My name is Jim and a trip to the Starbucks in Murfreesboro possibly changed my life.
I ordered a cup of medium roast. And I requested a cup of ice, so I could cool it down. The barista immediately gave me my coffee. But then asked me my name, so the ice could be procured. I had to wait for my name to be shouted from the mountaintop and walk all the way to the other end of the counter to pick it up.
That was the pivotal moment. What follows is the real story of me and the ripple effects through time (forward and backward) caused by one cup of ice.
What we know about this cup from the label:
- There was only one cup in this order
- It was a "tall" (shortened as the letters "Tl")
- Large font calls it a "Cup of Water"
- Smaller font tells us "No Water" (but it could be if left in the sun)
- It was approximately at 11:24am and 54 seconds
- ">CAFE<" tells us this was not a drive-thru order
- Still wondering what "Reg: 2" means (register #2 perhaps?)
These are the things we know.
The rest is my guess at the strange journey of raw materials and supreme human effort to get me some ice cubes.
It all began millions of years ago with so called "dino-saurs" who died and were covered by rock and sediment.
Those dead "dino-saurs" broke down and created raw petroleum. About a year ago it was pumped out of the ground in the middle east.
This oil was placed upon the Exxon Valdez II and sent to China where it could be refined into plastic and manufactured into cups. The cups were then labeled with the famous Starbucks logo using free range ink.
From there, it was sent by container ship across the ocean to the Port of West Sacramento. It was loaded onto a truck and driven to FedEx, where it was overnighted to Murfreesboro, TN.
But first, it had to go to the FedEx hub in Memphis (where crime doesn't just happen, it's their biggest employer). Then the plane's off to BNA with a few packages mysteriously missing (they looked like LED tv's, have you seen them?)
Once the cups get to Music City, they are trucked to Murfreesboro (former home of the world's largest cedar bucket) and dropped off at Starbucks on Medical Center Parkway.
They're then jammed into a spring-loaded dispensary machine, so incredibly close to finding their purpose.
That's where I enter the story. See what I did there? I Tarantino'd this story by telling you this part at the beginning.
Once the request for a cup with some ice cubes is made, the barista's synaptic gaps are firing at alarming speeds. Buttons are pressed. He asks me my name.
He enters my information into the central operating system of Starbucks Worldwide Amalgamated Hospitality. But first, a quick rerouting of my personal ordering habits is intercepted by the NSA.
The 1's and 0's are beamed back via satellite to the other end of the counter, where a thermal printer decides to pigeon hole this cup's future with the essential information. Another barista digests this information and fills the "Cup of Water. No Water" with ice cubes.
My name is called, and this cup lands in my lucky hands. Pics or it didn't happen.
From "dino-saur" to digestive tract, this cup has traveled through space and time to help make me less dissatisfied with my purchase. Who knows where it is now? Yes, I cavalierly tossed it into the receptacle on the way out.
images courtesy of Jim Chandler, one half of the Woody and Jim Show, on 107-5 The River Nashville, and giphy.com
Yes I know the cups go through the system for inventory control purposes. But that narrative sucks.