Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
The customer isn't always right.
The customer is sometimes a piffle-headed, self-regarding, lazy, oafish doofus who deserves neither service nor even the semblance of satisfaction.
These thoughts occasionally cross my mind, as I wander around the nation's retail establishments and watch store staff try to maintain personal equilibrium.
These thoughts especially crossed my mind today, as I witnessed the carnage at Starbucks.
No, not at my own Starbucks. Everything there was very calm.
Today's baristas, Shironda and Danny, were at their most genial, offering deep existential thoughts and oddly natural smiles.
In the outer Starbucks world, however, the screeches of the indolent threatened to drown out everything.
You see, some time this morning the Starbucks app began to splutter.
And when apps splutter, Twittertown is full of criers. I am grateful to BuzzFeed for collecting a few of the, um, finest.
When the Starbucks app is down so I gotta order at the counter like it's the dark ages-- Braedi Zielinski (@braedi) February 28, 2019
The dark ages, eh?
It got darker. Philosophically speaking, that is.
When the @Starbucks app is down and you have to stand in line like a peasant. <<<-- Alondra (@StephAlondra) February 28, 2019
This person seems to have some sort of association with Texas A&M. I refrain from drawing conclusions as to perspectives on peasantry.
Then there was this:
The Starbucks app is down. The most HIDEOUS experience for me to have to go through!-- Juandy Williams (@JOHN__JUAN) February 28, 2019
There were plenty more in such hideous vein.
I want to be generous.
I want to believe at least some of these people were being auto-ironic.
I fear, though, that many were not. Many felt enormously inconvenienced that they couldn't order their coffees from their beds and just stagger down to Starbucks and grab them, without even saying hullo to their baristas.
They want what they want now and, if they don't get it, they stamp their feet.
That's what technology has wrought. The idea of instant gratification wrapped in human isolation.
Yes, how these people's lives were ruined by an app going down. Just imagine what happens when Netflix isn't working.
It's not as if they can go to a Blockbuster, is it?
Starbucks was something of a pioneer in creating an app. For a while, it caused problems in stores, long lines being caused by all the digital interlopers.
Now it causes problems for those, like me, who still stand in line because we like the human interaction.
Sometimes, baristas are so busy fulfilling app orders.
More than one barista has told me tales of app-ordering customers who don't even look at them, grab their drinks and go.
And if, perish the concept, their drink isn't ready when they storm in? Cue the sulks and rages.
Perhaps Starbucks should allow baristas to give one-star ratings and eventually cancel the accounts of app-users who pick up their coffees without, at the very least, saying Thank You.
Oh, don't tell me. If this happened, they'd be back on Twitter to complain about the social injustice.