Starbucks gift card

Last spring, I took an online learning module developed by the pediatric department designed to test my knowledge of vaccines.  For my participation in this experimental project I received a Starbucks gift card.  Last month, I took a survey designed to evaluate some of our internal clinic procedures.  For my participation I received…a Starbucks gift card.  The thing is, I don’t actually drink coffee!

Most of you reading this won’t understand what it’s like for a non-coffee drinker like myself.  Coffee is so pervasive in our society, soon it will be coming out of our faucets!  I replay the following scene at least a few times every week.

Colleague #1: Hey, I’m going to the cafeteria to get some coffee, anyone want some?”
Colleague #2: Sure, I’ll join you.
Colleague #3,4,5…17: Us too!
(Everyone turns to me)
Colleagues 1-17 (simultaneously): James?
Me:  No, no thanks.  No coffee for me.
Colleague #1: You sure?
Me: Yes, I’m sure.
Colleagues 1-17: (exchange confused looks and murmur to each other)  Really?
Me:  Yes!  Yes, I’m absolutely sure.  Please, read my lips…no coffee for me. Really!

Coffee is everywhere in our society.  Every morning, someone in my vicinity is either brewing it or buying it or grinding it, or french pressing it…and I am constantly having to refuse offers of coffee.  Pretty soon, I’m going to start wearing a sign on my head that reads, “To you generous offer of coffee, I politely decline,” and save everyone the trouble. 

I do actually drink it sometimes.  Just not first thing in the morning.  It makes me nauseous, jittery and have to pee when I start the day with it.  But, back to my original point, couldn’t the ‘thank you’s’ for the various research projects I have so selflessly contributed to be a gift card from some other, non-coffee specializing establishment?  Why not an iTunes gift card, or a coupon for a free lap dance at Club Ecstasy?  (Not that I’ve ever been there…just sayin’)  Or better yet, the gift could simply be a syringe filled with dopamine that I could inject directly into my brain.  That would be cool.

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