Earl Grey and “Perfect Oatmeal”

Anyone who knows me well, knows that even entering a Starbucks is a very big stretch in my values and beliefs. Sadly I work at a university and both establishments are Starbucks or sell their products but I still manage to bypass it except for maybe 3-4 times a year for various poorly thought out reasons. The last time was a totally enticing photo of a new tropical fruit turnover which was oozing with mango and other gooey tropical goodness… It turned out to be totally devoid of filling and the tiny bit that was oozing out the sides was what apparently had been intended for the center. Shame on you Starbucks.

So, in the mail I received a card for a free “Perfect Oatmeal” which displayed golden raisins and seemed intriguing for a cool morning breakfast and since it was free I was able to justify it slightly. Today was a suitably cool morning and I am still a bit sick… I shouldn’t have. I watched as the worker tore open a brown packet not unlike the standard instant Quaker Oats and stir it with some tepid water from the coffee machine. Oh this is just screaming “Perfect Oatmeal” isn’t it? Then he hands it to me and takes my card. When I open it I quickly realized it was just water and instant oatmeal, no fruit, no brown sugar, nary a nut, nothing. I asked if this was correct and he said that was all they had and how they were trained to do it “it’s new.” Shame on me.

To make matters worse I was offered a free cup of tea. I chose Tazo’s Earl Grey as it was my guess for the least offensive. Stee-rike Three. Just a total mess of strong bitter bergamot (not in a good way) and strong bitter tea which was just abysmal. When “free” can be screwed up to the point that it was more costly than anything I could have bought save maybe a breakfast roller dog at a convenience store and day old coffee *that* is saying something. How and why this company became part of American life is beyond me for many reasons, I can only hope that their recent floundering and financial problems drags them down for good. “Perfect Oatmeal” sure as hell isn’t going to save them.

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