Rubber Bands and Flashing Lights


I am sitting on the most uncomfortable of chairs in a Starbucks and feel like asking for a refund on my expensive coffee. I don’t mind a Starbucks, its one of any a coffee shop I would use and at most times it is for the purpose of taking time out to relax, drink, eat and do a bit of work.

The refund I am now contemplating, is because this chair doesn’t fulfil the companies promise of a home-from-home or whatever its latest marketing position is. The chair is damn uncomfortable, not something I would have in my home, and I guess serves no purpose other than to force me to drink quickly and then move on so that the company can serve another drink with extras, a way of turning covers in a restaurant.

It takes me back to the days of my local swimming pool as a kid, we would buy a ticket and be given a coloured rubber band and when your colour was up a horn sounded along with your colour flashing on the lights at one end of the pool and that was it, your time was up. Out the pool. Then someone came up with the brilliant idea to remove that system, probably because they knew that you can only stay in the water a certain length of time, after that swimming for us kids became so much more fun as we got a little more for our money.

Back to the Starbucks that I am awkwardly sitting in. Look, I get it. Beijing is a big, busy city and there are a lot of people, but is this really the best way to treat people, because when I look across to everyone that is seating… not one person is looking comfortable. A MacBook balanced on your knee while supping a hot coffee is not a good look.

Imagine how it could be if there was another approach. If Starbucks worked out how to remove the rubber bands and flashing lights.

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