Jobsworth in Starbucks
Many moons ago, being the caffeine freak that I am, I was given a metal Starbucks flask as a present.
It’s ideal. It holds 16oz of coffee, which is a Starbucks medium size, it keeps the coffee warm for hours and best of all if you use your own takeaway mug, you get 25p off your drink.
I love it. I know it makes me one of those “coffee wankers”, just one biscotti away from being an overly smug barista lover, but I love it none the less.
When times are hard, rather than not visit a coffee shop at all (they are, after all my “happy place”) I will instead choose to drink filter coffee rather than my usual latte, saving myself a pound or so.
I also go the whole hog and ask for a small filter. It saves me an extra 25p from the medium sized one and it means I can add a lot more milk, making it a much better drink.
Today is a poor day.
“Can I get a small filter please,” I asked the barista, having queued patiently behind the mother and small child combination who were taking forever in choosing what they wanted.
“with room for milk too please.” I added. Only too often have I been in the middle-class nightmare of having a flask filled to the top with black coffee.
“This is a medium sized flask,” the barista replied curtly. I nodded. “so you don’t want it filled to the top then?”
The question was rhetorical, almost challenging. You pay for a small drink, Dan, you get a full drink. That’s what the undertone was. If you don’t pay for a medium priced filter coffee, don’t expect me to fill it all of the way to the top, buddy boy. I’ve had this conversation before. With the same barista too.
I’m not a thief. Bloody Hell, I’m British. I’d rather be overcharged for something and be bitter without saying anything than knowingly steal from anyone - even a company that seemingly picks and chooses what level of tax it will pay in the UK.
She was looking at me, hand hovering over the lever that starts the flow of coffee.
“Just a small one?” she reiterated.
“With your filter coffee you offer free unlimited refills, don’t you?” I ask, politely. It’s something that Starbucks have done for years without really shouting about.
“Well… Yes.” came the reply I expected.
“In that case make it a small one and if I want anymore when I finish it I’ll bring it back for you to top up, ok?” My face was fixed with a big smile. Point proven. Strike one to the customer standing with a small filter coffee and a big fat smirk on his face.
In fact, I’m in the mood for a biscotti as well now.