Back in August 2009, I was on my way to Chris Pirillo's Gnomedex Conference in Seattle. There was a handful of conferences I got excited about and Chris' was one of them. Still sleepy, I picked up a coffee from Starbucks in the Nashville airport to wake myself up.
I boarded my flight, found my seat, and relaxed as I sipped my morning java. A woman entered the plane and searched back and forth until she found her spot next to me. She smiled and I smiled as the captain came on the PA and said something inaudible. I reached the bottom of my coffee and took that last satisfying swig when horror occurred.
My mouth was suddenly full of coffee grounds. In a split-second moment of disgust, I spurted it back out onto my hand and the cup. I don't think the woman noticed, but if she had, she probably would have handed me the barf bag.
Naturally, I took to Twitter.
Thanks for the mouthful of coffee grounds @starbucks! Ugh :(
The TwitPic link went to the photo you see at the top of this post. You couldn't attach media to your tweets back in 2009. Rest in piece, TwitPic.
The next day I was wandering the conference center floor between speakers. Starbucks was a sponsor of Gnomedex, and I came across their space. They offered me a free coffee, so I happily accepted. When the gentleman was speaking with me, I decided to mention what had happened on the flight. I wasn't annoyed or upset, I thought it was a simple mistake that could have happened to anyone. No barista has x-ray vision.
When I began to tell the man what had happened, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I know, Dave. I saw your tweet. I'm @starbucks on Twitter."
I felt the heat of my face blushing hotter than the coffee cup in my hand. I apologized for the tweet. I should have known better because I too represented a brand on Twitter at the time. We both ended up having a laugh about it, but it served as a good reminder.
Behind every Twitter profile there is a person.