Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Coffee from People Who Hate You

As a grad student, I have a minor coffee habit. There are about 8 area coffee stands I frequent, I have customer loyalty cards (buy 10, get one free) from 4 of them. One thing they all share is the paper cup/plastic lid coffee disbursement system that features the built in dribble effect. You probably know what I mean. The system works fin unless you align the hole in the lid that you drink from with the seam of the paper cup (or it is within +/- pi/4 rad. of the hole). If you have it so unfortunately aligned, coffee invariably dribbles down your shirt/pants/naked chest (don't ask) as you sip. Often, the cups are handed to you with the lids already in place leading careless people (me) to begin drinking before checking their alignment.

I have developed a theory about why cups are handed to you in dribble mode. It's a simple theory that, I think, accounts for at least 98% of unfortunately aligned drinking apparatti.
1.) The person handing you your coffee has just started and doesn't know about the evils of hole on seam alignment.
2.) The person handing you your coffee hates you, deeply and personally.

My theory is supported by loads on undocumented anecdotal evidence. That may not sound impressive, but several people I've heard of used the same standard to decide not to have their children vaccinated because they'll catch the autism.

1 comment:

ish said...

I have further anecdotal evidence. A good friend of mine worked for a longish time for the most hegemonic of the coffee chains. One thing that happened constantly was that people would ask for the cardboard sleeves that go around the cup as an thermal insulator, but they never knew what to call it, so instead they would use a hand-gesture which approximated putting the sleeve around the bottom of the cup. If you try this hand gesture for yourself (NSFW) you will discover that it could easily be confused for another hand-gesture one might make. So he decided, with the help of another cow-orker to start referring to the sleeves exclusively as "HJ's". When someone asked for one using this method, he would say to the other guy "Hey Steve, HJ for this guy." And eventually after several weeks, they finally succeeded in getting a customer to ask for an HJ while making the gesture. Awesome.

In conclusion, the people who work there do indeed hate you, primarily because they work for Bux or its equivalent and you don't. Which is a perfectly valid reason if you think about it.