Last Friday, 3:30 PM. I’ve been up since 6 AM. I’ve already had too much coffee for the day, accomplished nothing at work, and have spent the last hour staring at Facebook and praying someone sends me an email that isn’t 20% off at JCPenney’s this weekend.
I decide to run to the grocery store before I meet up with some friends for happy hour. At least I’d feel somewhat productive then.
My friends have been discussing going out after happy hour, but I realize this will not happen in my current condition. I should have napped instead of scrolling through memes and click-bait headlines. Okay, I will get coffee, and maybe then I can power through until midnight (who am I joking, that’s still eight hours away, FML).
Should I get coffee at the grocery store (blah), Starbucks (who never lets me down), or Dunkin’ Donuts?
I never go to Dunkin’ Donuts because it has the weakest coffee in this universe. Seriously, I suspect they add water to their brew. But I will give it to the DD-indoctrinated northerners, it is cheap. And they have a lot of flavor options.
I have about written off Dunkin’ from my options when I pass by the store and see they have some deal to get 99-cent iced coffee, ANY SIZE, as long as you’re a DD Perks Member. Which I happen to be.
Six months ago someone bestowed a coupon upon me for Dunkin’, and I forget the exact details except the deal was sweeter if I used their Smartphone app. Therefore, I became a DD Perks member. I even invested $2 into this scheme (the minimum you’re allowed to upload; trust me, I tried lower) because I had to. The $2 became 91-cents after using the coupon.
Last month when I went out of town, I needed more storage on my phone. I resorted to deleting apps I didn’t care for. Cue the exit of my Dunkin’ Donuts app. The last time I used the app was for my free birthday drink.
Now here I stood with the choice to re-download the app and get 99-cents iced coffee. Like I said, Dunkin’ is the feeblest coffee of coffees, but it was 4 PM, so I didn’t need that much caffeine, and 99 cents was a deal. Bottled water costs more.
Any other circumstances, I wouldn’t partake in Dunkin’…but bribery? Hmm. I guess I’m in.
I decide to re-download the app while I grocery shop. Afterward, I walk back to Dunkin’. There’s no line, and I almost think there’s no cashier until my soon-to-be Good Samaritan appears.
Cashier: “How can I help you today?”
Me: “I want to get the 99-cents iced coffee, but I need to download my app.”
Cashier: “Take yo’ time.” (I’m pretty confident she said it that way.) “Ain’t no rush.”
The camera cuts to me standing to the side of the register as if there are throngs waiting to get ahead of me. My phone screen whirs as the app loads. And then it asks for my password. In this moment, I recognize this might not be worth the hassle.
Me: “Ugh, I have to remember my password, so this might take a moment.”
Cashier: “Oh no. I hate when that happens. I never remember that stuff. One time I went to the library, and they asked me for my email address, and I said, ‘I don’t remember it.’”
Me: *clicks Forgot Password?* “I used to use the same password for everything so I could remember it, but now, with all the hackings, you have to use different passwords, because if someone got my Dunkin’ Donuts password, I don’t want them to get into my bank account.”
Cashier: “I feel you. I don’t know how…”
She continues talking, but I am now updating and re-updating my emaill (which I do happen to remember), waiting for Dunkin’ to send the password reset link. Finally, it comes through.
Me: “I’m really sorry this is taking so long.”
Cashier: “Don’t worry about it! What is it you wanted? I can get it started.”
Me: “Um. A large iced coffee.”
Was there ever a question of what I wanted? Well, actually there is. Last week I went to McDonald’s to get iced coffee and ordered, verbatim, “A large black coffee.”
McDonald’s cashier: “No cream or sugar?”
Me: “Nope, that’s it.” (I’ve beat the system. I can finally get an iced coffee via the Golden Arches that isn’t 300 calories.)
When the cashier tells me the price, I even remark how cheap it is. She agrees: “It’s definitely cheaper than Starbucks.”
“And,” I inform her, ”it has just as much caffeine.” *praise hands emoji*
Then she hands me a hot black coffee. The heck is this? I am momentarily confused. Then I realize I omitted the necessary-yet-should-be-assumed specification “iced.”
Me: “Oh…I made a mistake. I want a large black iced coffee.”
Back to our story:
I continue with the Dunkin’ Donuts cashier: “Should I do dark roast or light?”
Cashier: “It’s the end of the day; you should do dark roast.” (Dark roast has less caffeine and more coffee taste in case you’re not learned in caffeine.)
Me: “Let’s do that. And skim milk. And what sugar-free syrups do you recommend?” (Yes, you can call me #basic.)
Cashier: “Hazelnut always does it for me.”
Me: “Hazelnut then. And ugh, I keep putting in my new password, and it keeps saying it doesn’t match. I’m really sorry.”
Cashier: *returning with my iced coffee* “Don’t worry about it, it’s on me. Next time you can pay.”
Me: “Are you serious? I mean, I can pay. I just need to get on the app. Because the only reason I am drinking Dunkin’ is for this deal.”
Cashier: “Yeah, you’re fine.”
Me: “You’re so kind. Let me tip you. Oh gosh, I only have a $20.”
The cashier then proceeds to break my twenty for me, so I can hand her a tip – and not pay at all for the diluted hazelnut water in my hand – and then we exchange our goodbyes. And I walk home. On the way, I deleted my Dunkin’ Donuts app.