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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By Michael Newcomer, Tarpon Springs High
We’re all guilty of it, this kind of eatery exclusivity. You walk into a restaurant/coffee shop/fast food joint, waving to the crowd of people that are seemingly waiting for your arrival. It takes a solid five minutes just to get to the counter, because you’ve suddenly become President Obama at a campaign stop. You notice a new face. Hmmm, I’ve never seen you before. Do I know you? Better yet, do I want to know you? It’s obviously just a passer-by. Oh, you come here often? Well I’m mayor on foursquare.
Why do we have such a loyalty to certain food places? I’m pretty sure that out of the “billions served” at McDonalds, I’m at least one million of them. My infrequent monthly visits to Starbucks are filled with mild alienation as other more regular customers catch up with the baristas like they’re old friends they haven’t seen in years. You notice the kid that sits in front of you in Economics is at Panera every single time you go there, but he won’t say a word to you. You’re lucky to get a wave — this is his domain, and you’re not a frequent visitor.
I believe it was the advent of the rewards card that started this trend. Why would you eat at a restaurant over and over if you weren’t racking up benefits to go there? If you go to Panera Bread a lot and spend $8 on a sandwich each time, you get a free drink or coffee in no time. Wow! A $2 value for spending at least 10 times that! Logical.
We all like having that one food hangout we belong to, but give some other establishments a little love, too. In this economy, small businesses need all the attention they can get, and I guarantee you that eventually a $2 cup of Kahwa coffee (in downtown St. Petersburg at 204 Second Ave. S) or a $6 sandwich at Primi’s (27 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg), will knock the socks off of that corporate conglomerate you call home.