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No to the skinny platform!
January 4, 2008 9:01 AM   Subscribe

No to the skinny platform!
posted by Armitage Shanks (128 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
See...this is what happens when you give someone whose job it is to pour a cup'a java a fancy title...

sheesh....
posted by HuronBob at 9:06 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good to see that people are choosing the right battles.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:06 AM on January 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


There is more rant than explanation of what the hell is the rant about exactly.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:06 AM on January 4, 2008


A tempest in a coffee cup.
posted by GuyZero at 9:07 AM on January 4, 2008


And here I was expecting a post about shoes. So she's totally right: It's confusing and makes me want to sue Starbucks.
posted by ardgedee at 9:10 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder how "naming scheme" got condensed into "platform". Do they hire poets for the back office?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:14 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


No to the "platform" naming scheme!!!!
posted by The Deej at 9:18 AM on January 4, 2008


Grmph. I'm sort of annoyed that they stopped using wholemilk by default in lattes recently, meaning I have to specify it now, as it turned out that was what made them taste good.
posted by Artw at 9:23 AM on January 4, 2008


I'm a skinny person offended by people taking offense to "skinny" coffee nomenclature. Who should I consult about suing Starbucks?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:25 AM on January 4, 2008


No to Hardee's "lard-ass platform"!!!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:25 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to learn that Starbucks customers "[spend] the time to remember exactly how to order their favorite drink to make things easier for baristas, and maybe even impress us".
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:26 AM on January 4, 2008


Armitage Shanks - because Starbucks is staffed and frequented only by evil corporate robots, or somesuch nonsense?
posted by Artw at 9:31 AM on January 4, 2008


Oh boo hoo. Next you're gonna tell me I should stop telling our building manager not to "faggot up" the lobby when they get new curtains.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:33 AM on January 4, 2008 [16 favorites]


Dear Bigshots at McDonalds:

I strongly urge you to reverse your decision to call a burger with medium fries and a medium drink a Value Meal which customers can order by number. My reasons are outlined below:

A) It's confusing. Why does a BigMac get to be the Number One meal? What if a customer thinks that the McRib is Number One, because of how beloved the McRib is? This naming system surely will lead to people constantly and consistently getting food they do not want to eat.

B) Number 1 refers to peepee, and number 2 refers to poopoo. Do we really want people associating our food with that?

C) Man, it's hard to know exactly what you're getting when you order a meal. Is it a medium fries and a medim soda? Is it a large fries and a medium soda? Is is a small fries and an extra-large soda? There's no way to tell from the name, and let's face it, our customers are never going to be able to remember what the term "value meal" implies.

D) Customers who order the #2 are going to feel they are not the best, because we all know that #1 is the best. And customers who order the #3 are going to feel even worse. I feel really bad for whoever orders the Fish Filet Meal, they must feel awful about themselves. Like a failure at the fast food menu board of life.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:33 AM on January 4, 2008 [12 favorites]


I was surprised to learn that Starbucks customers "[spend] the time to remember exactly how to order their favorite drink to make things easier for baristas, and maybe even impress us".

I deliberately use the wrong term for my drink when ordering at Starbucks, just because it's called an ole everywhere else I purchase coffee beverages. They correct me every time, "Meesta?" And I reply, "You can call me Carson." Starbucks has fucked up ordering coffee for everyone. Anyone who's barista'd in a cafe other than Starbucks can tell you that it's better just to know their menu too so you can smile and say OK when a customer orders a venty skinny decaf meesta frappuccino.
posted by carsonb at 9:34 AM on January 4, 2008


I find it funny that people are complaining in 2008 about nomenclature that was being used in 1998. It was pretty common in Seattle back then to hear people order "skinny" lattes.

I ask for "non-fat" mochas, but I know the "non-fat" is only about the milk.
posted by dw at 9:36 AM on January 4, 2008


I'll never buy amything from Starbucks until they stop calling themselves baristas and start calling themselves what they really are: clerks.
posted by rocket88 at 9:40 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of my tour of duty as a barista back in '96. Starbucks had just made its first serious incursions into downtown Toronto. My platoon was holding a position next to the Four Seasons, serving up lattes to visiting celebs like Rob Lowe and Martin Sheen and dodging Coffee War crossfire. The wrong dossier indeed, Mr. Sheen.

Anyway, at some point a directive came from HQ saying they were worried Frappuccino was going to get Napalmed (or Kleenexed, if you prefer) - go generic, I mean, lose its firepower. Directive came in saying we were to correct our customers - in a not-quite-Nicholson-in-The-Shining-but-almost sort of way - whenever they said just "Frappuccino" or the unconscionable heresy shortcut "Frapp." Guy says "Frapp," you were to say, "Yes, sir, that'll be a tall mocha Frappuccino blended beverage."

Jesus, like the LZ wasn't hairy enough already, right? We had a MAC cosmetic employee conference come in one day en masse, and these guys fired off double-tall half-caf no-foam soy latte orders from behind their silver thickframed shades like Charlie's own snipers. The men in the black pajamas indeed.

