“A large iced Americano, please,” I told the barista at Starbucks. I broke down months ago after going somewhere around 29 years without ever stepping foot in one. Caffeine is an addiction that I’m not ashamed to have. It’s better than being addicted to other substances, and if my vices begin and end with jars of pickles and coffee, I’m fine with that.
I don’t think she was trying to be condescending, but her question, “Do you mean ‘grande’?” stung me with a line of businessmen behind me texting their wives about the dumbass who didn’t know the correct sizing nomenclature.
I stepped aside to allow those same businessmen to order and saw numerous people bust through the doors and walk directly to where they were pumping these drinks out. One by one, people left the location without ever talking to anyone. It was fucking incredible. It was like they were stealing, but no one was stopping them. I soon learned that using the Starbucks app was the answer to all my questions and that these customers were not, in fact, stealing from Starbucks with reckless abandon.
After deleting another app to make room on my phone, I downloaded the Starbucks app and signed up for the rewards program. I have yet to use it and I delete daily emails reminding me that I did actually sign up for this shit. Despite the fact that I hate waiting in line (and hate talking to strangers even more), I just don’t feel like “loading” my card and becoming a Gold™ member. There’s a line of millennial scumminess that I like to toe, but eliminating human interaction is a slippery slope that I’m just not ready to mess with.
But now, they’re taking things a step further. Not only are they completely vanishing human interaction, they’re encouraging speaking to AI in an effort to get your Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato without ever verbalizing it to a person with actual ears. Yes, you can now order your drinks through Amazon’s Alexa, that little $129 speaker looking thing that tells you the weather and turns down your thermostat if you’re wealthy enough to have all of that automated in your home.
Not only can you order pizza from Domino’s on it, you can take your piece-of-shittiness a step further and connect it with your Starbucks account to order your pre-selected “usuals” from one of the ten most recent locations you’ve been to.
“Alexa, tell Starbucks to start my usual order,” you say into the machine that rests between your flatscreen and an empty pizza box that you’re too lazy to take from your bedroom to your kitchen. And just like that, with that one single sentence, you too can become the lazy piece of shit you’ve always wanted to be. Speaking to a barista? So 2015. Fingers pressing buttons on an app? Nah, too much work – you’ve got scrolling to do. All you have to do is lift your pillow-wrinkled face up from your pillow and say, “Hey Alexa” with a raspy voice. Ten minutes later? You show up wearing the same clothes you wore out the night before and bypass the line of people who schlepped all the way from the office to get that brief reprieve from hating their jobs to wait for their coffees like they did in the olden days.
Now if only we could parlay this with Postmates or Favor so we could total zero steps every morning and seal the deal. Now that would be the dream. .