Cup Of Crap Anyone?

Dirty Cup at Starbucks Dirty Cup at Starbucks A couple of weekends ago Wil and I were down town on a Saturday morning. I can’t quite remember what we went down for but there must have been a good reason because going into town for either of us country dwelling hermit people is a chore. People in town are rude zombies who like to ram their kids pushchairs into your ankles, barge into you while staring down at their mobile phone instead of looking where they are going and repeatedly stop dead in front of you to look in their bags in the middle of the street so that you have to fight through the flow of foot traffic to get around them. They are 95% bastards. Rude, arrogant, self centered bastards. For this reason I routinely shop online whenever possible.

It wasn’t always that way – or was it? You see my tollerance of other people has become increasingly shorter and I don’t know if that is something to do with moving out to the countryside where I don’t deal with many people or if it’s more to do with Wil’s influence… being the short tempered country dwelling midlander he always has been.

I used to live in the middle of town and……. actually no, I’ve just answered my own question because people annoyed me just as much then as they do now.

So we were in town and as we emerged from the carpark and began getting barged out of the way by the bastards Wil announced “I’m only doing this so I can get a coffee”. I agreed, a relaxing sit down with a bit of cake and a cup of coffee would take the edge off playing ‘Dodge The Bastards’, ‘Don’t Swear At The Bastards’ and ‘Don’t Hit The Bastards’ quite nicely.

We did whatever it was we came to do and then made a B-line for a coffee shop. Ipswich does not have a shortage of coffee shops. There are nearly as many coffee shops as there are bastards in town and all of them are usually packed out with just as many rude arrogant bastards sipping coffee and ramming cake into their mardy faces.

“Which one do you want to go to?” Wil asked

I chose Starbucks, it’s not as dingey as one of the Costas, not as far away as the other Costa and not as tiny as the other privately owned shops. It was also on the way back to the carpark because I’m not sure if I’ve made it clear enough, I’m not surfing via any more bastards than I have to.

I perched on a barstool at the bench table running along the window edge where from the outside I became viewable as a live mannekin sipping my latte with a smug expression and from the inside looking out – they all looked like bastards.

Wil arrived with a tray of coffee and cake, immediately irritated by a very tall grumpy looking man with lank greasy hair fidgeting around on the next barstool. He’d pulled the chair over much further than the assumed space it should have taken so that it became necessary for me, being on the end to shove up against the wall to allow Wil a small space in between us where he wouldn’t be sat with his back resting against Greasy Man. There we sat with our lattes and bemused faces staring out into the street where we began doing what we do best to cheer ourselves up – rip the piss out of all and sundry who walked past.

It’s a terrible trait we possess but it always makes us laugh and being a great believer in that you become what you take the piss out of, it makes me slightly uncomfortable to partake in this ugliness. However, this didn’t stop me from gulping my mouthfull of coffee down so as to point out the two chavs checking themselves and their tasteless bling out in the bookshop window opposite. And neither did it prevent Wil from picking several people to bits as they inadvertantly passed our judging dock of superiority. We sat and watched bastards be bastards to other bastards for the best part of 15 minutes before turning our attention above street level to two pigeons who were to’ing and fro’ing from the ornate gable facade of the bookshop just across the road.

The bookshop clearly had issues with pigeons dwelling on the front of their building so they had put up small metal spikes to prevent the birds from landing. However, for the next several minutes we spectated as the pigeons took it in turns to return with nesting material, hop awkwardly over the spikey deterrants and in between a pair of decorative concrete columns where they were building a nest.

This frivolity was broken when, finding my fingers picking at something hard on the side of my cup I looked down and became disgusted with what I saw. My white mug was absolutely filthy on the outside. I held it up to the light and all around the surface of the white mug were dirty brown coffee stains. Bad enough they were on the outside, finishing the last of his coffee Wil lowered the mug from his face and tilted it towards me showing the mugs were worse on the inside.

I licked my finger and rubbed the side of the cup finding that it didn’t take any effort or pressure at all to wipe the grubbiness away. I was disgusted. I hope the cup was clean from having gone through a hot wash in the dish washer but you know, at some point you’re going to have to take those cups and give them the once over with a scouring pad to get rid of the coffee marks.