So what we did was we just flat-out ignored that directive. Buried it round back of the dossier. This was around the time we started stocking the milk fridge with booze on quiet nights. We totally just gave the local panhandling junkie the excess baked goods at the end of the night, too, handed them right over out the door after lockup instead of sending them first to the local food bank for distribution as per another directive. We didn't call it fragging, but we knew the consequences, and we didn't care. I worked with a guy - true story - couldn't even steam a tub of 2% until he went out back first and torched some Thai stick. Another guy - of a certain shall-we-say persuasion? Liked showtunes and Lydia Lunch, if you get my drift? Anyway, Sarah Maclachlan came in once, and he just lifted his sleeve right there at the far end of the expresso machine and showed her the tattoo he had that he'd taken from her album cover. Left some art-gallery owner from up the block just . . . waiting. The horror in-fucking-deed. Guy coulda missed a sculpture sale, it took so long for my boy to show off his Sarah-Maclachlan-album-art tattoo. We didn't see any method at all, sir, and we didn't give a good goddamn.

Because we were baristas, dammit. These kids today, serving up chai lattes while they tap out their grief on the wi-fi? That's not a Coffee War.
posted by gompa at 9:40 AM on January 4, 2008 [50 favorites]


Small, medium and large. I don't insist in that "stick it to the man, what the fuck is up with that, hacky ranty standup way" and I don't go to Starbucks unless I have to (usually to get the wife some caffeine on a long drive) and I'm not a dick about it when I do go, but there it is: Small, medium and large. I shall not be moved.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:41 AM on January 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


A better rant would be about the tall/grande/venti thing amirite?

But, I DO get aggravated at certain places who won't sell me a small Pepsi. "We don't have a small, we have medium, large and extra-large."

Do I really have to say "OK then, I'll have the medium"? Yes. Yes I do.

And I hate it when I order just coffee at Starbucks and they LOOK AT ME LIKE I AM FROM MARS I AM NOT KIDDING IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME THEY ONCE CALLED THE POLICE ON ME FOR CAUSING A DISTURBANCE!!!

(amirite?)

posted by The Deej at 9:42 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Coffee-flavoured coffee.
posted by spoobnooble at 9:44 AM on January 4, 2008


carsonb writes "I deliberately use the wrong term for my drink when ordering at Starbucks, just because it's called an ole everywhere else I purchase coffee beverages."

Ole? You mean au lait?
posted by mr_roboto at 9:45 AM on January 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'll never buy anything from Starbucks until they stop calling themselves baristas and start calling themselves what they really are: jerk-face poopy-pant fart-jugglers.

And then I'll have a tall-no-whip mocha, thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:49 AM on January 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


You mean au lait?

No, he means Potato Oles. He's taking deliberately wrong to the extreme. Extra seasoning, natch.
posted by prostyle at 9:51 AM on January 4, 2008


because Starbucks is staffed and frequented only by evil corporate robots, or somesuch nonsense?

I'm just curious about the process. Is memorizing the optimal combination and word order of Starbucks patented coffee vernacular something customers do in their spare time, say, in the shower, or while watching TV? Or is it just something they do while in line? Do they compare notes on how best to combine the Quantity Words with the Whitener Words or does everyone do it alone? Do they ever find themselves in line behind someone whose ordering chops for the very same drink are so obviously superior as to cause them to change methodology on the spot? Would that obvious copycatting be considered tacky and unlikely to impress the server and therefore something best left until the next coffee purchase? Just how impressed are the servers by a customer's ability to adopt official Starbucks nomenclature anyway? Are we talking about a knowing-smile sort of impressed or a take-me-home-soy-venti-decaf sort of impressed? So many questions I know, but as I said, I was surprised.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:52 AM on January 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


o·lé (ō-lā') pronunciation
interj.

Used to express excited approval.
n.

A cry of “olé.”

[Spanish, perhaps from Arabic wa-llāh, by God! (used as an expression of admiration) : wa-, and + allāh, God; see Allah.]

see... it's the terroristas
posted by HuronBob at 9:54 AM on January 4, 2008


It’s cute how they pretend they’re not fast food employees.
posted by bondcliff at 9:55 AM on January 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Not really that fast, bondcliff.... not fast at all in fact...
posted by HuronBob at 10:00 AM on January 4, 2008


I always sue when there is a change of naming conventions, beginning in 2003 with my mother's remarriage.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:00 AM on January 4, 2008


Carsonb, I haven't seen that much phonetic spelling since the days when I used to translate Teleprompter scripts into, er, actual English.
posted by emelenjr at 10:00 AM on January 4, 2008


"4) The fact cannot be disputed that in society today, people are just waiting for an opportunity to sue major corporations."

I dispute that.

"Without question, people will be leaping at the opportunity file a lawsuit against the Starbucks Corporation for discrimination."

I question that.

"In this country, statistics show that more than two thirds of the population is overweight or obese. Calling a drink "Skinny" could easily be considered a form of size discrimination."

I don't consider that a form of size discrimination, and anyone who does so, easily or otherwise, is demonstrably wrong.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:03 AM on January 4, 2008


Ole? You mean au lait?

Of course, sir, and thank you for pointing it out. I plead force of habit; it is much quicker to scribble "ole" on a drink order rather than "au lait."
posted by carsonb at 10:04 AM on January 4, 2008


I haven't seen that much phonetic spelling since

I've always loved the rhythm and sound of ordering coffee and imagine Ed Norton's Jack saying the words.
posted by carsonb at 10:08 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Overthinking a cup of beans.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 10:14 AM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Am I too late to object to the usage of the word "platform"? Or should I just keep moving, and not make eye contact?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:14 AM on January 4, 2008


Someone please tell me that whole thing is meant to be sarcasm? Or irony? Or snark? Or whatever we're calling 'humour' these days?

