This week Starbucks announced changes to their rewards program. What does it mean?
Don’t worry. I’m here to break it down brevity-style. No, not breve. Starbucks “baristas” don’t know that word.
Why the change? According to Starbucks Newsroom official website it was done “based on the #1 customer request” to have more stars. In other words, you asked for this. Look what you made us do!
In the way back I’d heard about Starbucks stars. I drank there when it was in my face and I wanted coffee so I enthusiastically figured, “What the hell?” I signed up and gave it a try.
A. Fraud. The NHTSA calls this a “serious crime and consumer fraud issue.” Additionally, between 2002 and 2005 the NHTSA Office of Odometer Fraud says there was a “definite escalation in [odometer] fraud.”
Q. What do you call it when a woman falsely claims to have a tubal ligation?
A. Tom B. Taker, Jr. Or, as I like to call it, a 21-year donation to The Human Fund.
Today’s axiom is a simple one.
Tom’s Law #42
There’s no such thing as a free market.
You think I’ve gone too far this time? You say, “Open your eyes, Tom. Look around. You’ll see free markets everywhere you look.”
Bollocks! (If only those had been tied instead.)
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What the fuck is wrong with me?! There may be people in my neighborhood, but let me tell you what they never do. They never do shit – for me – for free. We’re talking about outside the realm of possibility here.
The mechanic never says, “Hey, Tom. Your car has a leaky head gasket. I’ll fix it for free.”
The brain surgeon never says, “Let’s whip that tumor out of that precious little head. No charge!”
The butcher doesn’t say, “Fella, you sure look like you could use a New York strip. Think fast!”
Me? I was dropped on my head as a wee child. (This is scientific extrapolation. It’s the only explanation that fits the facts.) Computer geek. Programmer. Webmaster. A true modern day Renaissance man. And the only time in my life I ever run is when I can give my shit away for free.
“Yes, I’d be happy to help you with your website in my spare time. Before spending any money – about anything – talk to me first. I’ll look out for you. I’ll protect you from being gouged. You paid $8,000 for your website? Yes, that affirms my opinion of humanity.”
If I have skills that are useful I figure, what the hell, why not help parasitic life forms who happen to be trapped on the same plane as myself?
I don’t ask much in return. A sincere word of “thanks” would be more than enough. Good form dictates, though, that some effort at appearances be made. It’s like pretending to reach for your wallet after a meal when the other person wants to pick up the tab and have you absolutely no intention. Anything less than that minimal effort is bad form.
Is there free will? If not, then it sucks to be you. Because, those dies that were cast are mighty damn cruel. Think about it. If there’s no free will then you have to act like this. Somebody clearly doesn’t like you.
If there is free will? Then you’ve got a hell of a lot of explaining to do.
“What happened? Why did you run over and kill those pedestrians?”
“I couldn’t see. The sun was in my eyes.”
“Uh, okay. Follow-up question: Why the fuck was your car moving?”
“I don’t know. All the other cars (that I couldn’t see) were moving, too. I had faith we were all moving together. It seemed like the thing to do.”
“Seriously. How do you expect us to allow you to continue to roam free? Shouldn’t you have been crushed upon the rocks at the bottom of the sea cliff by now? And, just curious. I have to ask. Have you reproduced yet?”
“Hey, you. What’s your story?”
“I decided to teach my 10-year-old son how to drive. A truck. Right by a river. And, for good measure, I brought all of my other sons along for the ride.”
Good plan. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
Long story short, I choose to do things like not walk in front of moving vehicles. To each their own.