I just started my diet. I have decided to lose about 50 lbs to come down from 232 lbs to 180-185. Having those cakes and sweets sitting in the display case just begging me to eat them was a total dick move on your part. I’ll have to try some when I’m down to my target weight.
4. Those slip ring things you hand out to keep people from burning their fingers on hot cups? They suck. They slip off the cup. Can you figure out some heat sensitive glue or some tape?
5. Honestly, the guy who helped me this morning with the teas was very patient.
6. You know, when you drink tea in your car and then come back to it at lunch, your car still smells like Earl Grey tea. You should get to work making an air freshener that smells like Earl Grey tea. Or maybe one of those scent packages. I would totally buy that.
7. Having the courage to stay out of a fight that isn’t yours is rare. Good for you.
So I’ve learned a few things today. Mostly that Starbucks has tea, and that it is pretty good tea. The fools boycotting Starbucks are counting on us counter-protestors to stop going to Starbucks after today. Well, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t going to happen. I wouldn’t have ever gone in. Now I’ll go every once in a while. How many others will be in the same boat? How many non Starbucks people stopped in and will decide that it’s ok to stop in for more later?
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