If I go to a café and sit down with a cup of coffee, I want a real cup, a ceramic cup, not a paper cup. I'm paying $4 for an aesthetic experience and part of it is the feel of the cup, in my hand and on my lips. When I say "for here," I mean in a real cup. It's not hard to understand. Yet time and again, it turns out that they're out of cups. Why is that? They're running a café — invariably a Starbucks — yet they either failed to lay in an adequate supply of cups or they can't — or won't — keep up with the dishwashing.
Today, I ordered a "venti" latte at Starbucks, said "for here," handed over my money and received my change, only to be told that they're out of venti cups. Then size it down to a grande, I say.
I want the real cup more than I want the extra coffee. And I want to teach them a lesson: If you don't have a cup for it, I don't want it.
This led to minutes of confusion as they tried to figure out how to refund the price difference. The line backed up behind me, and I finally got what turned out to be only 33¢. They didn't hide their irritation, but I hid mine.
I remember one time some kids had a lemonade stand, and they ran out of cups. They didn't want to lose the sale, so they said "Cup your hands!" That was at least funny. And they were just kids.
Hey, Starbucks! Have some damned cups for the product you charge so much for!
And if you don't have a cup for a customer who says "for here," you can say: I'm sorry, we ran out of cups. How embarrassing. We'd like to apologize by giving it to you in a paper cup for free. And here's a coupon for a free coffee in a real cup next time.