Dear Starbucks

Dear Starbucks,

I am sitting at your store in Wooster, Ohio. Just so you know: I am a regular customer, so much so that when I come in the baristas normally ask me whether I am going to have my “usual.” Tall, non-fat, no whip, 180 degrees mocha. That’s my drink of choice. I am easy to please…

I am sitting at my usual corner, sipping my coffee before I head to work, watching as a friend of mine, an engineer with many years of experience, keeps checking your front door and trying to close it. It is December in Ohio and though the temperatures have been unusually warm, it is still cold and it will not get better until sometime in April, or later…

I have noticed for a while now that your front door keeps staying open, a crack, a gap, enough to get enough cold air into my hot cup and my cold bones. I have talked to several people here about this, including one of your managers. They tell me that they have tried to address this problem with the landlord. It looks like it is something related to the heater and ventilation system. If they crank the heater, they say, the door stays shut, but then everybody is sweating inside the store. If they keep the temperature right, the door refuses to be shut.

I am writing to you because I simply refuse to believe that a corporation as big as Starbucks cannot take care of a problem that on the surface seems so easy to solve. I just can’t believe that this is going to go on for the rest of the winter. I am watching my friend and his wife sitting by the door and they seem to be ready to leave. How many other people will leave and not come back or drink inside their car where at least they can control the temperature?

“Make up air.” That is the name of the problem you’re having, I found out. I mean, it is not even a real problem, it is a make up one. Make up a solution for it!

But again, maybe not. I remember when you first came to Wooster. There was a typo on all your receipts. You spelled our town’s name “Wooser.” I was so appalled. If for no other reason, simply because it made it sound like “looser.” I kept mentioning it to the manager and anybody who would listen and it took you over a year to correct it.

I think you have a great store. The employees are cordial, they are efficient and fast without compromising the quality of the product they serve. The sense of team building is obvious in this place. But I can’t stand the cold here, so I must leave.

But don’t worry: I will be back. Your coffee is addictive. And maybe that’s what you are counting on with all your other customers — they will keep coming back just because you are Starbucks. Maybe they will, especially here since you are pretty much the only game in town. But is that all you want, that they should come back?

Or maybe they will wait until summer, when the door will no longer be fighting make up air. That problem out of the way, they will only have to worry about all the flies that invade your store during the warmer months of the year. But I am not worried this time around: I got an electric swatter from Thailand and I can’t wait to start using it.

Oh yes, if it is of any consolation to you, my friends haven’t left yet. They may be addicted too — at least to cold weather!

See you at the drive through!

Ivanildo C. Trindade