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Dear Starbucks, we have an issue…

Recently, Starbucks introduced its iPhone app which allows you to associate a Starbucks gift card with the phone and a credit card with the application. When I make a purchase from Starbucks, I simply show them the QR Code (bar code) on the phone and I’m done. Plus I get bonuses like a free drink after so many uses. I can also put more money on the application with a couple of taps of the screen. Almost too easy. And I get annoyed. That’s right ANNOYED!

See, your wonderful application has made it easier than ever for me to spend money at Starbucks. I calculate my expenditure at Starbucks since installing the iPhone app has quadrupled. Where do I get annoyed? It’s your employees. You’ve made it incredibly easy, and almost fun, to make purchases at Starbucks and your employees kill it when I try to hand them my phone and they utter, "I’m sorry. I’m not allowed to touch your phone." Well yes they are. Because I have given them permission and I speak those words, "I give you permission to take my phone." In short, that means I assume liability. If they drop my phone in a sink of soapy water, it’s my fault.

Watching a barista do acrobatics out the drive through window to stretch a scanner beyond the length of its cord because they won’t take my phone in their hand is absurd. To tell me I have to come inside to use the application is counter productive. But, since this seems to be such an issue, I now avoid your drive through which means sometimes I avoid your business altogether. That’s right. You created an application that dramatically increased my business with you. But you are quickly creating an employee culture that is driving me away.

Dear Starbucks, I ask you to do something simple. Tell your staff that if I give them permission to take my phone, they can. And if you really need to cover your ass, just put a sign by the register and at the drive through window that reads "Starbucks cannot be held liable for damage to your phone if you hand it to our employees" then have your employees ask, "Do I have permission to hold your phone?" Thanks!

Update: If I accidentally leave my phone on the counter, does this policy mean that management won’t touch it? Or do they pick it up and put it in a lost and found?

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Noooo…. Grounds!

The coffee is gone! The coffee is gone! Watch for riots in the streets! How could we have let all the coffee grounds run out.

Oh bean!
How I miss thee
Not long ago
     I coddled thee
I’d shake your bag
     Like a maraca
We’d laugh with glee
Then I’d give you a ride
The grinder it spun
To fine powder
Then a steam bath for you
While you drip dried
I’d have a drink
Now I thirst.

Posted on 2 Comments

What you say and how you act will affect someone’s day

I woke this morning later than intended, 6am instead of 4am, but I did not let that bother me. Today is to be a good day! I wanted Amy to make her bus today so that I could begin programming 45 minutes earlier than days I have to drive her to school. She moved slowly and I drove her to school but I did not let that bother me. Today is to be a good day! After sending Amy off and having a cheery exchange with a friend working the carpool line, I started home. Today is to be a good day! I have more or less quit drinking coffee. Instead I drink hot tea or an occasional hot chocolate but today I brought my mug so I could stop by Weigel’s and have a Kona coffee. If I purchase coffee at the grocery, far cheaper, I drink too much. It is 75 cents I don’t need to be spending, but I did not let that bother me. Today is to be a good day! I waited in the line behind an employee who brought his sons in with him. I commented to myself how much they looked like him then I went onto thinking random thoughts of coding and cutting down trees. After handing my three quarters to my favorite, and familiar, cashier, I started to the door as she spoke, "Don’t look so disgusted. They’re moving as quick as they can." Today is to be a good day! But I did let that bother me. What?! I paused as I could not let this pass, "M, were you saying that to me?" She replied, "Yes, you rolled your eyes like they weren’t going fast enough. I’m only one person and moved them along as fast as I could." But that did bother me. Is today going to be a good day? "I didn’t roll my eyes. You know I’m never in a rush." I left with a darkness hanging over me. The coffee suddenly tasted bitter. But I did let that bother me. How could today be a good day? I replayed the encounter in my mind and realized that as I waited in line, I was trying to palm the three quarters. Since my slight of hand is beyond out of practice, I was probably concentrating too hard and it probably showed in my face. And that concentration was misinterpreted as impatience when I was merely playing. But still I am bothered. I am not sure today can be a good day.

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Off the wagon..100 cups here I come!

So I decided to detox. I quit coffee. For roughly a week and a half. My mind calmed. My productivity increased. I had a brief period of headaches but that could have had something to do with last week’s dreaded cold.

Tonight I have officially rejoined the land of the living. Pumping some French Roast into my veins right now! Let’s stay up for a few days shall we?

Posted on 5 Comments

Things you learn over coffee

I ran out of grounds again. Yes, pathetic. I indulged myself and stopped into the local convenient store for a cup of overpriced Joe only to learn that my neighbor, who wanted to go fight in Iraq, got denied by the National Reserves because 16 years ago, when he was 18, he purchased 5 ounces of marijuana from a police officer (which made his crime a double felony). The clerk chimed in that on her parent’s 60 acre farm, her brother used to grow pot by the barn and her mother never understood why no one mowed the grass by the barn. Her mother would pay her $10 to mow it; her brother would then pay her $20 to not mow it. So, indirectly, she was making a killing off of pot. She also had a good laugh when her child came home from school declaring she had learned that smoking pot will make you hallucinate (what are the schools teaching these kids! Oh right, Newspeak). I had to rant my belief that we will pay for an illegal war by 1) reducing government infrastructure costs (ie. release 800,000 prisoners), 2) increase gross national product via larger work force (ie. 800,000 new employees to the workforce), 3) increase income tax revenues (ie. 800,000 new employees with taxable income instead of using taxes to support them in prisons), and 4) sell a high demand product which is already in demand, all ready in a supply chain, all ready being manufactured and heavily tax it (ie. make marijuana legal). I’m not saying I support people running out and getting stoned off their butts; we are talking about a substance less harmful than beer. In my conspiracy mindedness, I’m documenting, that what you will see in the next 5 to 10 years, was predicted right here! My neighbor suggested I should run for congress. Somehow I don’t think I’d get far on the "Dude! Make it legal man." campaign.

In short, I bought a cup of coffee and learned that my neighbor and the store clerk toke it up.

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Starbucks, please improve your gift card

I’m staring at that container of contaminated coffee grounds trying to calculate the odds that it contains cyanide or razor blades or spit or roach eggs or something equally as horrible. I could easily join Futurama’s Fry’s 100 cup coffee zen state right now. That would be awesome! But, really, that is not an option. The right thing to do is returned the damaged container to the store.

Starbucks needs to improve their gift card. Right now, you can add money to the gift card which is cool. But others need to be able to add money to the gift card! How much cooler it would be to have a "Gimme Coffee" button on a site instead of a Paypal button! So Starbucks, if you are listening, please change your gift card so that people from the Internet can put more money on my gift card. Thanks!

Update: My wife put this idea into my head and email the suggestion to Starbucks.