Why suspended coffee is a fucking terrible idea and everyone should get over it

13

April 6, 2013 by fatcai

So, ladies and gentlemen, there has been this lovely little heart-warming picture flying about over Facebook lately, accompanied by comments like “cute” and “awwww” and “ooohhh I wanna do this, it’s so sweet“, wah wah wah. This, folks, as I am sure you already know is the latest amazing, fabulous, revolutionary idea that is sure to change the world and eliminate world poverty. NOT.

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Here he is, this very adorable, sweet looking old man gratefully and humbly sipping away at a coffee, who reminds us all of our grandpa in some way. The story behind him is this:

“We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter –
‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’
They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend:
‘What are those ‘suspended’ coffees ?’
‘Wait for it and you will see’
Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers – three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks
‘Do you have a suspended coffee ?’
It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.”

What a lovely shiny let’s-hold-hands-and-make-the-world-a-better-place concept, right?

WRONG.

First up, how do the people in the coffee shop tell if someone is actually a person in need of a “suspended coffee” or just some wanker who thinks they can get something for free. I have worked in many coffee shops and people constantly steal the mugs, there are wankers out there who have probably been waiting long for this moment where they can get free coffee.

Secondly, don’t you think it is degrading as fuck for someone who is genuinely homeless and at rock bottom to come in to some fancy place like Starbucks or whatever with all the hipster kids and pretentious wankers that drink things like half-shot-half-caf-4-pump-sugar-free-vanilla-wet-upside-down-stirred-lattes and actually ask for the “suspended” coffee?

Thirdly if you are a homeless person and have literally nothing, then maybe drinking a half-shot-half-caf-4-pump-sugar-free-vanilla-wet-upside-down-stirred-latte might bring some kind of magical happy feeling into your day for like five minutes but I am sure there are many things you are in much more urgent need of.

Fourthly, what are you going to do in summer? It’s a lovely post because everybody is riled up about the cold weather right now but are there gonna be “suspended” frappes in summer because homeless people are then apparently in need of cool drinks?

Fifthly, to all the wankers who are kicking up a fuss about companies who are not actually doing suspended coffee, think about this: If you want a homeless person to have a nice hot drink when it’s cold outside, why don’t you just buy them a fucking coffee and bring it to them yourselves? You probably passed about a million of potentials on the way to the coffee shop to get the €4 coffee you just can’t do without, but you pretend they are invisible. Why is it suddenly someone else’s responsibility to dish out the coffee donations, if you want to help someone, then fucking do it yourself. But hmmm, no suddenly the idea of “suspended coffee” doesn’t sound so appealing if you actually have to have contact with one of The Untouchables – you know those miserable dirty, smelly types you pretend not to see everyday on the street.

Sixthly, you get a warm fuzzy feeling inside thinking about this great idea, but how would you feel having coffee with your friends or business colleagues in a crowded coffee shop and one of the very people you purchased a “suspended coffee” for comes to sit at your table because it’s the only seat left. You don’t feel so warm and fuzzy now, do you? This person’s clothes don’t quite match your suit and tie and you are worried they might give your iPhone some kind of virus just by breathing near it. This is the reality of suspended coffee and most of you don’t actually understand this. When this happens to you, you will complain about it to the very same coffee monkey you whined at to make suspended coffee happen. This is what suspended coffee boils down to and you can’t handle it.

Seventhly, if you buy a coffee from, I dunno, Starry Big Bucks it costs you for a small one €1.50 or something right, and then you want to buy a suspended sandwich for €4, do you not realise how dumb that is? If you gave that money to a homeless shelter they could feed way more people for that price and actually give them guidance and support to get them off the streets. Probably. Maybe.

Eighthly, people that work in coffee shops don’t want to hear you bitching about this. As a long time coffee monkey for small shops and big chains, I can tell you, people that work in coffee shops get treated like fucking shit by customers. And they already working hard enough for minimum wage kissing the asses of you €4 half-shot-half-caf-4-pump-sugar-free-vanilla-wet-upside-down-stirred-latte wankers to have to listen to you whining about suspended coffee.

So, listen up, here is how the world actually works:

Like I said, you want someone in need to have a free coffee, buy it for them yourselves. In my 8 years working in coffee shops, I saw this happen on just two occasions. A man that came to Starbucks and bought a bag of hot sandwiches, fruit etc and brought it out to a guy sleeping rough across the road. A woman in a independent who came in every morning to buy a warm breakfast for the homeless man she walked past on the way to work. That’s it. If anyone else was doing it, they were doing it quietly, not loudly in front of all their friends in a hipster coffee shop where it’s cool to be a suspended coffee sheep.

So the moral of the story is:

Don’t bitch at people for not doing shit you aren’t prepared to do yourself.

