The Dunkin Donuts in my neighborhood is out to get me. They are seriously gaslighting me. And when it's not about the sugar, it's about the milk. A week or so ago, I went in and ordered a large iced coffee with skim milk and sugar. As I was getting my change, I took a sip and it tasted like it had arsenic in it. Not that I know what arsenic tastes like... but it was nauseatingly sweet, how I imagine arsenic would taste if Dunkin Donuts unveiled a new specialty drink, the Arsenicaccino.
"What's in this?" I asked the employee. "It's really strong." She rolled her eyes and said, "You asked for sugar. It's liquid sugar." I said, "Liquid sugar? I'd prefer normal sugar. This is really too sweet." She slammed my coffee down on the counter and said, "You have to ask when you want that. We use liquid." Just like that. No signs, no announcement, no $30 million ad campaign. Suddenly, it's liquid sugar as the default. Except when it's not.
Now, getting an iced coffee at my neighborhood Dunkin Donuts has become an unpleasant chore. I always have to say, "skim milk and sugar...the powdered sugar, not the liquid. Not powdered as in confectioners like on the powdered donuts, but granulated. Do you know what I mean? Please, no liquid sugar. I like my sugar chewable." There's just no graceful way to say it.
And when I go to other Dunkin Donuts and go through my sugar litany they look at me like I'm crazy. "What is this liquid sugar you speak of? We have never heard of such a thing." So I guess this sugar issue is a strategic decision, made not at the corporate but at the franchise level. Hence no $30 million ad campaign.
Today I went in for an iced coffee, said my usual sugar speech, and the woman went to the fridge and got out regular whole milk and as I was trying to get out the words, "No - skim milk, please," I was leaning over the counter and watching her pour the milk in. She handed it to me and I said, "I asked for skim; may I have skim?" and she said, "No, I heard you and didn't use that milk. I got the skim milk." I SAW HER. I saw her pour the whole milk in. I saw her NOT use skim milk. I tasted not-skim milk. Of course it's not a big deal in the scheme of things, but she LIED TO ME.
I thought, "Am I going crazy? Am I so distracted about the sugar that I'm no longer paying attention to the milk? Should I go check into McLean? What year is it? Where am I?" Then, once the Ativan kicked in, I realized I'm too much of a control freak to leave the milk and sugar components of my iced coffee to others. From now on, it's Starbucks and only Starbucks. Who cares if the coffee costs $8.00 more and I have to order my sizes in fake Italian? I get to ADD THE MILK AND SUGAR MYSELF. It's well worth my sanity and besides, the coffee actually tastes like - well, coffee, and not dirty water. With arsenic.