Because it's not possible someone wrote multiple hundreds of words on how using the term 'skinny' is confusing and will make fat people feel bad about themselves in all seriousness, is it?
posted by jacquilynne at 10:14 AM on January 4, 2008


I can't wait to go to my local Starbucks(es) and ask for a latte "skinny, but with 4 pumps of syrup, and half and half."

Any avid java jrinker (forced alliteration FTW!) knows that skin is the last think you want on your coffee.

Now, the next logical step is to call drinks with whip "Dominatrix-style."
posted by aftermarketradio at 10:22 AM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, grampa gompa, that's amazing - you were a HERO! - tell us more about the war years...
posted by twsf at 10:23 AM on January 4, 2008


I hope it was a joke, but I'm skeptical of that. Most of the core of the complaint seemed to be the plaintive whine "We'll have to learn something new!" I get that a lot at work. God forbid we should learn anything new. Nothing new ever works. Blah blah blah.

This takes nothing away from the fact that what was already learned was also ridiculous, "meesta."
posted by cairnish at 10:27 AM on January 4, 2008


Can we turn this into a LOLSTARBUCKS/LOLFATTIES supercombo thread?
posted by ninjew at 10:29 AM on January 4, 2008


i have a dream. one of these days, i'm going to open my own coffee shop. one of my friends told me it's not a very good business plan, but i based it off of the john belushi 'cheeburger' skit from the days when saturday night live was still good.

it's going to be called: just. fucking. coffee. OKAY? OKAY!

you can *try* to order a latte. we'll shoot you with a taser. cafe ole? (au lait) how 'bout a slap upside the head, buddy? Cappuccino? cap to the ass. frappuccino? what the hell IS a frappuccino anyway.

so if anyone wants a cup of coffee, c'mon over. anything else? it's fist city, baby.
posted by msconduct at 10:33 AM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm offended
posted by matteo at 10:38 AM on January 4, 2008


msconduct - will you have wifi?
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on January 4, 2008


I know whenever I'm ordering something for the Mrs. I'm trying hard as heck to remember the order -- not the WORDS, mind you, but the order those words go in.

Grande Decaf Nonfat Cappuccino? ..er..
Decaf Grande Nonfat Cappucino? ...er...
Nonfat Decaf Grande Cappuccino?

I've ordered the same god damned drink for years. I still sometimes end up right at the counter in a blank. And I do loathe the cashier when she cocks her head at me as if to question my intelligence and repeats the correct order when I say it in the wrong order.

And for all this I pay $4.

But the wife, man, she digs a 90% chance of consistently good coffee beverage.
posted by cavalier at 10:45 AM on January 4, 2008


The only reason I personally don't like the, um, platform is that it takes a term that already means something and, by commercial fiat, makes it mean something else. As I understand it, it needlessly complicates ordering drinks because it produces more questions than it answers.

To wit:

As dw noted,

I find it funny that people are complaining in 2008 about nomenclature that was being used in 1998. It was pretty common in Seattle back then to hear people order "skinny" lattes.

I ask for "non-fat" mochas, but I know the "non-fat" is only about the milk.


Skinny, until now, was pretty synonymous with "non-fat." You order a skinny mocha, say, and the barista says "would you like whipped cream on that?" because hey, they don't know. Customer says "sure." Drink gets called, made, la ti da. The only data that could get lost in translation is the presence of whipped cream (as people are usually up-front about caffeination), which is easy to add or remove.

Now, skinny denotes a sugar free, nonfat, no whip version of a previously palatable drink. Unless a customer has the promotion in mind while ordering, they'll get a Splenda-doused abomination unless one asks for clarification, which defeats the entire purpose of a shortcut term -- irritating the customer who just wants nonfat milk, whose order was perfectly correct right up until then, and irritating the customer who wants the sugar-free drink, who was under the impression that that's all you had to say to get it. While I appreciate the idea of a shortcut, without putting 'sugar-free,' or, like, 'everything-free' into that shortcut, people are going to get drinks they don't want.

So this term, which is unfortunate to begin with, is useless anyway. Longer lines, more mismade drinks, spiraling discontent and peripheral offense. Great move!
posted by lumensimus at 10:46 AM on January 4, 2008


For a rant, it was too inside baseball.

The first few paragraphs were apparently in English, but I have no idea what she was yammring about. Her bullet points gave me the idea that apparently she's complaining because Starbucks wants to use the word "skinny" to describe a particular way of making a cup of coffee. She apparently thinks this is a) wrong, and b) a very bad idea, apparenlty because it might offend someone or something.

Did I miss anything?

Starbucks has built a multimillion dollar industry by using Starbucks Language to sell people overpriced coffee, that's their entire schtick: use the funky, in crowd, words to order mediocre coffee at inflated prices. Now, gasp, shock, surprise, Starbucks has added a new word to Starbucks Language and we're supposed to be upset? Worried that it might confuse people?

And, more importantly, who cares? Either people will use the term, or they won't, and either way it will make no difference at all.
posted by sotonohito at 10:49 AM on January 4, 2008


I never understood why people order such complicated concoctions at Starbucks until I actually drank their coffee. Wow, now I understand. Anything to bury that acidulous and burnt taste. I bury it by not spending my money there, and when forced, I drink a chai w/whole-freaking-milk. Skim milk is just water with skimpy food coloring in it, and you might as well just poor hot water in your coffee.

Now, when I go to Misha's, I order a simple drip coffee. It needs nothing else.
posted by petrilli at 11:02 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


so if I go and offer a skinny dominatrix mochafrappathingamabob, they will all hate me?

