Accompanying the card was a $15 Starbucks gift card.
I hate Starbucks. I think they're evil. I think their business practices are predatory, and that they deliberately try to force independent coffee shops out of business. In the past 10 years or so, I've been into a Starbucks once (and would have pushed for going elsewhere if it hadn't been the choice of a new co-worker on my first day at a new job; it didn't seem like an opportune time to make waves).
But the card has already been purchased. If I don't use it, it's pure profit for Starbucks. If I do use it, it's still profit for them, but less so.
So, of the things Starbucks sells, what do they get the least profit on? Are there any loss-leaders I could buy and thereby cost them money?
Oh, hey — most Starbucks I've seen sell CDs from Putumayo. We already have World Lounge; maybe I'll pick up Brazilian Lounge, Asian Lounge, Latin Lounge, Blues Lounge, Sahara Lounge, or Euro Lounge. The profit they make on a CD must be less than the profit they make on coffee, wouldn't you think?
*Yeah, sure, the job before this one was grant-funded (which is synonymous with "underfunded"), so there wasn't any money to spare for such fripperies. But I know for a fact that all the non-admin staff in our department chipped in from their own pockets to buy the gift cards for us admins, so departmental funding really isn't the issue — attitude is.