April 26th, 2006

note to self

gift horses and the dental health thereof

When I got to work this morning, there was a bouquet of 3 roses and a card waiting on my desk for me — happy Administrative Professionals Day! Every job I've had, after that first summer job at Dairy Queen, has been as an admin of some sort (admin assistant or research assistant), but this is the first time my manager(s) have done anything to observe the day*, so I'm fairly pleased by this. (I know some people hate the day, but I'm not debating its merits, just saying it's nice to get flowers occasionally.)


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.