I know what I'm going to do tomorrow, mid-afternoon, when I'm bored.
posted by mephron at 11:03 AM on January 4, 2008


B) Number 1 refers to peepee, and number 2 refers to poopoo. Do we really want people associating our food with that?

23skidoo - It doesn't stop there!
posted by grateful at 11:06 AM on January 4, 2008


The whole thing reads like an Onion parody.
posted by Justinian at 11:11 AM on January 4, 2008


"GoodmorningandwelcometoStarbuckshowmayIhelpyou?"
"I'll, uh, have a megaFrangulatto extra whiff, no mayo on the side."
"Uhwhat?"
"Yeah, okay, nemmind that. I want a Cappahavvamac and two squirts of brom."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Don't you guys see your own ads? Right, right, I'm holding up the line. Okay, let's make it simple: A Dropplegram, ventolin please."
"Can I fix you a coffee?"
"Oh Christ no, nothing like that."
posted by ardgedee at 11:13 AM on January 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Andy Rooney: What’s wrong with coffee-flavored coffee?
posted by ericb at 11:21 AM on January 4, 2008


I work at Starbucks, and my manager was very pissed about this. I replied: all of our drink lingo is already stupid and/or pretentious anyways. Why get bent out of shape now?
posted by es_de_bah at 11:28 AM on January 4, 2008


Some people really, really hate change and will fight it, no matter how ridiculous they look, or how pointless the battle.

Is Starbucks going to reverse a global procedure change that undoubtedly took months of planning and was approved from the executive level on down? Perhaps if it was endangering the public, was illegal, or proved to be a total economic mistake.

Otherwise, fat (non-skinny) chance.
posted by Paid In Full at 11:50 AM on January 4, 2008


Would someone please take Andy Rooney out behind the barn and shoot him? It's way overdue.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:58 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank goodness for the coffee truck at the corner of 41st and Park, and the sweet, efficient master marketing genius of a coffee-and-a-buttered-roll pusher -- perfect pour of 1/2 and 1/2, perfect 1/2 splenda, brilliant swipe of butter on that doughy thing, by the way -- who has mine across the ledge almost before I've even stepped up. I never have to utter a word, I just give him a big giant smile and push the change back at him. Every damn weekday.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:59 AM on January 4, 2008


I'm almost as outraged as when Burger King got rid of the whopper.
posted by birdherder at 12:11 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Would someone please take Andy Rooney out behind the barn and shoot him? It's way overdue.

Please. It's obvious that he's suffering. Let's put him out of our misery.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:14 PM on January 4, 2008



I am offended by the use of the word "fat". Please use the word "real" or "curvylicious"-- or I will write a letter to "The View".
posted by wfc123 at 12:15 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


ardegee, I'd love some ventolin with my coffee, please!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:21 PM on January 4, 2008


Calling a drink "Skinny" could easily be considered a form of size discrimination.

I love that. But how do the overweight drinks contact a lawyer to sue?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 12:25 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


As long as we're being politically correct, should I order my coffee African-American?

I switched to that style after Starbucks couldn't provide a non-whipped, free-range cream.
posted by aftermarketradio at 12:34 PM on January 4, 2008


Blah blah blah FUCKING BLAH. Every goddamn time there's a post about Starbucks here the same tired shit gets trotted out. Never worth the time to even type up what would inevitably turn into a huge freaking post, that in all likelihood would be ignored or snarked at. So I just bitch in my head and then click somewhere else.

However, I haven't slept in over 24 hours now so my judgment (and coherence) are pretty much in the negative numbers. So, I post. Until right before christmas eve I was a supervisor for Starbucks. I understand better than a lot of people the INTENSE BULLSHIT involved with the company. I'm also in a position to know how totally off base people are when they go off about certain things.

So yeah, I know I'm totally wasting my time with this but on to the probably incoherent babble:

*All stores are SUPPOSED to be the same. All according to a plan, a grand idea of organization. Sometimes that's how it works, sometimes it isn't at all. There are districts I've seen that are like some kind of scary clockwork beast, there are others that might as well be independent coffee shops almost. Without fail corporate will pass down new directives to the peasants on a regular basis. The amount of sense they make or the feasibility of these orders from on high vary, but usual seem to fall somewhere between the Irrelevant and Retarded parts of the spectrum.

*Just because someone works at Starbucks doesn't mean anything. I have seriously seen every stereotype imaginable and a ton people that don't fit into any. Generally though? The company has drifted FAR from it's stated intent both in regards to treating employees and handling business. Anything people at the company blabber about how the partners come first or how the quality of our product is a primary concern is either full of shit or unfortunately clinging to an empty phrase that isn't backed up any more.

*SHUT THE FUCK UP about how you just want a regular coffee. They sell regular coffee. Any of my employees would have been mocked incessantly by all of the others if they didn't understand what you meant when you asked for a small, medium or large coffee. Unless you're one of those people that orders in an incredibly vague way, then gets angry when we try to make sure we are clear on what you want. if you suffer because of a dumb barista, my condolences; I've had to deal with that. If you're one of those jackasses with a sense of entitlement and a bad attitude? Die in a fire.

