The new gold card’s here! The new gold card’s here! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this card every day! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, your name in print, that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.
I walked confidently into the corner coffee shop. I got in line and waited a quarter hour. Finally it was my turn. I cleverly placed my order. “I’ll have a chestnut praline latte with a twist. Shaken, not stirred. Make it a grande.” I whipped the gold card out of my camouflage wallet and presented it to the barista. Light from the trendy overhead track lighting reflected and momentarily blinded her. “The name’s Taker. Tom B. Taker.”
Several women in the vicinity immediately swooned and removed their tops. Decisions, decisions.
Once upon a time some friggin’ asshole gave me a Starbucks “loyalty card” preloaded with a modicum of balance. In a hallucinogenic frenzy I actually visited the website and registered the damn thing. In doing so, I learned that I can earn some mystical entities known as “stars.”
Stars could be earned by purchasing a bag of Starbucks coffee at the grocery store or using my Starbucks card to make in-store purchases.
Not long after that I learned there was something else known as “levels.” And I was on the bottom one. That’s the story of my life. Fortunately, though, Starbucks had the answer. I could immerse myself in coffee and begin The Journey.
I started at the “Welcome” level.
I earned five “stars” and made it to the “Green” level.
Finally, I earned 30 stars and achieved the “Gold” level. At long last, the promised land. They sent me a special gold card that I could use to prove my worth. I questioned it, though. In today’s world where everything is under threat, is this really the best use of our limited precious resources?
I didn’t allow negative thoughts to damper my excitement, though. I’m gold, I thought. What does this entitle me to? What are the rewards that await the end of a long, arduous journey?
- The aforementioned “gold” card
- A free drink or food item for every additional 12 stars
- “Special offers” just for me
- The challenge to earn 30 more stars in my first year as a gold-level member or lose my gold status
That’s it? WTF.
In other words, after earning 35 stars, I’m now entitled to “buy X get something free” card. Weird, because the Dutch Bros. stand down the street gives me one of those babies on the very first visit. And I don’t have to register or open an account. And it’s not every 12, either. It’s only 10. “Buy 10 cups get your 11th one free.”
Methinks my “loyalty” was too easily acquired. Am I a cheap date or what?