If you want to help homeless people and somehow make the world a better place but don’t actually have time to make this happen yourself then find a worthy organisation with passionate volunteers who actually do want to connect and help others and give whatever you would spend on a “suspended coffee” to them, they won’t just give someone a cup of coffee and filter the profits through various bank accounts not paying tax on it, they will be able to do so much more.

I genuinely appreciate the sentiment of this thing and every step towards kindness and raising awareness of problems we would rather pretend don’t exist is nothing but positive, but this isn’t the way, this here is bullshit.

It also needs to be said that I am no saint. But the internet isn’t the place to talk about what one does and doesn’t do for charity and that’s fine because this isn’t a rant about me being better than anyone else, it’s a rant against people that don’t use their fucking brains and get caught up in fairytale dreams they don’t understand.

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13 thoughts on “Why suspended coffee is a fucking terrible idea and everyone should get over it

  1. I have never even heard of this. Maybe it hasn’t reached Canada yet?

    Regardless–I started off thinking, “Ew gross. Stupid idea. I don’t want to fucking deal with homeless people looking for handouts all day.”
    But then you actually made a lot of really good points. If this ever comes up in my area, I know where I’m directing people!!

    But seriously, we deal with a lot of homeless traffic as is. Using our washrooms and bathing in our toilets and stealing our tips and harassing our customers and staff. It’s a completely inappropriate idea giving them more incentive to visit our locations, and makes for an incredibly uncomfortable Starbucks experience. I though “inspired” is what we were going for, people!!

    • fatcai says:

      Oh it’s all over the place in the UK, I don’t know what other chains are doing but this is what Starbucks are doing in the UK http://ind.pn/YWFOPv which is a much much better way with dealing in it. There are Starbucks stores in the city centre in Cologne that have had to remove their toilet facilities because people leave used needles there or they find junkies passed out. A coffee shop is a coffee shop, and a soup kitchen is a soup kitchen, people need to stop confusing that.
      Good luck in dealing with the wave of suspended coffee enthusiasm when it inevitably comes your way.
      Cheers for the comment!

  2. Congratulations and thanks for that excellent post. It is clear and helpful. I shall share it and follow your page. THANK YOU!

  3. ldlagarino says:

    You are one crazy broad. Hope you don’t mind me calling you that. Coming from me, it’s a compliment.

  4. Pieces of 8 says:

    Why doesn’t it surprise me that Starbucks in the UK, just done for tax-dodging on a massive scale, have found a way to look all shiny-happy-people whilst stealing our NHS and public services with the other hand.

    I wanted to share this with you:http://aventurasdeabril.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/no-one-wants-your-pity/#more-2398 By another blogger who’s fed up with un-thought-through brainless hipster ‘niceness’.

    Enjoy!

  5. Heath says:

    I think you are absolutely right!

  6. The concept has just come to us and I just did a post in the same vein, you make some good points I missed. I also make the point that this takes away from potential donations to other charities who could be solving the problem more efficiently. Unfortunately, people get clap happy with social media trends like this.

  7. maidimoo says:

    My initial thought on hearing of the idea was pretty shamefully idealistic. I had hoped it would encourage a few extra people to consider giving a few euros away but had failed to stop and consider the logistics of that notion in our self-centred society… d’oh!
    I shall go back to bringing food hampers to local homeless shelters and plan on encouraging my 29little minions to do the same as part of their ‘First Communion’ experience!

  8. Adam Gill says:

    Bollocks.

    Yes it’s better to buy the coffee and give it to someone homeless yourself (something i do if i know im going to be walking a route that will probably take me past people sitting huddled in doorways or whatever.

    But there are plenty of times when ive been nipping a couple of doors down to grab a coffee, and known full well im not going to walk past anyone homeless, or known the route i’ll be going is unlikely to take me past anyone – there are times i would be more than happy to take a coffee and hand it to someone in need personally, but you know what? i dont always have time to go running round the streets searching for someone to hand a cup to. So anywhere that is willing to hold on to that coffee until someone comes in for it deserves applause.

    as for your complaint about people coming in for a ‘suspended coffee’ then ‘sitting near you’ – what kind of absolute cunt are you? these people are somehow less human because they can’t afford to buy a cup of coffee?

    gtfo

    • fatcai says:

      Oh speed reading didn’t pay off for you that time honey because I didn’t say that! I am an absolute cunt but not for the reason you are accusing me of!

      I am writing as someone who spent their entire school and uni time working in coffee shops and one of the favourite pasttimes of customers of coffee shops is to complain about homeless people in, near or around the cafe. And in a cafe I worked in we did have genuine homeless people in, taking a seat and drinking coffee or having a sandwich. Other customers wouldn’t sit anywhere near them, wouldn’t stay very long, sometimes walked out before even ordering after seeing these guys. And now these same wankers want to start suspended coffee. They won’t like it but they haven’t thought that far ahead. So then they will complain to the coffee monkeys about the “standards of clientele” and the coffee monkeys will think….told ya so!

  9. Adam Gill says:

    not that i imagine my post will get through your censorship

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