*Those previously mentioned stupid This Is The New Way We Are Going To Do Things orders that filter down? They're irritating, even when it's minor shit. Think it's unreasonable or ridiculous for the barista in the link to have to much to say about something as simple as changing the way drinks are ordered/labeled/done? Even something less involved than the apparent "Skinny" change can make their lives suck more than they already do at times, so they'll care a lot more than anyone that doesn't work there. Those fuckheads who are too important to care about the peasants working at their caffeine hut that were mentioned above? Shit like this just makes them all the more pleasant to deal with, I assure you. Even with most polite or well intentioned customers, sudden changes can lead to unfortunate consequences; I assure you, I WANTED you to get what you meant to order, and anything that makes that harder isn't fantastic. I've seen first hand how just about every new directive adds a new level of complexity and seems to have been designed by people who have no actual clue what it will do.

Okay, that's way way too much ranting, not nearly enough addressing what I probably should, and not nearly enough anything involving the word concise. Summary? Who knows. Yes your complaints about starbucks are valid, no your complaints about starbucks are ridiculous, yes employees there are exactly like you think they are, no they aren't, generalizations and strawmen are idiotic, yes I am sleep deprived.

Insert standard disclaimers about previous statements, sanity of poster, etc. Carry on. /rant. Maybe I should go find a bed.
posted by Stunt at 12:35 PM on January 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


holyshit,didiactuallytypeallthat? right. ignore me. no chance in hell that made any sense. regardless, starbuckSTARBUCKStarbucks.
posted by Stunt at 12:39 PM on January 4, 2008


(gives Stunt a hug)

It's been that kind of a day for everybody, it seems. Not all of us are out to make it worse.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:40 PM on January 4, 2008


Don't mess with Starbucks!
...is an anti-littering campaign
posted by Artw at 12:50 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


hmmmm. I take it stunt works at Starbucks and drinks too much of the shitty coffee because it's free. Ease off the joe, bro.
posted by tkchrist at 12:50 PM on January 4, 2008


Worked, not works. Which is covered in my comment (that you, thankfully, avoided having to read. I do not at all blame you). Also, funny enough, I never drank the coffee.
posted by Stunt at 12:53 PM on January 4, 2008


Like a modern hydra: if you cut the head off of Andy Rooney, he will wither briefly only to be replaced, within moments, by 2,000,000 equally self-absorbed, equally whiny bloggers.

It's already been tried once. Please don't try it again.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:57 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The "Skinny" platform is not legendary.

I wish Starbucks could get their act together and decide on the right naming scheme. I need inspiration to write that epic, you know.
posted by ersatz at 1:07 PM on January 4, 2008


Divine_Wino: Small, medium and large. I shall not be moved

I'll see your "s-m-l" and raise you a "can I see your cups? What are the sizes? Don't you have a small? I want that one (points)"
posted by nax at 1:14 PM on January 4, 2008


I ordered a grande and she shouted out for a medium and I said no I want a grande and she said grande is medium and I said isn't grande large and she said no it's medium
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:17 PM on January 4, 2008


On second thought (and preview) a VENTE hug for Stunt. (Get some sleep, man)
posted by nax at 1:17 PM on January 4, 2008


carsonb writes "I deliberately use the wrong term for my drink when ordering at Starbucks, just because it's called an ole everywhere else I purchase coffee beverages."

Ole? You mean au lait?


I'm glad someone could figure out what the fuck he was talking about. Olé!
posted by desuetude at 1:19 PM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I ordered a grande and she shouted out for a medium and I said no I want a grande and she said grande is medium and I said isn't grande large and she said no it's medium

Now imagine this said in the throes of passion.
posted by smackfu at 1:34 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now imagine this said in the throes of passion.

That's basically the end of Ulysses isn't it?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:58 PM on January 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I deliberately use the wrong term for my drink when ordering at Starbucks

I deliberately don't go to Starbucks. They've been dead to me since the superautomatics. And among the worst of their sins is that entire generations of coffee drinkers think that a cappuccino should be 12 ounces.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 2:08 PM on January 4, 2008


This article grates on my nerves. You know what I can't stand? The pussification of American. Who cares if fat people get offended at the "skinny" lingo? Everyone, no matter who you are, is going to get offended at something, somewhere, at sometime. It's just a fact and people need to stop being a bunch of crying, limp wristed sissies. Grow a set of balls for christsake! If you get offended at being called fat, then lose some damn weight or shut up.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:19 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


One more thing in addition to what I just said. This also kind of goes along with the whole concept of praising people for effort and not results. I'm not saying you should lambaste someone if they preform poorly or fail at something, but they shouldn't get a pat on the back. If you aren't good at something, fucking quit and find something you ARE good at. Quit wasting everyone's time, including yours.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:22 PM on January 4, 2008


f you aren't good at something, fucking quit and find something you ARE good at.

I see you gave up on the empathy game. Did you ever find something you were good at?
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:59 PM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Lecturing people.
posted by smackfu at 3:03 PM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


All this hyperventilating about drink names makes me think back to the clarion call for revolution against corporate tyranny enshrined in the Dead Milkmen song "Punk Rock Girl":

We went to the Philly Pizza Company
And ordered some hot tea
The waitress said well no, we only have it iced
So we jumped up on the table and shouted anarchy
And someone played a Beach Boys song on the jukebox
It it was "California Dreamin"
So we started screamin
On such a winter's day
posted by meditative_zebra at 3:04 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'll have a chupacabralatte, please.
posted by mmrtnt at 3:16 PM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I work at Starbucks too. And the only truly useful piece of information I have to offer is, do not order a Skinny Mocha. Cause the new sugar-free mocha syrup is some serious nastiness. The others (vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, cinnamon dolce, and gingerbread if your local store has any left from the holidays) are bearable. But the new SF mocha is seriously gross. You have officially been warned.
posted by Quidam at 3:25 PM on January 4, 2008


Drinking Starbucks espresso is torture. Call it kawfieboreding.
posted by valentinepig at 3:27 PM on January 4, 2008


Worked, not works. Which is covered in my comment (that you, thankfully, avoided having to read. I do not at all blame you). Also, funny enough, I never drank the coffee.

