Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Win Poor

I was badly in need of a caffeine fix yesterday afternoon and the free coffee they have here wasn't cutting it so made a quick run to Starbucks. When the order of the woman in front of me totaled $11.11, the cashier1 exclaimed “I need to play those numbers! I’m going to call my mom to right now and tell her to do it for me!” 2

Now I didn't really mind listening to her talk to her mom while I waited for my coffee because, to be frank, I wasn't in much of a hurry to get back to my office. It also gave me time to speculate as to how soon it would be before she went broke playing Win 4.

I mean, think about it for a second. She's a cashier. She spends the entire day dealing with numbers.3 If she plays every number that comes up on the register, she's going to wind up in trouble. It'll be only a matter of time before she starts stealing overpriced Starbucks novelty items and selling them on eBay to support her habit. From there its a slippery slope that can only lead to her sitting in a subway station with, ironically, a Starbucks cup in hand and a sign saying “Went broke playing Win 4.”

Then again, perhaps I'm just cranky because my order total wasn't worthy of a call to her mom.


1I’m sure that there’s come cool Starbucks-trademarked name for the cashiers like “Cashieristas” or something like that.

2Had the woman's order come to $18.90, she would have won. Turns out the difference between wining and losing was a mere two mocha lattes.

3And overly complex caffeinated beverage orders.