Wednesday, September 13, 2006

After pointing to it many times...

I got to write a post for it.  See me on thedailywtf today.  Got a free personalized (ultimate extensibility) coffee mug out of the experience.

Speaking of coffee mugs, I cannot remember how painful an afternoon in a place away from home between engagements was dealt with before

  • starbucks
  • t-mobile
  • GPS

I was at a customer site from 8am to 12:30pm today.  Then, got in my car and drove the 20 miles to the next place I had to be, for a 5:30pm engagement (the Philadelphia Oracle User Group).  Needless to say - it was only about 1:30pm by then.  So, punch starbucks into my GPS, found one 2.3 miles away - drove over and here I am.

With my large vanilla latte.

And high speed internet access.

And my XM radio...

Almost as good as being at home/office.

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36 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Very good - starbucks always seen inviting to me ... you should watch your coffee input over a 4 hour period though Tom! The Phily user group won't know what hit them!

Interestingly I visited a Starbucks near my client this morning and asked about internet access - they didn't have it but the Barista mentioned that if I sat in the window I could pick up the free access from the Panara bakery across the street! Its true - you can!

Wed Sep 13, 02:28:00 PM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

Now remind me, "large", is that "tall, "grande" or "venti" in starbucks-speech? I feel so backwards not knowing.

Wed Sep 13, 02:51:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I refuse to use "venti" "tall" and so on. I use small medium and large.

They have always figured it out.

If they say "you want the tall one then?" I say "no, I want the small one, the one with two sizes - medium and large - above it"

My own personal protest I guess.

I don't like that burger king starts with "medium" either. How confusing, I always want the small - they say they don't have small - I say oh yes you do, you know what key to hit...

Wed Sep 13, 03:29:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous RobH said....

I refuse to use "venti" "tall" and so on. I use small medium and large.

They have always figured it out.

If they say "you want the tall one then?" I say "no, I want the small one, the one with two sizes - medium and large - above it"

My own personal protest I guess.


Awesome! I've been tempted to use french and say "What you don't understand?"

Wed Sep 13, 03:36:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Starbuck's marketing is very clever. They've managed to brainswash people into thinking tall=small.
I have absolutely *never* ordered using their terminology. I go with S/M/L, it works every time. If the guy tries to make me repeat using the Starbucks patois, I always go: "you know what I mean: the smallest one" or "THAT ONE: the biggest one you've got".

Wed Sep 13, 05:48:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Is that supposed to be Italian ? "grande"="big", ok, but "venti"="twenty"(but also "winds") ??

And I'm sure that if I pronounce "grande" the way it's meant to be pronounced, the "barista" will not understand :)

Wed Sep 13, 06:33:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous doug c said....

Hey Tom - What sort of GPS setup do you have? Did you buy one of the self - contained units? Or, something that plugs into the laptop or what?

Wed Sep 13, 07:32:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Love the talk about ordering in Starbucks terminology, I also hate it and order with s/m/l here in the UK

Wed Sep 13, 07:34:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Dan Kefford said....

lol... I remember once ordering a "large" mocha and was told by the Starbucks representative, "Ummm... we don't have 'large'-- it's called 'venti'". Ugh.

Wed Sep 13, 08:23:00 PM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

>> I always go: "you know what I mean: the smallest one" ...

Here's my tip for good coffee from Starbucks ... ask for a "short dry cappuccino", which comes in the child sized 8oz cups and is the only decent cup of coffee they sell. Some of them actually won't sell it, but if they do then it's pretty nice.

>> Is that supposed to be Italian ? "grande"="big", ok, but "venti"="twenty"(but also "winds") ??

Yes, venti is 20oz, and is also a registered trademark of Starbuck incidentally. Sounds like they can keep it.

>> And I'm sure that if I pronounce "grande" the way it's meant to be pronounced, the "barista" will not understand :)

They have trouble with "cappuccini" as the plural also ... it makes their eyes glaze momentarily and they go all slack-jawed. (We have to make our own entertainment round these parts).


