Monday, May 14, 2007

Starbucks Drive-Through Etiquette

There's a drive-through Starbucks at the first intersection on my commute from office to home. It beckons to me every day. The flesh is willing, and so is the spirit, so I have made a deal with myself: I will only take advantage of this convenience iff the light is red AND there are enough cars in the lane in front of me such that I am stopped right next to the Starbucks entrance. The traffic elements only align this way about once every two weeks, and Friday was just such a glorious day.

Happily, I whirled my steering wheel around, pulled up to the drive-through menu/receiver thingy, and placed my order. There was a line, so I waited for the car in front of me to move. And I waited. And I waited. Normally, it takes all of five minutes to complete the circuit and be on my way, but it was about ten minutes before the line moved, and there were still two cars in front of me. I figured that the credit card machine or some other technical glitch must be causing the hold-up. Annoying, but what can you do?

When I arrived at the window, I held up my exact change in an attempt to speed up the process. The cashier leaned out of the window to collect my cash and said, "Sorry about the wait. Someone ordered a pound of coffee and it takes awhile to grind."

What? Someone ordered a pound of coffee AND requested that it be ground at the DRIVE-THROUGH window? Dude, there are certain things that necessitate parking, actually extirpating yourself from your SUV, and walking into the store. An order that requires about 10 minutes to complete is one of these things. In the grand scheme of things, 10 minutes isn't exactly a lifetime. But it drives me a little bit nuts when my fellow Earthicans don't subscribe to the notion that we should do what we can to avoid inconveniencing others more than we need to.

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