So in the UK we like to keep ourselves to ourselves.
Its coffee, not my friend. Except when I’m hungover.
We queue patiently for our coffee, we then order our coffee (assiduously avoiding the terms ‘Tall, Grande & Venti’ in preference to Small, Medium & Large) then we say ‘No, I don’t want anything else’ and then we pay.
Then we wait a bit for the coffee to be made and then we either sit down and drink it or we walk off and drink it on the move (In the UK we don’t ‘order to go’ we ‘take out’).
Fine. And I like Starbucks because a) they do the best coffee (mine’s a Medium Caramel Latte – spot that – we spell it caramel, like we spell aluminum, aluminium – I love the way English words are spelled differently depending on where you are in the world) and b) the staff are usually Eastern European and they don’t mess about.
Now these very same no-nonsense staff are going to ask me my name. My name? Why for God’s sake? Do they want to make friends? Are we supposed to be building some kind of relationship in the 3 minutes it takes to order a coffee?
I want a drink, not a ‘natter’.
Apparently Starbucks has been at it in the States for years. They write the customer’s name on the cup and then call out the name to get the coffee. What the hell? What if you don’t like your name?
What if its some 1960’s power-flower throwback your stoned parents cursed you with, like ‘MoonDog’. Or maybe you were the unfortunate offspring of a faded popstar and you are ‘FairyBlueTinkerTwit?
Well you can rebel. Do a Bart Simpson (try Seymour. Seymour Butts). Or tell them your name is ‘God’. Or ‘Heil Hitler’. Or Ivor Biggun’.
I’ve ordered and drank at many Starbucks in the States – no one ever asked my name. Maybe it’s the English accent.
Right, I’m off to Costa Coffee – even if the caffeine levels in their coffee could raise the Army of the Dead. Actually sod it I’ll just stick with my mug of lovely Nescafe Instant.