I spotted this article on the BBC website the other day, about the latest ploy from Starbucks.
Apparently the baristas will now be asking every customer's name when they place an order. This is supposed to cut down on confusion over which customer ordered which particular latte, and also to appear more friendly. In America, where the policy originated, it's popular.
But.... Here in Britain we're a much more reserved bunch, and the idea of having to tell some complete stranger my name just to get a cup of coffee sends shivers down my spine. Invasion of privacy, anyone? Not to mention having some sixteen-year-old school-leaver addressing me as 'Fiona' as though they're suddenly my best friend. If any Starbucks staff try it with me I shall have an attack of the Old Fogeys and tell them it's "Mrs Glass".
As much as anything it's the pretence that annoys me. They say they're trying to appear more friendly, but since when was any vast multi-national corporation interested in being my friend? What they're really doing is trying to make money. If they were a bit more honest about that, I might not mind quite so much.