Starbucks just unveiled a special rewards program, offering free refills and wireless internet for its most loyal addicts. But this isn't enough for Times columnist Ron Lieber, who considers himself a very special, lucrative customer and who has a list of demands. He would like his own special, shorter lines and a special VIP seating section with Aeron chairs and reserved electrical outlets. He would like to be invited to exclusive parties. And everyone else would like his head on a platter. Again.
When Lieber first floated his idea in February, the responses were scalding, both on the original article at FiLife.com and at StarbucksGossip.com:
starbucks has created a monster... they deserve the entitled whiners that they get.
...It really makes me sick that anyone could ever expect better service than the person behind them should get.
These are some of the most outlandish and ridiculous ideas I have ever heard.
Ron, many, many people have told you why this won't work. I can't imagine why you still think your "idea" is something remotely workable.
That's the most arrogant article I've ever read on a blog.
Despite this feedback, Lieber somehow managed to get Starbucks to consider his "elite status" idea, so he wrote a Times column Saturday to gloat. This time around, Slate blogger Mickey Kaus is giving him flack, calling him a "creep" and predicting "things could get ugly" if Starbucks goes along with the plans.
On the other hand, Barack Obama may very well be president by January, and if that happens, you just know sipping lattes and acting elite is only going to get hotter.