Why doesn’t the sun rise at night when you need it? (from the book Mort)

I was at Starbucks recently in McKinney, TX. It is relatively new (since just about the time I left Texas) and it has popped up in the suburban sudo strip mall that seems to be infesting the northern portions of the DFW Metroplex. You know the ones….the strip mall that matches the architecture style of the surrounding housing development. It’s projects for the middle class basically. 😉

Now before I moved to Dallas in 2000, I barely ever heard of Starbucks. And once I began visiting them I was impressed by the customer service of the places. They asked you your name, helped you with making a decision, engaged you in mindless conversation and seemed like a jolly bunch of people. At that point I think they were still riding the hippie/crunchy feeling from their coporate office in Seattle. But that was over 6 years ago.

Now, with one popping up on every other corner in the DFW metroplex, they are no longer like the neighborhood coffee shop and are now more like that uber ghetto retail outlet that I refuse to name because I do not want the mindless internet robots linking to my blog and running up their hit count. The people there, customers included, where all business. My name wasn’t asked and my order was taken quite robotically. They had a computer screen system similar to what you now see in most fast food returants to track orders and time till completion. It’s kind of sad if you ask me. I’m not saying that I am an advocate of Starbucks….because I am not anymore. They burn their coffee so that they can push the consumer that visits them to buy higher priced specialty drinks instead of getting just plain $2 coffee. They play only their sanctioned music, sell overpriced and shoddy home coffee making equipment, charge for their internet access, and have no room for anything other then what they want.
Personally, I am a fan of the quaint little coffee shop (like Tillies in Brooklyn) that makes a good cup of joe and is entrenched in the community. I am a fan of those places because of the character that they have. No doubt the same character that the original Starbucks had back when they started. Before they made that inevitable evolution into a corporate behemoth…before they realized their terrible purpose….

My point (as long winded as it might be) is that I was disappointed in my experience with Starbucks that day. I have no doubt that the ones I used to frequent closer to downtown Dallas still have some character and I hope they keep that. But I know better then that. There is no room for free-thinking in that kind of environment. There is no room for goofing off when the bottom line is the main focus. There is no room for the common man when the common man is the obstacle between the corporation and the common man’s money.

I hate this kind of realization. The point when you see that what you thought was how things were aren’t anymore. The best way to describe it is when you finally realize that movies aren’t real….when you can no longer be fooled by the ‘suspension of disbelief’. It’s that kind of realization that I hate. THe kind that kicks you in the nads and tells you the world is as fucked up as you think it is.

  1. #1 by Davey on March 7, 2007 3:16 pm - 3:16 pm

    Today I would like slightly more cream in my Vente and slightly less eye-rolling at my request.

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