The Consumerist recently ran a mind-bendingly stupefying letter from a gay couple here in Seattle who love, love, love Starbucks. In fact, Starbucks is so ingrained in their daily lives that when unusual circumstances led to one of them being denied raspberry syrup for his favorite drink (an Iced Venti Raspberry Soy Mocha, possibly the gayest beverage ever), there was a sudden crisis of the soul. The denial of this syrup shook their cozy West Seattle world to its very foundation, and they weren’t about to stand for it! You can read the full letter to fully appreciate the situation (it’s a bit long-winded but so worth it), but I’d like to include a couple of snippets which are quite telling:
In June of 2003 we began a search for a house in the Seattle area. One of the deciding factors that our Real Estate Agent was advised of was that a Starbucks would need to be close to our house. We ended up finding a perfect home in the Westwood area of West Seattle. A Starbucks had recently opened in Westwood Village. We were in heaven.
…The first people that we showed our new puppy to was our baristas at this Starbucks. The first people who got the tour of my new MINI Cooper was our baristas at Starbucks. In 2004 we got a new neighbor in our cul de sac directly across the street from us. She is a Starbucks employee and is one of our good friends now.
…I realize that this seems to be a lengthy letter and a bit of an effort over a syrup, however, when Starbucks has been there for us when we were half way around the world, there for us when we needed to get away from our families for a break, there for us to catch up on each others day, the baristas are there for us to make our day a bit better and make us laugh, we feel that Starbucks is a large part of our lives. I guess that you could say that we are your target customers. But after this whole thing with the Raspberry/Juicy Raspberry Syrup, it has been very frustrating and I feel that I need to tell you that we are looking at other options for our coffee source. Wether that be Tully’s, a more independent chain or simply purchasing a Jura Capresso machine and making our drinks at home.
Wow. Simply…wow. This couple knows the true meaning of suffering, my friends. People whose lives have been destroyed by war and famine think they have it rough…people inflicted with horrific, incurable diseases think they’re suffering…but the truth is clear: these two have been through far worse. They were denied their raspberry syrup, they were shamed and humiliated by a meany barista, and the possibility of dropping Starbucks from their lives nearly unraveled their entire universe. But they bravely fought the corporate machine on behalf of all those who have ever been denied tasty flavored syrup in their coffee, and they were awarded the ultimate triumph: an apology from Executive Customer Service and a gift card. Rest assured that every Iced Venti Raspberry Soy Mocha they order is now richly blessed not only with flavorful raspberry goodness, but also the sweet, sweet taste of victory. It just goes to show that the power of gift cards can truly heal even the most epic and disastrous coffee-related despair.
Sarcasm aside, I just have a small tidbit for these guys: 1) It’s time to exaime your priorities, 2) try ordering something else for a change, and 3) learn not to turn small setbacks into life-altering dramas, for fuck’s sake.