Tuesday, 8 January
While I try to patronize small businesses (see my entries about local bakeries and local yarn shops), I admit I'm a frequent customer of corporate giant Starbucks. I rationalize this allocation of my dollars by noting that it's a local company, a local and progressive employer, and a supporter of bike racing. Still, when our team ride met at the Redmond Peet's last Saturday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how the competition works.
The experience was not nice. The woman who took my order repeated it back incorrectly ("no lid" does not mean "no room"), I corrected her, but then she delivered something else ("short" does not mean 16 oz.). She never made eye contact with me during the entire transaction. I do get tired of the perpetual smiles at Starbucks and the query of "how's your day going so far?" that opens nearly every transaction, and I'm often grouchy and sullen myself (there's a reason I'm not in retail), but my coffee experience is so much nicer when it's, well, nice. Howard Schultz is back at the helm, and hopefully he remembers that customer service is the edge that will keep us out of Peet's and McDonalds (ewww) for our coffee fixes.