4 sleeves of Arpeggio.

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Do you ever really stop and wonder when did the world get so ridiculous? When did the simple task of buying coffee pods become such a rage-inducing wank fest that can render a person speechless?

I am not normally in the habit of bitching about simple tasks, in fear that someone will pipe up with that annoying chestnut “Oh first world problems Mrs. Woog…” but today, I am willing to cop it on the chin.

You see I had run out of my favourite coffee pods and was delving into the emergency stash of inferior Costco Pods when an opportunity came up where I was in the vicinity of my preferred supplier and decided to join the line that formed at said retailer. There was a velvet rope even, as if we were lining up to meet Santa, or Oprah. There was a lady who tended this velvet line whose job, as far as I could make out, was to compliment each and every lined up customer on a particular aspect of their outfit.

“That is a gorgeous jacket!”

“Those shoes are to die for!”

And when it came to me…

“I LOVE those earrings!”

And then each customer would be escorted to a vacant attendant and handed over like some sort of gilded lily. The customer and the attendant would then commence communications about all things coffee, new variations, specials, which type of milk they use and all manner of interesting topics. Indeed it is a very social occasion.

But me? I just wanted four boxes of dark purple coffee, whose name I cannot pronounce. I was escorted to the vacant attendant who cheerily greeted me, asked me how my day was going before enquiring what I would like.

“Can I please have 4 boxes of dark purple?

Eyebrow raised… “4 sleeves of Arpeggio?”

I pointed at the dark purple ones and said “Yes thank you.”

The boxes were placed in front of me before the up sell commenced.

“How is your machine going? Have you seen our new Inissia in Canary yellow? Have you had the chance to try the Ethiopian single blend range with a hint of brazil but yet?”

And then came the question…

“Are you a member?”


“Would you like to become a member?”

No thank you.

About 20 minutes later, having spent a lot of time punching data into the computer, he announced my bill. I handed over my card. He announced that there was something wrong with the computer. I watched time stand still for a while. After insisting that I take my receipt but he just couldn’t print it out just now because there was something wrong with the printer, I told him that it was totally ok, because I didn’t really need one. I thanked him for serving me and began to walk away when the printer sprang to life.

“I HAVE YOUR RECEIPT!” He yelled after me. I walked back, thanked him again, collected my receipt before walking into the nearest bar and ordering a triple gin and tonic.*

Now I can appreciate that some people take their coffee very seriously and wish to have long and detailed exchanges with experts who are there, bursting full off good cheer and knowledge. I totally get it. HUZZAH! But what about the people who just want to get in, and out without spending a lot of time in conversation. You might be running late for a moustache waxing appointment, or you are about to wet your pants because you have been drinking too much of said coffee.

So I propose that this particular company, to whom I am a very loyal customer, have a separate express line for less-interested coffee drinkers. Or even better? Install vending machines around the streets.

Thank you for listening.

*not really. I went home and made an arpeggio.