Thursday, July 14, 2005

Selection Problems and Irrational Fears

I have a reputation for being completely indecisive but it's been particularly bad recently since I've had a lot of time on my own in Swansea. Some of my friends have put it down to be being so laid back that I don't really care which decision is taken, others think that I'm just too lazy to choose and my parents are of the opinion that I don't like making decisions just incase it was the wrong one. They are all probably right, couldn't pick any one reason really...

This morning I couldn't decide whether to walk down the hill to work on the usual road, with the amazing view of Swansea bay looking towards Mumbles or the other road down the hill, with the amazing view of Swansea looking towards Neath/Port Talbot. I stood at the top of the hill for about 2 minutes deciding what to do - I think that it was the hardest decision I've had to make in my life!

Choosing which road to take is one thing but when you go to a coffee shop... that's on a whole different plane!
According to some stats that I saw about 2 years ago - Every person in the UK will have gone to a Starbucks twice in their lifetimes. I had resisted for years, I finally went to one in 2002 with my very good friend Luke.

First Starbucks Experience

I was so intimidated by the amount of beverages that were on display, my head almost exploded, I just couldn't understand what each one was! The girl serving us glared at me with a "I'm going to pour boiling water down your pants if you don't fucking order" look. (No doubt I would have had to choose which flavor boiling water I preferred to have poured over my nads). I chickened out and asked for the same thing that Luke was having. She was satisfied, for the moment.

Second Starbucks Experience
My Second time in Starbucks was almost identical, it wasn't until two years later, 2004. I was in one of the many branches in Calgary with my friend Ryan. To avoid angry servers this time, I straight away asked Ryan to get a drink for me while I waited outside in the car. "What do you want?" he asked, "Whatever you're having" .

Why can't I just order a Coffee? I don't want any particular flavor, or any particular colour. I'm only here for the caffeine and something to warm me up on a cold day!

The best ordering-coffee experience(?) I've ever had was a Tim Hortons in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tim Hortons for the non-North Americans, is just another version of Starbucks. Some would argue that it's better but I don't really give a shit. My Cousin and myself (being gentlemen) offered to fetch some coffees for some local girls that we were with, I asked what they would like and one replied "A Medium Double Double" - I made some joke about Tom Hortons only supplying coffee but she repeated "Just order a Medium Double Double - she'll understand". I felt like an idiot ordering a Medium Double Double, but the server produced a drink almost instantly without looking at me funny at all! The trouble came when I ordered "Just a Coffee" for my Cousin and myself. Oh the agony! I was hungover to shit and just wanted a coffee - "Can you just get me a regular coffee?". A simple request, but I was bombarded with questions -

Which flavour would you like?
What size cup?
Any sugar at all?
Would you like a cookie?
Can I see your passport please?
Have you ever met anyone famous?
When did you last have sex?

Bloody Hell! If I had any energy, I would have shouted at her - but it wasn't her fault, the person at the other end of her headset was no doubt telling her what to do and say.

I ended up with a bottle of water. Enough said. I never want to go to another coffee mega-store in my life, unless someone else is ordering for me.

Other places I have irrational fears of include:-

Boots, the pharmacist - it's too big and smells funny. I always get lost and end up in the womens sanitary section, panic sets in and I just look for the nearest fire exit.

Post Offices - I never know which box to put my mail in.

Casinos - they are great fun to participate in I'm sure but I refuse to gamble any of my money. I don't like gong in them because I know that I'll give in and blow it all.

Another stat I've just heard - Britons spent £10billion on alcohol last year! That's about £1600 for every single person in Britain! It makes me so proud!


At 8:07 pm, Blogger Chris Cope thought it was best to say...

Try ordering tea anywhere in the United States. You always end up with something like "Mango Apple Spice Orange Saimese Afternoon."

At 9:42 am, Blogger Curly thought it was best to say...

What a joke eh? People don't need this much choice - do they?

At 12:42 pm, Blogger Huw thought it was best to say...

I lost my Nandos virginity at the weekend. I thought I was just entering a normal restaurant, maybe like a Harvester, but no - I was greeted with a bustling atmosphere and a McDonalds like counter and some girl yapping "What do you want?" at me.
"What do you have? Is there a menu or what?" I mumbled, confused.

Nandos should be avoided by the indecisive or the humgover.


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