Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Defeating the purpose

Before I went to teach today, I stopped by the Second Cup in that building to get some coffee for class. When the barista was ready to take my order, I handed her my travel mug and asked for a small coffee.

Now the mug is a little bit bigger than a small, but it is not as big as a medium. Most coffee shop employees will either not quite fill the mug or just go ahead and give me the extra. I am fine with both. On the one hand, I recognize that giving me more than the exact 12 ounces eats into the profit margin; on the other, considering the amount of coffee and/or milk that actually translates to, it's not like giving out a free drink or not charging for soy milk. But the fact remains that the main reason I bring the mug comes from my desire to decrease my environmental impact. The little bit extra, even the 10-cent discount they usually give me, do not determine my action.

Nevertheless, I feel I must take exception with how things played out today. See if you can spot the problems:
  • Barista takes my mug and sets it down on the counter.
  • She picks up one of their small disposable cups.
  • She fills this cup with coffee.
  • She stops filling the cup when she gets to the point one might expect if ordering "a small coffee with lots of room."
  • She pours the coffee into my mug.
  • I assume this step since I couldn't see: She throws away cup used for measuring.
I got my discount and it's not even that I would have really wanted more coffee (it was obviously an old brewing), though some part of me was a little irked at her concern over giving me too much. But the whole point of the travel mug...

I didn't say anything. I know I should have. But I was dumbstruck by her process. And cutting it close to class time. Next time, though, next time I will definitely explain my frustration.


Aliki2006 said...

That type of thing just infuriates me too! She most likely was just oblivious to the fact that you bring your travel mug just so as to cut down on that type of waste. I don't know why people can't make that connection, but I'm sure many don't.

Sandra said...

Completely defeating the purpose!

I want you to know I've been readin your every word on bloglines while I went into hiding.

Laural Dawn said...

Totally hear you! And, having been a Second Cup Barista (okay, at the time it was a "certified coffee agent") I can tell you that is not normal practice.
Next time you should definitely say something :)

kittenpie said...

Oh good gravy, that is just stupid. Is this someone who just doesn't get the whole travel mug thing? The cost of the cup was probably equal to or greater than the extra coffee would have been, if nothing else.

Lisa b said...

I have seen this myself and been too dumbstruck to say anything. Or maybe just too mad to say anything nicely.
It just amazes me anyone on the planet could be so oblivious. Yet we are in the trouble we are in for a reason.
I also need to do better with the travel mug.