I spend an unhealthy amount of money and time at Starbucks. Most of the time these days I just go through the drive-thru on the way to work in the mornings. I often see people doing things that really piss me off, but this particular morning I saw the King.
The drive-thru is easy. You get in line, you advance as the car in front of you pulls forward, you pull up to the order microphone, order your drink, pull to the window, pay, collect your order, and you immediately leave. These are the etiquette rules. You don't cut in line. You don't get busy texting or reading the paper and not pay attention to the cars advancing in front of you, especially when there are cars lined up out on the street (seriously, how rude!). You don't order drinks and food for 30 people, you go inside for that. Or better yet, you call ahead. You don't sit and chat with the server while 30 cars are behind you. Granted, the servers at Starbucks are unnecessarily chatty and annoyingly happy, so sometimes you can't avoid breaking this last rule.
This morning, I pulled in line behind a shiny, new, black Mercedes sports car. I don't know cars, so I don't know which one, but it was a convertible. He was VERY important, I could tell. He was also reading the newspaper and couldn't be bothered to pull forward when the other cars did. He was nearly consistently 2 car lengths behind the car in front of him. He was already breaking rule #2. When it was his turn to pull up to the order microphone, he didn't. He was busy reading the paper. He just broke rule #3. When he finally looked up, he was 3 car lengths back from the car in front of him, who was at the order window. So, he pulled through and didn't order anything. What? I'm annoyed and confused now. He broke rule #4 and I thought that rule was unbreakable. For sure it was abused, but never broken. The happy, chatty voice over the microphone asked me what beverage could she make for me today? I actually stuttered and said, "Um, the car in front of me didn't order a drink." She simply said, "Ok, I'll just get something started for you. What would you like?" So, I ordered my usual.
Mercedes Man pulled up to the window and actually stopped. I think I half expected him to just pull through and leave. Maybe he just likes to sit in lines. I watched him carefully because I didn't want him to get my drink. The server leaned out and did try to hand him my drink but Mercedes Man waved it away. He wanted napkins. So, the server handed him a couple. Mercedes Man asked for more and proceeded to clean up a spill (I guess) in the passenger seat. This took a little time since he'd apparently spilled quite a bit. When he was done he handed the wet ball of napkins back to the server. Then he handed him a glass thermos. After a bit, the server handed him back his thermos filled with water. WATER!? Mercedes Man pulled away and left. Water and napkins are free, so I guess he didn’t break rule #5.
I pulled up to the window, paid for my order and while the server handed me my drink I asked, “Did that guy really sit in the drive-thru line for water?” He said in an uncharacteristically, unhappy voice, “Don’t even get me started. He comes through here every morning for water. But he makes us wash his thermos first before we fill it.” I giggled at the absurdity and then apologized saying I was sorry, thinking that Mercedes Man was incredibly lazy. And then I realized I’d just broken rule #7… so I quickly left.