Every once in a while, it’s time for a good old-fashioned rant. This is one of those times. I’m sure my next post will probably be back to inspiring tales of running and perseverance and rainbows and unicorns and jolliness, but right now we must take a break for an overdue rant.
A story from the Wall Street Journal caught my eye today. The story is about how some Starbucks customers are unhappy. Now this, in and of itself, is silly enough. Six or eight weeks ago, there were myriad stories of how Starbucks customers were unhappy because their favorite caffeine dealer was revamping its rewards program. And that was bad enough. I hate the cliche “first world problems,” because it’s lazy and usually said by precisely the sorts of people who get all up in arms about something as silly as Starbucks changing its rewards program, and used as a free pass to get really upset about something utterly trivial. As in, part of me feels guilty that I am so mad about the fact that it just got 2.7% tougher to earn a free cup of $5 coffee, so I am going to throw out the term “first world problems” to prove I’m self-aware, but this is totally dishonest because I am about to go on a rant and I am REALLY UPSET about this Starbucks rewards program change and how dare you!….” and so on. It’s just nauseating. You’ve heard of humblebragging? This is similar. This is humblegriping. But oh, anyway, yeah, today’s article from the Journal…
I kind of can’t believe this article was real, but it was real. You may barely believe it either. This time, loyal customers who place online orders with Starbucks through the company’s mobile app are upset. Why are they upset? Is the coffee chain processing the orders incorrectly? Is Starbucks charging a premium to order from the app? Does the app list menu items that aren’t currently available at the local shop? No, the customers are not upset about any of these things. They are upset because… I still can’t believe I am typing this… They are upset because, when they order from the mobile app, the app knows their name. It automatically transmits their name into the ordering system in the shop. And this means that, horror of horrors, the name on their Starbucks cup will always be spelled correctly! That’s right, friends, Starbucks customers are upset because when they use the app to order it means a barista will not spell their name incorrectly on the cup.
A moment of silence for America. We may just have to give up. Complaining about a legitimate-yet-hilariously-minor problem is bad enough. But this isn’t even complaining about a problem. This is complaining about technology getting something correct! To steal a line popularized by Louis C.K., everything is amazing and nobody is happy.
Seriously, think about this. Some of the finest coffee beans grown in far-away places all over the world are harvested by paupers none of us will ever meet. These finest beans in the world are delivered across the ocean to America, where they are roasted to some of the most exacting specifications in the world and brewed to piping hot perfection through the wonders of electric power that was an impossibility for almost the entirety of human existence. This amazing product can be purchased, not just in New York City, not just in Chicago, but in practically every town of at least 25,000 people anywhere in America. And it tastes just as good in North Aurora, Illinois, as it does on Park Avenue. It’s the same stuff. But wait, there’s more. Before even going to the coffee shop, you can whip out of your pocket this hand-held device, tap it a few times, pay for your drink without tangible money in your pockets, and send your order through a wireless network to complete strangers working in the coffee shop, who will have your drink prepared for you to your exact specifications precisely at the time you enter the shop.
And how do we react to this unfathomable wonder? We get pissed off because our name is spelled CORRECTLY on the coffee cup! Correctly! I mean…. arrrrrghdufgiusdguyfgwyfw6y. Seriously, people.
Seriously. Just stop it. Enjoy your coffee.
That is all.