And by the way, that "venti" vanilla latte is 400 calories, 120 of them from it's 16gms of fat of which 9gms are saturated. Most of the rest comes from the 46gms of sugar ... a short nonfat cappuccino is about 53 calories, just so you know ;)

Wed Sep 13, 10:26:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Roderick said....

My weakness - Tall Java Chip Frappuccino > 400 calories. I'm able to limit my consumption to maybe once a quarter. Oddly, there is no Starbucks within walking distance of work (that I know of), and the one next to my home never seems to be open while I'm around. I'll consider myself lucky.

So what Science Fiction character does that map to? Oops wrong topic.

Thu Sep 14, 12:32:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Silly sizes are one thing, but a black coffee over here in the UK seems to have become an Americano over the last few years. Not sure why, and I've always wondered if you are allowed to have an Americano with milk, oh erm, that will be a white coffee then.

At the end of the day though I much prefer my breakfast-time caffeine shot from my trusty, stove-top Bialetti moka express.

Thu Sep 14, 02:35:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Colin 't Hart said....

Tom,

Not sure if you'll be reading all the comments on the Daily WTF so I'll repeat my short comment here:

Have you looked inside an Oracle Warehouse Builder repository? This practice also occurs inside Oracle :-(

Cheers,

Colin

Thu Sep 14, 02:52:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Alan from Annapolis said...
Tom,
Excellent presentation last night in Philly. Regarding Starbucks, NPR mentioned people learning to get their $4 Venti Iced Latte for $2.50 by ordering the Expresso over ice, then adding the milk at the condiment bar. I prefer the milk steamed... but I should "question authority" and try it.

Thu Sep 14, 09:42:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

As for starbucks, after seeing how many calories are in the vanilla latte - I'm going back to plain black coffee (or espresso)

Thu Sep 14, 09:49:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Product sabotage. I think Oracle is world class on this. $25K/processor for something already there, indeed.

Great WTF post! Now we know what to say to people who insist that everything should be in the database. At least with RAD or extreme (or whatever the equivalent buzz is today), it is the idea to get to a useable design.

My favorite free coffee mug is still the one with the Cheshire cat that disappears when hot liquid is put in. A DECUS VMS freebie from about 20 years ago. My wife uses those nice OpenWorld mugs daily, makes her own Latte as good as any Starbucks, and a heck of a lot cheaper.

word: ikstn

Thu Sep 14, 10:24:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

What sort of GPS setup do you have?

the one that comes builtin to the toyota prius.


This practice also occurs inside Oracle :-(

I've never said the various and sundry applications we have are "perfection in design personified". We employee human beings just like everyone else :)

Thu Sep 14, 10:31:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Megan said....

I was at your presentation last night - thanks! Where did you post the slides? On your website somewhere?

What was Harrisburg Tech Day? Looks like you have several interesting presentations from that event.

Thu Sep 14, 10:52:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I sent the material used to Raju who will be making it available to all of the attendees.

The Harrisburg Tech day was a State and Local Government Seminar - we do a four hour session with various speakers for State and Local Government employees (my division covers Public Sector customers)

Thu Sep 14, 11:11:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Doug said....

I also order at Starbucks using S/M/L.

On a recent visit, a new cashier didn't relay my order properly to the drink makers and a more senior employee patiently corrected him. I made a comment about "why don't you just use s/m/l, etc?" and she explained (very politely) something to the effect that the customers are free to say whatever they want, but that by using a standard vocabulary (and syntax) it will reduce the number of messed up orders.

Thu Sep 14, 02:04:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Patty C. said....

large vanilla latte?? And you and David called my vanilla vodka and cranberry juice a foo-foo drink? Hmmm...

Thu Sep 14, 03:01:00 PM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

But you regained the respect of us all by drinking seven before dinner, Patty!

Fri Sep 15, 08:32:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

seven before dinner

and there are pictures to prove it ;)

But even Mr Aldridge has been known to partake of a "fru-fru" drink every now and again. (Shrek too apparently ;)

Fri Sep 15, 08:40:00 AM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

In our defence, those were free drinks. The usual rules do not apply.