I worked at Kinko's back in the day. So I ain't in any position to go throwing stones.
posted by tkchrist at 3:31 PM on January 4, 2008


Punk Rock Girl
posted by blue_beetle at 3:32 PM on January 4, 2008


WTF is a "partner"? Is that someone who has a decision-making capacity and ownership of the business, or are they a fifteen-year-old in a hairnet?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:37 PM on January 4, 2008


Wait, I changed my mind - I'm not done.

Every morning at my store, we have an elderly couple named Lee and Marie who come in. They are probably in their early 80's. Every morning, Marie goes and sits at the table that they always occupy, while Lee goes up orders 2 tall coffees and 2 pastries, and then goes to join his wife, and they sit for maybe half an hour and talk and enjoy their breakfast. They are seriously the sweetest people in the whole world. A few days before Christmas when I was taking Lee's order at the register, he put a bag on the counter that was labeled "To Our Friends at Starbucks", and had a Christmas card in it that is still posted on the wall in the back of our store, and also 2 boxes of Esther Price candy for us. On December 30th, they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. It was marked on the calendar in the back of our store that notates important events, so that everyone would remember.

You know, I haven't worked there long enough yet to know whether my store is just an anomoly among other stores or whether there are others that aren't full of cynical, disillusioned people, but I enjoy going to work. Our store manager, who is one of the kindest people I have ever met in my my life, seems to only hire nice people. Out of our ~20 employees, there's nobody that I dread working with. And Lee and Marie are not the only customers like that at our store.

I don't know. I guess all I'm sayin' is, among all the haters and cynics and die-Starbucks-die rhetoric that comes up everytime there's a Starbucks post, here's one happy employee who likes her job.



on preview, aeschenkarnos: "partner" is the term that starbucks uses to describe any employee of the company.
posted by Quidam at 3:41 PM on January 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'll put my vote in for just order a fucking cup of coffee already. Short black. Not fucking hard, and the real deal. Puts hairs on your chest.

I go to a pub, I order a pint of beer. I don't order a half-and-half stout and ale with a dash of lemonade, a squirt of lime, and a pineapple slice stuck on the top in a tall glass. I make do with a fucking pint of beer.

I go to the hamburger store, I order a hamburger. I don't order two patties on a sourdough bun with baby spinach instead of lettuce, a slice of beet, blue cheese dressing, low-fat margarine, kosher salt and sliced in quarters. I make do with a fucking hamburger.

Learn to enjoy the simple things in life.
posted by Jimbob at 4:02 PM on January 4, 2008


You are very lucky, Quidam. That's how my store had been a long time ago, and how other stores I've been in are. I really hope your store/district stay an enjoyable place to be for you. Starbucks definitely varies by location, and if you happen to be a customer then it's definitely an area where you can vote with your wallet; we used to have a few customers that would pass by 4 other starbucks just to come to ours. The people working there definitely make the difference.

Also, cannot emphasize enough what Quidam said about the Sugar Free Mocha. LIQUID NASTY. DO NOT WANT.

no I haven't slept yet. soon I'll be like that crazy guy outside the supermarket alternating between ranting about communists trying to steal his underwear and glaring at fruit
posted by Stunt at 4:09 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Olé. Quite!" --Basil Fawlty
posted by gimonca at 4:28 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I saw "skinny platform," I thought they were talking about the subway station at 72nd and Broadway. You ever stand on that thing in rush hour? How many people fall off onto the tracks every year? It's a menace.
posted by Faze at 4:28 PM on January 4, 2008


LOLSTARBUX. Also, airplane food.
posted by sklero at 4:54 PM on January 4, 2008


Learn to enjoy the simple things in life.

But... what if the simple thing is what you have to specify in detail? You can't actually order a hamburger at McDonald's. Well, you can, but you'll get pickles and ketchup and possibly mustard in some wacky places. If you really just want a hamburger to savour the simplicity of meat on bun, well, then you're getting into Starbucks ordering territory.
posted by smackfu at 5:01 PM on January 4, 2008


So, Starbucks is planning on defining "skinny" based on the cup, as the nation's largest espresso vendor, even though everyone who cares already knows that "skinny" means low/non fat? As a former barista (and, who knows? maybe yet again), I must admit that's astonishingly stupid.

Oh, wait, that's not it at all. Starbucks is adopting well-worn espresso terminology (that last link is from 1997). For once. WTF is the problem? Are we to stop calling certain products "diet" because it might offend people who have poor eating habits?
posted by krinklyfig at 5:19 PM on January 4, 2008


I'll put my vote in for just order a fucking cup of coffee already. Short black.

Now see, there's a problem. There is no "short" at *$! The smallest is a "tall."
posted by The Deej at 5:23 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


carsonb writes "I deliberately use the wrong term for my drink when ordering at Starbucks, just because it's called an ole everywhere else I purchase coffee beverages. They correct me every time, 'Meesta?' And I reply, 'You can call me Carson.' Starbucks has fucked up ordering coffee for everyone. Anyone who's barista'd in a cafe other than Starbucks can tell you that it's better just to know their menu too so you can smile and say OK when a customer orders a venty skinny decaf meesta frappuccino."

