Sunday, February 17, 2008

I just want a milky coffee ...

I was sat in a Starbucks having a coffee today when I was struck by how hard the company makes it for you to order anything. The purpose of a business, surely, is to make money. And the way you make money is by making access to your services as easy as possible. So why then do Starbucks label their products with bizarre names like Tall Chai Tea Latte and Vente Skinny Mocha? I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed watching big, hairy builder-types coming in for three big milky coffees and staring with bewilderment at the menu boards. It didn’t seem to worry the younger business types though – you know the type: slick, spanky and so upwardly-mobile that they’re given call signs by air traffic control. Some even put on a kind of pseudo-American accent when ordering, which was all the funnier when their native London broke through.

My attention was captured and held by a young creative type who had a hairstyle identical to that of Mr Spock; jet black, pudding basin fringe, pointy sideburns. The resemblance ended there though, as this guy must have been 25 stone if he was a pound. Without wanting to sound cruel (I’m no supermodel myself, as you know), I was genuinely amazed when the spindly metal chair took his weight. I couldn’t help but overhear that he ordered a Skinny Latte to accompany his brace of blueberry muffins.

A token gesture?

Or the only thing he understood on the menu?

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