Consistency is the Only Thing Not Super-Sized


And apparently it’s too much to ask.

I’m not a demanding client, at least I try not to be, but I do expect people and companies to hold up their end of the bargain. I shop with you, you deliver the same service each time. Fair enough, right?

For the past several weeks I’ve been heading in to the old job on Saturday mornings. It’s not the most fun way to spend my weekend, but it’s what needs to be done. To make it a little easier (and because the office is stripped down to its necessities), I’ve been stopping at Dunkin Donuts on my way in for a chai and a breakfast sandwich.

Back in June was the first time I discovered they had chai, and it’s a pretty good, sweet, vanilla chai. So when I went back (still pre-Saturday ritual) I asked, “oh, can I get that iced?”

Crucial moment here, folks, pay attention.

Not only did the voice behind the menu board say yes, they added in the question: “Would you like medium or large?”

Of course I ordered the large. After all, this is America, land of the out of control portion sizes and all that goes with. Duh!

So when I started working 6 days a week, I be-bopped into the Dunkin Donuts on the way to work and asked for a large, iced Vanilla Chai with almond milk. And they filled the order. No questions, no consternation, no problem.

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a precedent being set. I didn’t go in and ask for a favor or expect them to do anything other than what they’d done in the past.

This continued for a couple more weeks, at two different stores, even.

And then.

Weekend before last I ordered my usual only to be told that it didn’t come in large, only medium (because it was a pre-packaged mix, you see–something I’d already figured out). “But you’ve been doing it this way for weeks,” I said.

“We can put it in a large cup,” they countered, and I said that was fine.

Now, the difference between ordering a medium vanilla chai, iced, in a large cup and ordering a large, iced vanilla chai still eludes me, as the result is the same (a full, larged, iced drink), but whatever. They were teaching me how they preferred me to order, and I could adapt. After all, it still got me the same result.

And then.

This past weekend I roll up and order it how they taught me the previous week: Vanilla Chai with Almond Milk, Iced, in a Large cup.

“I’m sorry ma’am, we don’t serve those iced.”

Say what now?!

So I went with my standard: but you have been for the last month or so.

Another voice comes through the speaker: Ma’am we’re not supposed to make them iced.

Then they proceed to offer me options:

“We can give you a cup of ice with it”

“No, thank you.”

“We do have a Frozen Chai available.”

“Once again, no, thank you.”

If I’d wanted a chai slushie I would have ordered a chai slushie. I didn’t want a chai slushie. And if I wanted to juggle a cup of ice and a hot beverage in the driver’s seat of a car–no, wait, I can’t imagine I’d ever want to do that, so we’ll just stop right there.

I ended up ordering a large iced macchiatto, which was okay, except the caramel syrup stays down at the bottom, resulting in a fair amount of bitter, cold coffee on top.

I’ve already begun my hunt for the vanilla chai mix they use and I suppose I’ll just have to do the other American thing: do it my own damn self to make sure it’s done right.