Ian Thomas Malone

A Connecticut Yogi in King Joffrey's Court

starbucks Archive

Saturday

27

December 2014

2

COMMENTS

The Case of the Cutter at Dunkin Donuts

Written by , Posted in Blog, Social Issues

While much of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s humor is derived from the predicaments that Larry David gets himself into as a result of his inability to keep quiet when in the presence of a faux pas, we should take note that the world needs more people like him. Too often, we find the internet to be a dumping ground for instances where a person was wronged yet took to social media when the battle should have been waged in reality. Never being much of a hash tag activist myself, I decided to live the Larry David mantra and engage a man who wronged me at Dunkin Donuts.

The incident occurred at the Old Greenwich Dunkin Donuts, my personal favorite franchise of the popular Northeastern chain. I was second in line to a woman, who had finished her order and paid for it. The employee made the coffee and handed it to the woman, signifying a completed transaction to most who understand how businesses operate. Unfortunately for me, someone thought otherwise.

A man walked into the Dunkin Donuts and proceeded to the front of the counter. Being a regular at the establishment, the employee shot me a confused glance as I starred at the man, disdainful at the thought that this man had clearly not paid attention in kindergarten on the day that the concept of lines was explained. Before the employee could explain the breach of etiquette, the man said, “I’m with her,” pointing at the woman, who was presumably married to this rude piece of existence.

He proceeded to order a bacon, egg, and cheese. Patrons of Dunks know that these sandwiches are not only gross; they slow down the line especially when only one person is behind the counter. This being around noon and Old Greenwich not being a peak location at all hours of the day, this sandwich meant that it was going to be another couple of minutes before yours truly could get his large iced dark roast with a splash of milk and one sugar.

The problem was, being “with her” no longer signified anything for this man. The woman had her coffee and had already paid for it. This was a separate transaction. Sharing a bed with the woman who had just ordered does not represent a sense of ownership over all future orders at a business. But this man was either not aware of this or did not care. Perhaps a mixture of both?

Now I found myself in a predicament of my own. The employee had clearly demonstrated that she too, felt this man was demonstrating an abuse of power over his wife’s limited domain. But she’s a coffee shop employee. Not Pontius Pilate. This was my battle.

The man was pacing around Dunkin Donuts in the long duration between ordering a gross breakfast sandwich and receiving it. When we made eye contact, I decided to air my grievance at this abhorrent human being. Little did he know he was in for a bout of social justice.

“You know when you pay separately, you’re not really together,” I said to the man. Firm, but non confrontational. I wanted to give the man a chance to right his wrong. Sadly that was not to be.

He looked bewildered at this long haired brightly dressed young chap who called him out on his nonsense. “It’s not a big deal,” he said to me, clearly showing that he has final say on my opinions.

“Well, you ordered a sandwich which takes a couple of minutes to make,” I replied. Pausing for a second, I added, “I could have ordered and left in this amount of time. You sir, are a cutter.”

Those words must have melted into his heart of stone for he did not respond. He walked to the other side of the Dunks, clearly saddened by his bruised ego. His wife stood a few feet away from her, possibly contemplating divorce after witnessing what the public perceives of the man she agreed to unite with in Holy matrimony. We’ll never know.

I got an apology only from the employee, who hadn’t done anything to be sorry for and could not speak for the man, who declined to voice a further opinion of his actions. She and I have joked about the incident several times since. It’s good that laughter could come out of tragedy for I will never get those minutes back. I only hope that when I’m old and on my deathbed, thoughts of bacon, egg, and cheese’s are far from my mind.

I suppose the question you might ask is, was it worth it? Was the man right in saying it wasn’t a big deal? Should I have kept quiet with regards to the injustice?

The answers to those are yes, no, and no.

I feel great about the whole thing. That probably wouldn’t have been the case if I had just tweeted about it. The man did something wrong and now he knows that it didn’t go unnoticed. If the whole world were this vigilant, there would be far fewer things to complain about. Catharsis was achieved. Maybe that man changed his ways or maybe he was kicked out his house. Let’s hope he doesn’t cut again.

If you see something, say something.

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Friday

15

August 2014

0

COMMENTS

Is the Pumpkin Spice Latte Back Too Soon?

Written by , Posted in Blog, Social Issues

Starbucks has announced that the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the coffee chain’s answer to the McRib, is returning on August 25th (also the day Five College Dialogues comes out). The beverage has quite the cult following and this early arrival will certainly please followers of the drink’s twitter account. But should we be excited that an autumn treat is coming back so soon?

It would be hard to argue that using strictly seasonal parameters. While summer doesn’t end until September 23rd, the end of August is an acceptable time to stop worrying about sunscreen, tan lines, and Mojitos. We get much of that time back on the front end with June so the semantics aren’t a big enough concern.

However, this year especially should remind us how valuable summer truly is. This winter was miserably cold and refused to end. As a result, we lost most of spring. We should not be so soon to forget that when the cold comes, it stays.

I find it hard to blame Starbucks for this ploy. The supermarkets have started selling fall themed beer already just as stores start to stock Christmas stuff right after Halloween. August 15th is also valued much differently with regards to summer than August 25th, when nearly all colleges and many schools are back in session. The PSL arrives at a time when most parents can enjoy it after dropping their kids off at school and that’s okay.

But I don’t think it’s something we should wait for with great anticipation. It’s a drink whose arrival signals the end of beach time. Sure that might help some people cushion the blow, but why celebrate the coming of the blow at all?

Shark Week is very much the same way. It’s a fun event that comes around at a time when summer starts to slow down. It’s great to have, but hopefully your Fourth of July celebrations aren’t impeded by Shark Week anticipation. Unless you’re a marine biologist.

Drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte on August 25th if you want to. But don’t forget that it’s still summer and when that isn’t the case, it will be cold. The PSL’s early arrival also puts it at risk for a burnout before October even starts. It would be a shame to miss August in October without being able to console yourself with a pumpkin treat because you’re sick of it before you should be. Live for today, not for August 25th. Unless you’re me and you have a book coming out.

 

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