I have a decaf iced coffee every once in a while. It tastes good and contains enough caffeine and coffee-taste to convince me that I'm more awake than I was a few minutes before.
This being downtown Seattle, there's a few coffee shops within easy walking distance. As in, fifty. Seriously. There are at least five on these four blocks alone.
I've gone to several of them. Most of the wait staff are somewhat cheerful but obviously long-suffering people who take your order with a weary smile.
Then you reach Starbucks.
I don't know what it is about Starbucks. They don't pay real well, they give poor hours, and their job requirement is 'experience in providing stellar customer service!' With the word 'stellar' replaced liberally with other words like 'world class', 'unparalleled', or 'blowjobs'.
The Starbucks staff here in downtown Seattle, the dark heart of the industry, are almost PAINFULLY cheerful and helpful. I get a drink, and the girl says something like, "oh, hey, taste it and if you don't like it, I can change the flavoring around for you" and "thanks!"
Now, I know that I'm a man of god-like stature and chisled good looks, but even the guys are like this. Putting aside anything that might mean, I also noticed that we get a fresh wave of staff every 2-3 months.
I was talking with the security guard in my building when it hit us: Replicants.
Starbucks employees are Replicants. They're designed with superhuman capabilities and a very short life span.
I'm going to watch carefully. If I see a Starbucks' employee wandering around outside a Starbucks, I'm going to have to go all Harrison Ford on their ass. Free-roaming replicants are a threat to society.
But this is good news for those who own Starbucks stock. I'm sure they'll begin selling models on the open market soon, since testing is obviously going so well.
I'll take one of the cute ones with glasses.