Smooth Moves.

- Evan Wansbrough // Evanwansbrough@gmail.com // @evanwansbrough

I Need To Find A New Place To Get Coffee [Originally posted Aug. 12, 2009]

I need to find a new place to get coffee. See, I’ve been frequenting the Starbucks down the street from my parents house in Dundarave long enough now that all the full-timers in there know what I want without my having to tell them; I get to the head of the line and whoever happens to be working simply verifies with me “Grande Quad Americano?” and all I have to do is give ‘em half a nod and a look that says you fucking know it. Because they do fucking know it. My dad thinks it’s pretty amazing these coffee people can remember everyone’s drink, but I’ve worked enough retail jobs to know that ain’t no crowning achievement. It’s just repetition – you catch on pretty quick. Only once have I reached the counter at the Dundarave Starbucks and not ordered a Grande Americano. In case you don’t know, Grandemeans Medium, which is what I like to call it. Americano means they make it fresh when I order it rather than pouring me a cup of “drip” from the coffee maker. Justin Banal got me hooked on Americanos. And Quad means they make it with four shots of espresso. Now, I’ve never once ordered a coffee and stipulated that they put four shots of espresso in it, but often they’ll ask if I’d like a fourth shot on the house, and naturally I say fuck yeah to shit like that every time, and now at this place I don’t even have to because they’ve got it dialled, and in itself, that’s not a problem; in fact, I’m quite fond of it because it saves me from having to explain which cup I mean by “Medium” the times I do have to verbalize my order. The problem is that this has involuntarily entered me into a social contract with these people whereby they provide me with excellent customer service (relative to the job they are performing – I guess…), and in reward for that service I am encouraged and perhaps, expected to drop some change into the tip jar. I’ll spare you the essay on the merits and etiquettes of tipping, because who could say it better than Mr. Pink? But let’s just say I would gladly be required to place my coffee beverage order with words each morning, if it meant being exonerated from this stupid obligatory tipping business. My coffee costs $2.63 after tax, so if I’m paying with a Loonie and a Twoonie, fine, take your 37 cents. I don’t like the principle of it, but the way I look at it, it buys me out of a little awkwardness. But today I really got hosed; I paid with a five dollar bill and my plan was to keep two bucks from my change and throw down a tip of 37 cents plus whatever else was in my pocket – about 40 more cents, but when I pulled it out, a couple nylon Jim Dunlop .60s were in the mix too – I was trying to do this all with one hand for some reason – so when I tried to dump only the small change out of my hand into the tip jar, I lost grip on the Twoonie too because it was positioned in my hand between the guitar picks and the other change, and I ended up retaining only the Dunlops and one shiny copper cent. I just stood there, evaluating my situation. Would it be wrong to reach in and take the two dollar coin back? Larry David would do that I thought to myself and so should you, you fucking pussy! But I didn’t. All I did was stand there like a chump who just paid $5.40 for a medium coffee all because I go in the place enough that they’ve memorized my drink and thereby made me feel obligated to reward them for their trick. I need to find a new place to get coffee.