Yeah, but this time they got it right. Well, technically a skinny doesn't have anything to do with sugar-free, but close enough. First, Obama wins Iowa, then Starbucks starts adopting some standard drink terminology. I never saw it coming ...
posted by krinklyfig at 5:26 PM on January 4, 2008


If you really just want a hamburger to savour the simplicity of meat on bun, well, then you're getting into Starbucks ordering territory.

Well you know. A standard hamburger. Meat. Lettuce. Tomato. Pickles. Ketchup. Believe me, I'm just as pissed at people who turn up at McDonalds and start requesting "No Pickles, Double Cheese, No Special Sauce, No Ice in my Diet Decaf Coke..."
posted by Jimbob at 5:34 PM on January 4, 2008


smackfu writes "You can't actually order a hamburger at McDonald's. Well, you can, but you'll get pickles and ketchup and possibly mustard in some wacky places."

No matter how much money I offered, they would not put mustard in some of the wacky places I suggested.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:37 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Buy small, medium, or large coffee (skip their pseudo-Italian terminology for now), and put your own sugar, artificial sweetener, cream, whole milk, or skim milk in yourself, and save at least $1.50. Sometimes they even have cinnamon and cocoa powder.

It's not as if they only offer the expensive barista-made drinks and force you to order them.

Those with a craving for foamed milk or for the frozen drinks can pay extra.
posted by bad grammar at 5:39 PM on January 4, 2008


I see you gave up on the empathy game. Did you ever find something you were good at?

You missed my point and your question is stupid. Of course there are things that I'm good at, which can be said about everyone. That's why is if you're preforming poorly at something, quit wasting your time and do something you're actually good at. I don't think people should be rewarding for failure.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:39 PM on January 4, 2008


Well you know. A standard hamburger. Meat. Lettuce. Tomato. Pickles. Ketchup. Believe me, I'm just as pissed at people who turn up at McDonalds and start requesting "No Pickles, Double Cheese, No Special Sauce, No Ice in my Diet Decaf Coke..."

What a bizarre thing to get angry about.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 5:44 PM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


You missed my point and your question is stupid. Of course there are things that I'm good at,

like diplomacy.
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


There is no "short" at *$! The smallest is a "tall."

The subversive among us have figured out to ask for the short (or, in my own terminology the "8 oz") They have the cups under the counter, the sneaks. They will also refill the short ones at many Starbucks, being an absolute haven for subversives themselves.

Also, you only have to get one tea bag in your tall coffee, and they only charge you for the short. Amazing.

Not that I ever go to Starbucks. nuh-uh, not me. That would not be consistent with my arrogance.
posted by nax at 6:26 PM on January 4, 2008


Metafilter:You missed my point and your question is stupid.
posted by ersatz at 6:31 PM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Now see, there's a problem. There is no "short" at *$! The smallest is a "tall."

The subversive among us have figured out to ask for the short (or, in my own terminology the "8 oz") They have the cups under the counter, the sneaks.


Absolutely true. All Starbucks have 8 oz short cups (they're the same cups you get for a kid's sized hot chocolate), and you can order any drink on the menu as short, tall, grande, or venti. At least, I believe you can. There's a button for it on the register. They just don't advertise it on the menu board. I've never tried it on most of the drinks, cause nobody orders it that way, cause nobody knows about it, but I'm almost positive you could order your Double-Shot-Soy-Sugar-Free-Vanilla-No-Foam-Latte (or whatever your drink of choice is) as a short instead of a tall, if you wanted.

...maybe I should stop giving away all the little-known-secrets away now.
posted by Quidam at 7:19 PM on January 4, 2008


Yeah, you definitely can. You can't get iced drinks or fraps short, but hot drinks are definitely a go. I'm going to have TOMES of all this useless knowledge burned into my brain for years to come.
posted by Stunt at 7:44 PM on January 4, 2008


seriously, if anyone ever wants the answer to some arcane starbucks related question just mefi mail me. all this goddamned conditioning might as well get SOME use now
posted by Stunt at 7:48 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


If ordering a skinny coffee is discriminatory, then surely we should be more outraged about the naming convention of coffee that is bitter instead of sweet, simple instead of sophisticated, and cheap instead of expensive: black.
posted by CaseyB at 7:54 PM on January 4, 2008


Buy small, medium, or large coffee (skip their pseudo-Italian terminology for now)...

"You order them in English, not Fratalian!"
posted by ericb at 8:13 PM on January 4, 2008


Anyone going to McDonald's should only order hamburgers! Forget the fact that there are many other things on the menu to choose from. They are all just stupid fancy burgers for stupid fancy people. Real people ONLY eat plain hamburgers, and we all can look down our noses at the stupid fancy people who might want to order something else off the menu.

Jesus, people, who gives a shit if someone wants something other than plain coffee at Starbucks? Just go somewhere else if it bothers you that much. What a bunch of whining over nothing.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 9:04 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: You missed my point and your question is stupid.

Turns out those are a lot funnier when you were involved with the original exchange. KEEP 'EM COMING PEOPLE.
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:11 PM on January 4, 2008


She's got a lot to learn. Just half-ass it and the new policy will fall flat and be rolled back in 3-6 months. Half-assin' it: It's the American way.
posted by Eideteker at 9:46 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey! I still haven't had a Starbucks coffee since the last thread about it!
posted by yhbc at 9:54 PM on January 4, 2008


The subversive among us have figured out to ask for the short (or, in my own terminology the "8 oz") They have the cups under the counter, the sneaks.

