I am sitting in a Starbucks. Call me cliche, because I fucking look it. Flannel, vans, headphones, using a mac + iPhone, drinking Italian Roast, a super-food smoothie to my left (you know, for balance & health), and eating a banana --- I am the ideal consumer. This should be a Starbucks billboard, for christ's sake. A case-study could be done on this scene, right now, it's that disgusting.. But that's not the most disgusting part of this, nor is it the real reason I sat down to type out my frustrations.
The rain never helps me cheer up, but it can surely help my dissuade my moods/way of thinking to the more passive-aggressive/rude side of the brain. The side that always has a "go fuck yourself" in the chamber (thanks to Adam Corrolla for that reference) at all times, and the slipperiness to pull the trigger. I've learned to not feel badly about it anymore, and in fact, if anything - I embrace it. So here I am.
I just returned from an unsuccessful trip to pick up a steamer-trunk from an estate-sale in Seward Park, Seattle. Naturally, someone had gotten there before me (I watched them load it into their truck) and claimed my prize before me. If you don't know what a steamer-trunk is, it doesn't matter - I wanted to use it for my coffee table in my new place and this one was perfect. They're old, bulky, heavy trunks & super awesome. I was ready to recycle THIS old trunk and turn it into my coffee table. Fast-forward to me walking into Starbucks to scour craigslist for another one when I approach the counter to order my cup of coffee.
The barista was busy pouring hot water into something that looked like this (but fancier, of course).
Except this one only had ONE cone-filter and was only capable of making one cup of drip coffee. I asked her what the crappy-old Bunsen-burner-looking thing was, and asked if the machines were broken or something.
"Nope, these just cut down on waste. I can pour your drip from here, it will only take a couple of minutes."
"No thanks," I said, "I'll just take the regular coffee that I've been drinking for years."
"Oh, but these taste better, you should try one."
"Nah," I said, "I'm not down with waiting. I have some crap to do, so I'll take the old shit, even if it's cold, and old."
Her horrible persuasion tactics, at this point, are turning my already bad mood into a worse mood.
"You sure? It will only take about 2 minutes," she said.
"No, I don't have time. Besides, I don't really get the point -- it takes longer to pour a SINGLE cup of coffee, right? So now it's one cup AND one filter, right? Sounds wasteful."
"Yeah, but we're trying to do our part to cut down on waste, and by pouring single cups at a time it reduces the amount we throw away." (thus maximizing profit, I'm not stupid, girl, but now I'm just trying to prove a point: your stupid machine is unimpressive, and I'm already paying $4 for a cup of coffee, so the least you can do is amuse me by letting it run though some space-age-looking shit, ok?)
"Oh, cool. Well I don't care, I just want the stuff that's in that big metal can that you probably brewed two hours ago."
She just stared at me.
"Yeah, the regular shit will be fine," I assured her.
Without saying a word, she turned and started pouring my drip out of the machine, like I asked. By now I can tell she's annoyed (probably doesn't get told "no" a whole lot), and I knew I was in control, so I wanted it to get REAL awkward. How do you make something already awkward MORE awkward? Complete silence, of course. (inquire within for more "Awkward 101" tips)
Finally I [jokingly] said, "Oh yeah, I get it now! Using that single-pour-thing makes sense because the coffee isn't already marked up at least %500 of the original costs, so I get why you're trying to cut down the waste and save the company. Thank god, too, because you guys were on the verge of BROKE the last time I checked."
She didn't laugh. Nor did she answer my follow-up questions of how much money is being wasted on tens of coffee filters now instead of just one for the bigger pots, also the capacity of how many people are capable of being served ONE CUP at a time compared to the machine that brews somewhere around 30 cups, or how they normally give me TWO CUPS for the one-cup that I'm drinking, or how many people HATE waiting for shit they've never waited for.
But this is Seattle. EVERYONE is cutting down on their waste, everyone is recycling, and everyone is trying to save the environment. And that's great - I'm totally on-board with it (regardless of the fact that recycling is mostly bullshit). But here's the best part. Like I said earlier - I have a banana, cup of coffee, and a smoothie. She excitedly asks:
"Would you like a bag?" With a huge smile.
I looked up from the counter where I was pulling out my money, stood completely still, and let the silence penetrate her stupid brain.
(here's what was happening in my head: REALLY?! A PLASTIC BAG???? Wait a minute -- weren't you trying to cut down on waste a minute ago? And weren't you just giving me an attitude because I didn't want to try your high-school science-experiment coffee-maker?)
Once my brain didn't feel like it was stuck in dumb-girl-quicksand, I finally said, "I would, but I'm trying to cut down on waste, you know, to save money," as I handed her my cash. Her smile immediately went away. She had just been dunked-on by Jordan, and I felt fucking great.
Once she realized how stupid I made her sound - which wasn't said to be a dick, but said in a "hey, I-know-you're-just-a-barista-who-probably-also-hates-the-man" type of way - I suddenly "had time" to stay now, and wanted to sit in the completely empty Starbucks to remind her of her conversational inadequacies. I am now in an awesome mood, and am confident that I'll find a new steamer-trunk for my apartment.
Cheer up, barista. It's not like Howard Schultz is your father, and if he is - on behalf of me & every Super Sonics fan: tell him to go fuck himself.