Hey, Forget About Your Monday Morning!

There I was, 20 minutes late to work because First Crapital Connect can’t run a train service when it’s raining.

Owing to the ludicrousness of not having shared refreshment facilities and the fact that I’m only in my office on one day out of about every six or seven, I buy my morning brew from Starbucks.  I’m well aware that they rate less-than-stellar in the ethical tables compiled by social responsibility boffins, and I’m not happy about it.  But they are  better than the other options between the train station and the office.

Pret A Manger is owned by *cough* *spit* McDonalds.   I’m boycotting Costa Coffee on the basis that I don’t like to be told that the outlandish price of a take-away Americano with flavour syrup is because “This is London” in a patronising tone.  It isn’t London, it is greedy fat bastards.  Don’t tell a person who has lived in London for 25 years what London is: especially don’t do it in a not-London accent.  And the coffee tasted like warmed up puddle.  They can take their TV advertisements trumpeting their supposed expertise and shove them where the sun don’t shine.  I looked for independent brew-makers but sadly they serve more expensive coffee in unforgivable polystyrene cups, and also, the coffee tastes like warmed up mud puddle.

So here I am, a reluctant person with a Starbucks loyalty-card thinglet that gets me a Fair Trade filter coffee with syrup for one single pound.

This morning, I queued patiently and watched the minutes tick by.  Several minutes too many ticked by, since one woman was both taking orders and making coffee while a dude ever-so-slowly unpacked things onto a shelf behind her.

After a couple of ice-ages, I reached the front of the queue, where the dude surfaced from behind the counter to serve me.  Only, he reported that the filter-coffee machine was broken so instead I would have to part with my entire bank balance to have something from their more extravagant menu of burnished rabbit-droppings this and Tuscan toffee spiced that.

Tish pshaw nonsense.  I looked peeved and pointedly glanced at the now-gargantuan queue behind me, in which I’d been participating for the last – I do not jest – ten minutes.

“OK”, I thrust, expecting a battle.  “What can you give me for the same price as my usual filter coffee?”

“I can do better,” he parried.  “You can have any drink on the menu, free of charge.”

I laughed, but he was serious.  He handed me a voucher, which I examined.  It was something about having a sub-standard experience and wanting to make it up to me.  I ordered a Chai Tea Latte, as a test.  He asked for the voucher, which I gave back to him, and my Monday morning was flooded with sunlight and bunny-hops.  The music of Christina Aguilera sounded in my head.

Starbucks: currently exceeding expectations.

Have you had an experience where you wanted to high five a company and yell “Well played!”?   I’ll see you in the comments section.

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7 Responses to “Hey, Forget About Your Monday Morning!”


  1. 1 trash November 8, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I usually find it is about the individuals in an organisation and when I find them I like to take a minute afterwards to go find the manager and let them know about the exceptional service I have been given.

  2. 2 Jen on the Edge November 8, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    There’s a clothing outfitter here in the U.S. called Lands’ End (yes, I know the apostrophe is in the wrong place) that is known for it’s exceptional customer service.

    Last year, I ordered a rather expensive parka for one of my daughters and the zipper broke the first time she wore it. I called the company and they express-shipped out a replacement that day (the weather was COLD and we couldn’t do without a coat), along with packaging materials and a label for me to return the defective coat to them at no cost to me. I will love Lands’ End for the rest of my shopping days.

  3. 3 Jen on the Edge November 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Oh crap. I should have proofed my comment. “It’s” in the first sentence should have been “its.” Grrr…

  4. 4 Gretchen November 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Lands End has the best customer service. It’s the kind of thing where you call or e-mail them about something, expecting to get at least a little hassle or run-around. Instead, they’re like – OK, we’ll take care of that, that, oh, and this while we’re at it. It really kind of leaves you speechless.

  5. 5 Nic November 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    We have Lands’ End in the UK too – I’ve never bought anything from there, but I am all for great customer service and an approach that goes above and beyond. I will have to check it out.

  6. 6 Jonathan November 9, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Totally agree about the price of coffee in the high street – it’s second only to motorway services (but at least it’s vaguely coffee like – motorway coffee isn’t at all).

    Total win with the voucher though! :) I seem to have Katy Perry in my head for those moments at the moment – well… I did until I discovered this week that she married Russell Brand (her stock became instantly subterranean)

  7. 7 Stacie November 22, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Amazon.com has spectacular customer service. One of many reasons why I love to shop there.


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