Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Dunny Quest

In a bold move, Starbucks London have this week installed their first Baldur’sBint(TM) toilets.

Girls wishing to use the facilities are faced with three choices of cubicle, each somehow incomplete. They must solve the dilemma to use the loo.

“It’s not that we don’t keep the ladies room to a certain standard” Jonathan Anders, 31, manager of the Oxford St store says “It’s that we want to present our customers with a logic puzzle as yet another unique attraction to the chain. I mean – how long is Wi-Fi going to give us differentiation in the market?”

A customer interviewed at the store agreed wholeheartedly. “Oh, it was just great!” gushed Monica White, 26 “There was some pressure at the beginning – but once I figured out I had to take the paper from the only cubicle that had any (but didn’t have a seat) and take it to the only cubicle that had a seat AND a functioning lock – the whole thing just solved itself.”

When asked if it wasn’t a tad annoying, she shook her head vehemently “Not at all, it’s really an appropriate diversion to host in a store that dispenses caffeine. I mean, everyone knows that it’s a diuretic – so it spurs you on that much more to get the answer in the minimum time.”

Apparently, a new attraction is already in the works. Talks have been held with MacGyver to develop something new and even more challenging.

Jason Binks, 47, Senior Waterworks Development Director at Starbucks International gives us the overall concept. “There will be no functioning facilities at all. The customer will walk into the booth which has a paperclip and a soggy match on a stand – they will have to construct the entire bathroom themselves, including the hand drier/blower machine which won’t work. We expect it to be a tremendous success and a welcome addition to the brand.”

I think we’re all busting to try it.


Alright, so on a serious note, I’m severely unimpressed.

You really would have thought that a highly procedurised chain such as Starbucks could train its dead-eyed drones to do things to American standards – alas and alack, even my Soyaccino didn’t have any chocolate sprinkly stuff on the foam (gasp! the inhumanity!) and the place could have done with a good clean.

Someone disabuse me of my idea that everything works as it *should* in America – before I build a raft and paddle over there for good.


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