Damn them!!!

Damn them all to hell!!!

posted by The Deej at 9:55 PM on January 4, 2008


carsonb: "I deliberately use the wrong term for my drink when ordering at Starbucks, just because it's called an ole everywhere else I purchase coffee beverages. They correct me every time, "Meesta?" And I reply, "You can call me Carson.""

Sorry, what does that mean? I've guessed that "ole" means "au lait", but I can't figure out what "meesta" represents.

Divine_Wino: "I'm not a dick about it when I do go, but there it is: Small, medium and large. I shall not be moved."

In Japanese Starbucks, until recently there were three sizes: short, tall, and grande. I always order using "S", "M", and "L". There's always an adjustment period when I come to the US and remember that if I order a "medium" (by which I mean "tall"), they're going to give me a "medium" (by which they mean "grande").

JimBob: "I'll put my vote in for just order a fucking cup of coffee already. Short black. Not fucking hard, and the real deal. Puts hairs on your chest."

If I want a cup of straight coffee, I'll make it myself. I own coffee, hot water, and a coffee maker. I don't go to Starbucks because I want a cup of the easiest-to-make drink known to man, but because I like the taste of espresso (I have no espresso maker) with whole milk and chocolate syrup (I have no chocolate syrup) topped with whipped cream (I have no whipped cream). Making a mocha isn't rocket science, but it's far more involved than making a cup of black coffee, so when I want black coffee, I'll make it myself, and when I want a big cup of sweet hot creamy drink, I'll pay some company to make it for me.
posted by Bugbread at 6:48 AM on January 5, 2008


FYI, you can buy whip-its (errrr, whatever the real name is... EZ Whips?) at Starbucks, along with milk and lots of other things you probably didn't know about.

Stunt, tell me if I'm wrong, but you can, right? I remember doing it once here, but then again, my friend was the manager.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:18 AM on January 5, 2008


Sorry, what does [meesta] mean?

*shrug* Whenever I order a café au lait at Starbucks the barista corrects me by saying something that sounds like "meesta". It's not on the menu AFAICT, so I have no idea how it's actually spelled.
posted by carsonb at 11:00 AM on January 5, 2008


Unicorn on the cob, lots of weird stuff can be rung up that most people aren't aware of. At least in my region I'm pretty sure you can't ring up the CO2 chargers for the whip cream, and I don't think we have a proper inventory transfer number for milk to do so. You can, however, buy one of the cartons of soy milk we use (I've done it a few times when I didn't want to drop by the store on the way home) as well as the bottles of syrup.

Of course, any of the product we use but have the ability to sell is sort of at the discretion of whoever is in charge since a lot of stores will only have exactly as much as they need at any given point. In those situations though you can usually talk to the manager about ordering extra in the next shipment so that you can purchase some.

xarsonb, they're saying "misto". Probably not on the menu because it's coffee, and why would Starbucks focus on coffee? Not nearly as profitable as four and five dollar specialty drinks. Not like coffee is in their name or anything (yes, the fact that one of their six guiding principles involves the quality of coffee from buying to roasting to making and yet they no longer really care about coffee itself irritates me). Oh, and I generally wouldn't recommend it for anyone that actually wants their coffee hot, but it is cheaper to order a Tall coffee in a Venti cup, then add the milk yourself at the condiment bar. Different than steamed milk of course, but I had customers who really didn't care and it makes a big difference in cost when you're coming in twice a day to order. Also useful for people who like a lot of room for cream in their coffee, don't order a Venti with extra room, just order a Grande in a Venti cup; no reason to pay more for the same amount of coffee.
posted by Stunt at 11:40 AM on January 5, 2008


xarsonb? I swear to god that was right when I was typing it. Oh well.
posted by Stunt at 11:41 AM on January 5, 2008


Heh. The rant was mostly inane, but the site itself is interesting. Having worked in fast food before, and working towards a prestigious degree now while temping at fast food places over the holidays and between terms, the huge debate about tipping and minimum wage was especially amusing.
posted by Phire at 10:39 PM on January 5, 2008


I'm guessing "meesto" must be a "misto," which is what you get when you ask for coffee with steamed milk. Or tea with steamed milk.

- signed, another Starbucks partner coming out of the lurking woodwork to answer this burning question.
posted by corianderstem at 11:57 AM on January 6, 2008


Aw, dang it, you'd think I would have caught that Stunt already answered that yesterday. And only two comments above mine.

Oh well. Back to lurkerdom.
posted by corianderstem at 11:58 AM on January 6, 2008


In related news: Starbucks Shake-up.
posted by ericb at 5:39 PM on January 7, 2008


Can't wait for Schultz to sell Starbucks to an Oklahoma City based firm who will move the company.

And then insist it's not his fault they left Seattle.
posted by dw at 6:56 PM on January 7, 2008


Quidam on preview, aeschenkarnos: "partner" is the term that starbucks uses to describe any employee of the company.

Bleah. I truly detest job title inflation. All "partners" are equal, but some "partners" are more equal than others. If you can fire someone, you're not their "partner", you're their boss.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:11 PM on January 7, 2008


People who call themselves partner are being helpful and letting you know they drink the Kool-aid (or coffee as it may be.)
posted by smackfu at 6:26 AM on January 8, 2008


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