Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Being right is overrated.
So many other human nuances hold greater sway in our fact-free, give-it-to-me-now-or-else world.
I was, therefore, rendered temporarily insensate by a story of righteousness emerging from a simple Starbucks transaction.
At least, it had a simple beginning.
In the Twitter-telling of English comedian Tiffany Stevenson, a woman walked into the Starbucks and ordered what they call over there a "caramel macchiato."
Stevenson described what happened next:
Unbelievable bit of womb bothering in Starbucks at services.
A pregnant woman got her Caramel Macchiato and the guy behind the counter said: 'Oh, it's for you.'
Do you want me to make a decaf?'
She said: 'No, thanks.'
Him: 'No, I should because caffeine is bad for the baby.'
Let's take this slowly. A Starbucks barista claims to be a baby expert and attempts to lecture a pregnant customer.
Worse, the barista is a man. Because men know so much more about pregnancy than women. About everything, really.
There was, sadly, more:
Her: 'It's fine, I have one a day'
Him: 'But...you shouldn't'
Me: almost spontaneously combusting. 'Are you a man, telling a woman what she should and shouldn't have during a pregnancy?'
Then he says: 'Oh just because it's bad for the baby so that's why I'm saying it.'
Stevenson said she tried to remonstrate with him, in the forlorn hope that he might, perhaps, be struck with a little self-awareness:
Then he continues to try and justify policing a complete stranger for 5 minutes. He was maybe 30 years old max.
Naturally, I asked Starbucks whether it gives specific pregnancy advice training to its employees -- or, indeed, to others it might teach in the coffee-making ways -- and will update, should I hear.
A company spokesperson did tell Allure:
We have reason to believe that this was truly a misunderstanding, and the worker was trying to clarify the customer's order.
Quite some misunderstanding.
For what it might be worth, I could find no scientific evidence that coffee in moderation is harmful during pregnancy.
There is, though, an essential lesson here.
There's a certain line between salesperson and customer.
They're there to buy your product. They're not there to instantly receive the wisdom of your refined judgment.
Unless they ask whether the Dark Roast is better than the Pike.
However strongly you might feel about a particular issue -- their clothes, a chocolate stain on their face, their MAGA hat -- you're there to make them feel a little better by providing a simple service.
Yes, it's hard being right all the time.
Please save that for your private life.
I'm sure it's far more appreciated there.