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Boiling Point

CoffeecatDespite how it might seem, I don’t generally enjoy complaining. And I wasn’t ever going to mention how the heinous Starbucks sort of across the street from my new office makes me want to spit and scream and I’m always overly polite to customer service workers (though tonight our super late pizza delivery from Nino’s induced mild irritation mixed with light empathy because apparently the delivery guy, kind of an Italo-Mongloid hybrid, had dropped the pizza on the way over. I’d have felt bad if he had fallen but I think he was just butterfingers with the box. He was apologetic and waiting another 45-minutes, his estimate for a replacement pie, seemed unreasonable. But the pizza was all smooshed on one side of the box, like half the pie had all the fillings and the other part was mangled and topless) but today was free coffee day from 10am-12pm so it seemed timely to vent(i) my concerns.

I wouldn’t normally go to Starbucks, not because it’s inherently evil but because I’m cheap. But my mom has gone on this kick where she sends $25 Starbucks cards for holidays and I have no problem redeeming them. Since college she’s often mailed a twenty dollar bill on such occasions, I don’t know when or why the Starbucks changeover took hold.

I actually liked the “secret Starbucks,” as they’d call it, hidden in the back lobby of the building next to Newscorp with no external signage. It was never crowded and sometimes they’d give me larger coffees than I’d ordered. But the new-to-me Beaver St. location is like the setting for an episode of Boiling Points. I’ve gone about a handful of times and every time except for once I have no received my coffee. I order the simplest thing on the menu: a tall black coffee. That’s it. All they have to do is turn around and pour it from a spout or tell another worker to pour it from a spout. Yet, I pay, move to the side (not the larger area where 98% of people are waiting for fancier complicated beverages) and my coffee never arrives. On my first visit it was a solid five minutes before I realized no one was ever going to get my coffee. Frothy, whipped cream topped behemoths are flying out the door, everyone in line after me leaves, and I’m still waiting for my fucking drip coffee. I paid already, so it’s not like I can leave.

Yesterday, I lost my shit after the four women in line behind me received their drinks while I was standing inches from the gentleman who’d taken my order. I was like, “um, I ordered a coffee before all of these people” and the counter guy as well as three workers who were literally just standing behind the counter doing nothing ignored me. The one other drip coffee lady who’d arrived well after me was less polite than I. She chided everyone in the way only a middle aged woman with nothing to lose can. I would've been scared if she hadn't been on my side. Free or not, I can’t allow myself to step foot in that caffeinated hell again.

Plain black coffee is all that I want so I would be fine with the coffee cart brew. The going rate for a large (and strangely called extra large one block down) around Wall Street is $1.15. I can deal with that despite hating to dig around for the 15 cents. But I was blessed by Au Bon Pain when the other day the cashier gave me one of those plastic commuter cups for no reason whatsoever (I used to frequent the 47th and 6th branch daily and never got such treatment) I always thought their $1.72 large was a rip off since the coffee isn’t really any better than street coffee but for $1.07 with the free cup, it’s the only bargain of my day and had induced irrational loyalty. And I’m not put off by their self-serve approach, at least I have control over how quickly I get my goods. Now if they’d only bring back their half price baked goods after 4pm deal, all would be right with the world.

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