BREAKING NEWS: Starbucks Customer Gets a Jolt, in More Ways Than One

Anytown, USA: A person who took the day off from work to enjoy a beverage at Starbucks along with free wi-fi, found themselves in an unlikely, and unexpected situation.


“Blood rushed to my head, and I could feel myself becoming slightly dizzy, even nauseous. For a minute, I didn’t even want my Venti White Chocolate Mocha with whole milk and whip.”

During the morning shift, a Starbucks barista noticed the customer acting abnormally, and didn’t know what to do. “Ordinarily, we see a lot of confusion, especially with new customers. But regulars know what to do: order a drink, maybe buy a Jack Johnson or Ryan Adams CD, a pastry, find a seat — or sometimes they place all of their belongings on a seat to reserve it and then order. But this wasn’t the case, since I recognized this customer from prior visits. This was a typical who knows what to do once they get their drink: take a seat, hold the drink in one hand and phone in the other, stare at the screen, eyes down, like a zombie with a dislocated neck, a droopy gaze fixated on the phone, while you sip away at your coffee enjoying high-speed wi-fi. Sometimes they’re looking at an iPad. Or if they’re working, it’s a laptop. But when this customer sat down, they did something else, looking everywhere… looking like they’d crossed through the wardrobe into Narnia. They looked… well, lost.”

What lead to the customer’s mysterious behavior? While relaxing with their hot beverage, the customer realized that not only had they left their smartphone at home, but they had absolutely no electronic devices. Tech-less, panic ensued, said the customer, who preferred to remain anonymous. “Blood rushed to my head, and I could feel myself becoming slightly dizzy, even nauseous. For a minute, I didn’t even want to enjoy my Venti White Chocolate Mocha with whole milk and whip.”

The concerned barista stayed alert. “The customer didn’t take a sip of their drink. For a second, I thought I made it wrong: not enough whip… or too much milk, or not enough milk, or not enough chocolate, or not enough espresso shots, or too hot, or not hot enough. Funny thing, I was just getting ready to say something like, ‘How’s your drink?’ But then, they started sipping.”

Although the customer was still without any personal electronic devices, they decided it was best to enjoy their 620-calorie beverage because according to them, it would “ease the suffering” and hopefully take their mind off of not having their phone with them. Since going home to get a device was not an option, the customer remained in Starbucks, and finished their drink.

“I usually stay home during days off to do some online reading, maybe watch Netflix, check out social media, but because I’m so close to maxing out my monthly data cap, the free, unlimited wi-fi at Starbucks made sense. When I sat down to enjoy my coffee and I realized I didn’t have my phone or tablet, I wished that I did stay home. For a second, since work is down the block, I thought about going there, but I was in a rut, and needed the time away.”

By day, the customer works as a graphic designer at a local agency, creating branding solutions for print and digital media, as well as designing social media campaigns, with a little public relations and copy writing here and there. “At my day job, I come up with ideas for my clients. And then, when I’m not at the office, I’m home working on design projects for my freelance clients — even more design work — because I really love design. I’ve got some personal projects I need to launch too. But it gets so boring working in the same place, be it my office or my home office. So coming to Starbucks is kind of like going to my home away from home — a getaway.”

Whether at their full-time job or working as a freelancer, it takes a long time to “get the creative juices flowing” according to the customer. “Coming up with something appropriate, or cool or even original, is difficult, but I love doing it. And as I sat here in Starbucks — without my smartphone or tablet — without work, no distractions, no texts, tweets, no Facebook status updates, I didn’t know what to do.”

But eventually this getaway, sans technology, proved to be fruitful. “I don’t know how long it took, because I didn’t have my phone to tell me the time, but I started to have ideas about everything. Anything! My client work, freelance work. I even came up with a really great idea for a book. It’s hard to explain what happened [when] I was disconnected.”

Would they recommend this experience to others? The customer gave an emphatic, “Yes.”

“No smartphone, no devices? It put me in a panic, and then I was anxious, and eventually bored, and then anxious again and then excited, but I think that was the White Chocolate Mocha, and then I was bored again, but then, just as I was noticing the pattern of the wood grain on the floor, something wonderful happened and I felt… free. And that’s when the ideas poured out.”