To anyone who knows me, my distaste, loathing and complete hatred for the bean-brewing establishment is well known. And often times when I do complain about it, I get the “Why don’t you just make it at home?” The truth is, I have no idea.
It’s like I am stuck in this abusive relationship that I can’t escape from. It’s because on those few occasions where everything goes right, I get that rush of relief that today will be a good day as I drink the burnt, bitter coffee that has been doctored with enough milk and sugar to somehow be consumed with the help of internal guilt that it costs 10 million dollars; I should finish it. I am actually convinced nobody actually LIKES the coffee and if they do, they certainly can’t be trusted with future opinions.
My loathing isn’t just geared towards the coffee or employees, but the customers.
Let’s start from the beginning. As I walk into one of the most dangerous places you could ever go, a room full of people who haven’t had their morning coffee yet, I get in line. After five minutes in line trying not to notice the kid that said “mommy” 40 times, or the person on their cell phone in the middle of a full on conference call, there is only one person left in front of me. This is going to trigger some excitement in me, because I think I am 60 seconds away from being out of this line, but this person never has a simple coffee order. Oh no. They want a scone, no wait, the mini donuts, no wait the frittata wrap, no, better make that the sausage muffin. Oh, does that come with egg? I take a deep breath and think that okay, all is fine, and then I discover this person isn’t ordering coffee for herself. She has a complicated order for four people. Five minutes later, I make it to the register person.
I order my usual venti Pike WITH room. And right on queue, the register person repeats back to me “that was a grade mocha frappacino with whip?” Finally she understands me and goes to make the order (oh thank God, it’s not out). The total is $2.85 for the burnt and bitter coffee. I am convinced that one day I will look down and it will say $235,753.56 and I will say “I swear it was only $235,753.52 yesterday.
I walk over to the milk and sugar station. There are two people there, so I have to wait. They aren’t just getting milk and sugar and leaving, oh no. Oh, that would be way too easy. They are both pouring a little milk in, stirring it for 20 seconds, tasting it, adding a little more milk, stirring it for 20 seconds, tasting it and as you guessed it, now pouring a little more milk in, stirring it and tasting it. Finally, after what seems like a day, they are done. I feel like I earned 10 karma points for not pouring this cup of burnt, bitter coffee on them.
I am almost done. I am almost free from this bean establishment. I walk up to the milk and sugar station and it is a complete mess. There are empty Splenda packets, there is sugar or some granulated something all over the counter. There are milk stains. There are coffee stains. It reminds me of back when I was in Vietnam. Okay, no, but if I was in Vietnam, I am sure it would. Apparently using a napkin and a trashcan is just too difficult for some people.
I remove the lid while saying a prayer; “Please God, please let there be room. I promise to be good for at least 10 minutes!” One of two things happens 90% of the time. There will either be no room and I will have to pour some of it out in the trashcan and feel like a shmuck or half the coffee will be missing so instead of ordering a venti I secretly ordered a tall. Once I have dealt with the room situation I will grab the container for non-fat milk and of course it will be empty. The only one free is whole milk, I say fine because I am not worried about calories anymore since I am about to blow my brains out. By some stroke of amazing luck there might even be Splenda packets and something to stir my coffee with (can’t count how many times I had to use a straw).
Of course I am running for the door. Any attempt to sit down among the WIFI Millennial stay here for 6-hour freeloaders will result in having to grab several napkins to clean the table from crumbs because nobody taught them to clean up after themselves.
And finally, I am free. I am free to walk home or work and drink the burnt bitter coffee that I don’t even like.
And I will swear to never go back again, but I will be back the next day, even though I have three coffee makers at home.
Today’s password: Chalupa (just a marketing gimmick, carry on)