One of my favorite bloggers wrote a post a long time ago about how to get freeStarbucks. The main thread of his advice was to go to a busy Starbucks store and create confusion. The advice was good and I think the post was one of the more popular posts he had ever written (at the time). As an avid Starbucks fan and someone who is at least attempting to become more frugal (even if it means turning to petty thievery), his post was informative and hilarious.
Well, today it happened to me. I got free Starbucks, and no I did not have to steal or capitalize on a barista's bewilderment to do so.
I needed a quick jolt before the gym and I decided to drop into the SBux. The store was strangely dead (the economy can't actually be hurting the coffee trade, can it?) and I walked up to the counter where there was one solitary girl who I'm assuming was doubling as the barista and the cashier for the moment. She was about my age, had a cute, cherubic face and wore a pair of bookish type glasses. I stood at the counter for a moment and contemplated whether I wanted to splurge on a grande sugar-free vanilla skim latte, or just get a small coffee. As I stared at the wall behind the counter the girl gave me a strange look. I smiled and sort of gave her the quizzical eye-brow raise.
Starbucks Girl: I think I know you.
Me: Hmm. Where from?
Girl: Are you the blogger?
Me: (Just a smile)
Girl: I knew it. I just read the article in Style Weekly today. That's so funny.
Me: Haha. Getting recognized in Starbucks... Well I can scratch that one off the list.
We keep talking for awhile and I come to find out that she also writes a blog and is a student at VCU.
Me: So do I get the fellow blogger discount on my latte?
Her: Maybe. What will you do for me?
Me: I'll blog about this encounter if you give it to me for free.
Her: Noooo! Please don't put my name in your blog!
Me: Don't worry, you're one of 4,000 Starbuck baristas in the city. No one will ever know who it is.
Her: Hmm. Okay. It's our secret.
She slid me my latte with a smile. I ended up tipping her 5 bucks anyways so I basically paid for the latte, but much like getting a free drink in a bar, it's sometimes the thoughtfulness of having someone give you a free drink that makes the whole experience worthwhile.
My advice for getting free Starbucks? Start a blog chronicling your sex life and random observations, offend the wrong people, and then have the altercation catch a local newspaper's attention. Complete these tasks and then sit back and let the free lattes start flowing in. Oh and promising you will blog about the barista helps too.
So here you go barista girl, instead of my standard sex-for-latte trade, I'm giving you the Thursday blogpost-for-latte trade. Although I had my eye on that new pumpkin spice latte, so maybe next time you can reconsider my offer to come back after business hours, pound a few Irish coffees together and then use the espresso machine in ways God (or the Starbucks corporation) never intended.
Did I actually make her this offer? No, but I'm sure I was thinking it.