The more I looked at the cup the more inscensed I became at the fact my £5 coffee wasn’t even in a presentable cup. At home I would have been embarrassed to serve a drink to a guest in a cup like that and yet here I was being a sucker to global marketing and brand name hype paying for one to be served to me.

Wil and I sat studying the cups which were now empty and at that moment the whole experience of that morning came to a head. I walked over and to the ginger haired wide boy behind the counter I said

“hi, the coffee was really nice, but your cups are not very pleasant. I really think you should give them a manual scrub”

and do you know what he said?

“If you didn’t like the coffee you should have said and I would have replaced it for you”

“No, no.. the coffee was fine just look at these cups” I pushed the cups towards him causing him to reply

“Yeah that’s just the coffee, it stains them”

Once again I licked my finger and gently rubbed the outside of the cup and looked at him as the a clean white patch occured.

“Except that one” he shrugged.

I rubbed the other cup and again revealed cleanliness  “they’re all like it” I replied, “you either need to wash them or chuck them because people don’t want to drink out of dirty cups”.

Ginger wide boy couldn’t have given two shits and I don’t know why I’m surprised after all it’s not his business.

Something IS very wrong with people these days. It’s not just me getting old or cranky or hermit like and intollerant. I’m sure that in western culture particularly generations of people from about age 50 and under are becoming nasty. People seem to have fewer manners than they used to and the attitude of ‘every one for themselves’ is turning things sour. What is it with people who suddenly feel the need to grab what they can and then a bit more because excess is good and if they don’t have it all, someone else might?. When did people stop becoming shocked that they’ve just served you a cup of expensive overrated coffee in a dirty cup? I bet if I went in there tomorrow those cups would look exactly the same.

And why is that?

Because I’m probably the only person to have said anything about it. I bet many people have seen those cups but thought

‘well I’ve finished my coffee so there’s no point in saying anything now’

Because next time it won’t be them, they just won’t drink there again – next time it’ll be someone else who pays good money for a grotty cup and who cares what happens to someone else?

As we left that coffee shop I saw the other guy behind the counter say something to ginger wideboy while watching us exit. I bet the reply to his question was something along the lines of

“Oh just some moaning bastard”

You’re right, this moaning bastard proceeded to elbow her way through the shopping centre, barge in the front of the queue at the carpark ticket machine and then roar her way out of the car park in a big stinking 4×4 without stopping to let anyone out.

And there’s that old ‘reap what you sow’ making full circle.

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6 Comments »

  1. Wes said

    Damn, that’s nasty and you are right, customer service is a thing of the past and folks just don’t have pride in what they do anymore. Then again, I am 37 and getting near the “Get of my lawn” stage of life. Just wondering how I will be when I get to the, “Where is my pickle and cheese sandwich!”, stage of life. Oh, and Costa, Costa, Costa!!!!!!!!

  2. foxsden said

    I will be asking for my coffee in a cup to go next time I choose to sit in a place like that. I haven’t examined Costas cups, I expect they’re the same.

  3. Joker said

    Don’t feel guilty, you and Wil are not the only couple that do that. TRUST ME :D.. Regarding service… people ask me why there is a Sushi restaurant and an italian place I probably have stock in. They also ask me why I leave 20% tip… These people are dense stupid and should be transferred to a remote island to see if they can make something out of themselves.

    Cheers and happy couple hazing and remember, there are three things that bring a couple close together, love, intolerance and great sex. if you have all three, you’re golden. 😀

  4. Ew!

  5. Sarah said

    I expect there’s a manager somewhere in Starbucks Head Office who came up with a policy blamed on ‘health and safety’ that means that even if Ginger Boy did care he isn’t allowed to wash the cup out. Chances are there isn’t a sink.

  6. foxsden said

    I bet you’re dead on the nail Sarah…. and double Eww Suburban – if Sarah’s right we’re only counting on them getting their hands wet when they visit the loo. (sink or otherwise)

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