The Starbucks scam

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

This would work on the YC application where they ask “Tell us something other than computers that you have hacked”.

There is a man who comes to my Starbucks every single day and orders the most horrible drink in an infuriating way. He purchased 365 Starbucks cards and registered every one of them online with a different birthday so that he gets a “free birthday drink” EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. Even though I know exactly how he “beat the system” there, he pretends that his app is just malfunctioning and it magically gives him the same free birthday drink every day. If he was a nice guy, I might not be so irritated. But he’s not a nice guy. Here is a sample of our exchange when he orders (when you imagine his voice, it should be pompous and creepy):

Me, scowling on the inside: “Hello.”

Him: “I need a Venti cup and a marker.”

Me: “Oooooohkaaaay. Here ya go.”

I reluctantly give him the cup and marker. He draws lines and arrows and writes all over the cup while telling me: “Two pumps of white mocha here, then add five pumps of vanilla. That should take us to this line here where you’re gonna add cold heavy cream up to this ridge here…it should be halfway between this line and this line. Make sure to add the heavy whipping cream before the espresso, it changes the taste if you do it out of order. Then add your four shots, three regular and one long shot. That long shot is important, since you guys reformulated your machines, it’s been Hell trying to get my drink right. That long shot helps balance it. Then stir it for me, Mister Brad. Now do me a favor and add ice to the top there and it’ll be easy as pie. I’m not picky so don’t worry about shaking it or anything like that.”

Me: “OK. Easy as pie.”

Him: “Now they ring it up for me like this: one quad espresso, add white mocha, sub vanilla, sub heavy cream.”

[He wants it rung up that way so he just has to pay $3.00 for a drink that really should be around $6.50 if it was rung up correctly as an Iced Quad Venti Vanilla White Mocha with heavy cream instead of milk.]

Me: “Gotcha.”

Him: “Now I’m going to use my free birthday reward to pay. Did I tell you about my birthday reward app malfunction? The app is screwed up and it’s been giving me the same free birthday drink for twelve days now! I mean, I’m not going to complain or anything. Maybe I should check my mail at my old house and see if I’ve won free Starbucks for life! Ha ha ha!”

[he tastes his drink & frowns]

Him: “Mister Brad, why don’t you pour a decaf shot on top of this for me? It’ll be perfect then. It’s just a hair too sweet.”

[I pour one decaf shot on top of his drink]

Me, and my skin is crawling at this point: “Thanks! Have a great day. Oh yeah, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY.”

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