Fri Sep 15, 09:00:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Patty C. said....

Thanks for the support David. I see you are still trying to make up for that left-handed female comment.. ;)

Fri Sep 15, 10:42:00 AM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

I'm doing my best!

Fri Sep 15, 02:47:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi Tom! Listened to your recent "seminar" in Bala Cynwyd, PA. It was like an "Indian Nation" out there!
It puzzles me (mind you I am not in Information Technology) how US university IT graduates cannot find IT jobs, but, we issue 65000 visas to Indians that we cannot even verify their degrees! To add insult to injury, one of your peers Raju seems to favor Indians above the real Americans in his hiring process!
Take care and God Bless. Remember I'm just a concerned fan!

Wed Sep 20, 10:52:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Fawlty said....


...Raju seems to favor Indians above the real Americans in his hiring process!


It is actually quite common.
It's kind of an unspoken "inside knowledge".
Most people in this field don't openly speak about this - even on the Net.

You have to know the Indian culture a little and know about Indian workplace culture to understand the "why".

In my own experience I've had FAR better outcomes in interviews with non-Indian interviewer than otherwise.

Thu Sep 21, 01:13:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

To say the last two comments disturb me would be putting it mildly. I do not agree with the sentiments put forth at all.

I think you'll find different concentrations of different people - where ever you go. I travel a lot, the mix of peoples varies so widely.

And we all live here. Get used to that.

Thu Sep 21, 01:35:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hey Tom sorry I did not reply you in time: How many Indians are fighting for this country? I watch the news daily...I see AMERICANS dying daily in Iraq and you have the gumption to tell us we all live here?????? Indians DID NOT CONCEIVE INFORMATION TECHOLOGY. WE DID!!! So why are we catering to them?

Tue Sep 26, 10:21:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I understand this! I recently interviewed with Mr. R.S. HE came in with his poodle (Nick) who looked dumb-founded like a Chihuahua dog!!! least to say I did not get the position(I am not an Indian!).

Tue Sep 26, 10:33:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

As for the last two posts, words cannot express my disappointment.

Disappointment in the posters of those statements.

Wed Sep 27, 02:47:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

anonymous from post above Tom - something in my mind tells me most certainly that you've done nothing in your present life for *your* America. I don't know why. And now when you have to move that bottom of yours to earn your daily bread (which, btw, you have to move otherwise Indians will earn that bread you so would wanna die for) you find yourself nothing better but at criticising your identity and existence. At least Indians are working with other folks from your country (and others) helping solve problems of still other folks around the world. Go earn your own bread! You haven't got even a wind of what Tom meant when he said "And we all live here. Get used to that."
I purport your disappointment Tom.

Wed Feb 14, 03:47:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

anonymous from post above Tom - something in my mind tells me most certainly that you've done nothing in your present life for *your* America. I don't know why. And now when you have to move that bottom of yours to earn your daily bread (which, btw, you have to move otherwise Indians will earn that bread you so would wanna die for) you find yourself nothing better but at criticising your identity and existence. At least Indians are working with other folks from your country (and others) helping solve problems of still other folks around the world. Go earn your own bread! You haven't got even a wind of what Tom meant when he said "And we all live here. Get used to that."
I purport your disappointment Tom.

Wed Feb 14, 03:48:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

If you want to talk about coffee mugs visit this post!

Fri Nov 23, 04:46:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I agree with the writer about indian culture and prejudice.

I think TOm is acting as a politician mostly in not answering the question.

From my own experiences, most indians producer nightmare systems, very bad coders and cant think beyond the box. My job has turned into a full time tester for the crap I see. Most are hired by incompetent ex-militay american managers who have no idea or knowledge about system engineering.

I think Tom knows it inside of him but he cant comment on it as a VP at oracle. maybe after he retires he wil write a book on that.

Tue Aug 10, 12:10:00 AM EDT  

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