Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Unclear on the concept

I enjoyed reading an article recently about how not only does Starbucks sell a lifestyle (cool, hip) not just coffee (most Starbuck's drinkers couldn't choke down real coffee without the mocha, ice, cream, sugar, and whipped cream) but the "non-Starbucks" coffee shops were selling their own alternative lifestyle as well, for contrarians like me who don't like Starbucks either because the coffee tastes like a burnt match (me) or just because (those who insist on getting non-fat triple mochachinos or whatever).

Anyway, I patronize a local non-Starbucks for my afternoon large (sorry, "macho") after making my own at home in the mornings. All I can say is this place is very non-Starbucks with staff who will happily discuss their mental illnesses and are never, never in a hurry. The coffee, however, is excellent.

Today I noticed a sign saying they would no longer accept $20 dollar bills. How stupid is that? The default bill from ATM's is the 20 (at least outside Las Vegas) and they are turning people away. I asked if I could use a $20 today as it is all I have and the guy told me I was fine (maybe because I'm a regular?). He said he just had to be careful in the morning because they had limited change and everyone (I knew he meant all those people with, you know, regular jobs) wanted to pay with $20s. In general, I wouldn't invest in a business which tried to keep you from giving them money.


At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you on the burnt match taste - take under-ripe beans and then over-roast them.

But, I could have sworn that I've seen you drinking cold Starbucks coffee-in-a-glass-jar-with-cream-and-sugar drinks in an ultra a few years ago.

Actually, as much I tend to make fun of Starbucks, I should admit that I had some of their pseudo-coffee in the SLC and Chicago airports recently, the result of a caffeine habit that demanded to be fed.


At 4:43 PM, Blogger Aggravated DocSurg said...

While I'm not on their bandwagon, I do drink the dreaded Starbucks coffee -- I like my coffee strong enough to stand a spoon up in it, and the local non-Starbucks joints around here make coffee that is too weak to wake up a 6 month old.
I am with you on the money thing -- why do businesses (i.e., people who are supposedly engaged in activity to get money) so eager to turn away paying customers?

At 11:37 AM, Blogger ollie said...

I wonder if the "cash phobic" places have been frequently held up or something.

At 5:01 PM, Blogger Dr. Andy said...

I'm busted. I do drink the bottle Frappacinos in ultras (I won't comment on the difference in finishing time between Damon and I) and have also used the "double shot" cans just as a way of getting caffeine. I read once that Gordy Ansleigh the one who did the first Western States run used to give up all caffeine until he was 1/2 through the 100 mile run and then start taking it. Said it really gave him a lift.

There is no way I can give it up for more than say 12 hours, though. The headaches get too bad.

Ollie, the guy at this place said they just didn't like having too much change sitting around. Given the neighborhood (busy college campus) I can't imagine it is a safety thing, but you never now

At 1:18 PM, Blogger John A said...

To some (large) extent I understand the problem. Making change is indeed a hassle. How many bills and coins, of what denominations, are necessary and what do you do if you run out? I worked a register for a while, and have made change for a four dollar purchase when all the customer was carrying was two one-hundred-dollar bills! Luckily, while the entire content of my register was fifty dollars, I was able to get more from the office - but smaller places (like gas-and-variety outlets) do not have that option.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger jon said...

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