So everyday I try and take Becksy out to get a bit of shopping and a coffee and to do some walking exercise after her accident. Mostly she’ll want me to use the wheelchair for a longish walk around Waitrose but she’s getting better.

Now parking in the middle of a tourist town like Stratford upon Avon can be tricky. So usually we’ll do the shopping first then pop to the Tesco Express or the Shell garage both along the Banbury Rd just down from where we live, to get a coffee from the Costa machine in either outlet.She likes their brand of coffee.

But today we parked in the centre of town as I had to take some  parcels to the Post Office, and we parked right outside Starbucks. So I suggested to Becksy that we should get her coffee there. Lovely, she said, as she likes their store as well. I think it’s all the pastries/cakes etc they offer too! But I have to say it’s a service outlet which has never been a favourite of mine. And today I re-learned why.

I’m not a big coffee fan, well actually that’s not quite true, I do like coffee but in small quantities. The cup/beaker sizes they offer these days in coffee shops are just ridiculously large IMHO. Plus there’s a lot of faffing around with the whole don’t-you-know-I’m-a-barista routine. I like it in Italy where you can order a ‘short’ of any type of coffee and get it delivered quickly.  Anyway we went in and I asked Becksy what she fancied – today it was a latte. The young lad on the first till  – and this is the thing in Starbucks, you have to go through a whole chain of command which I find tiresome – said can I help? Polite start I thought.

Yes can we have a latte please to take out? Sorry I need to know your name first, sir. Really?  Well my name is Paul but It’s for my daughter so can you please  make it for Rebecca. So is it Paul or Rebecca sir, he asked. It’s Rebecca. And what would you like to order please sir? A latte please I replied, just a little disgruntled that he couldn’t recall what I’d asked for 20 seconds earlier. To drink in or take away? That’s to go. This was starting to get a little irksome.

And that’s a small latte sir I assume? Well actually I can never understand your cup sizes but regular is what my daughter normally orders, please. Ok so that’s a regular latte to drink in? No to take out I answered thinking that he’s now beginning to take the piss. And will there be anything else sir? he asked. I looked at Becksy and she shook her head. No thanks. So that’s nothing else sir? No! Thank you. Just a regular latte to go in the name of Rebecca. Thank you, that’ll be £3.20 or whatever the price was. Your order will be served at the coffee point he motioned to his left. There were 3 people counter-side en route to the barista; what they all did I’ll never know. But it wasn’t to make things super efficient, despite the inference in the logo above.

There were two people ahead of us in the queue and they took an age to serve. I was trying to occupy myself and was observing the young woman behind us who was ordering some exotic concoctions for herself and some friends – frappucino with caramel topping, sour apple frappuccino and a pumpkin spice frappe with extra cream topping.  I was thinking how they’d be rolling their eyes behind the coffee machine in the cafe in Servigliano.

Anyway the two people in front of us eventually got served before I noticed some chit chat behind the counter amongst the staff. They then started preparing the frappes and crap ordered by the young girl behind me. ‘Scuse me but I think we ordered before these drinks I said. Yes sir but you ordered a latte and these are quicker to sort out. What sour apple and pumpkin pie frappucini, compared with coffee and milk?

It won’t take long sir they said as they offered Bethany her 3 coffees. She even had a chat with the young female barista whilst collecting her drinks about her fabulous eyebrow design. Ah ha, I was lacking the barista rapport clearly. It must have taken us 20 minutes to finally get the one coffee and depart the place. Perhaps they should add the words…’fat bald guys, but slowly’ at the end of their logo. Gggrrr.





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