Awareness: Is this “Social Conditioning”?

… or am I just a little paranoid.

To be honest, and even I’ve noticed it, I tend to be a little bit of a conspiracy theorist.  Fortunately, ever since I realized it, I have so much fun with it.  But a bit of a secret between me and you, the one or two readers with whom I get to share these insights (thanks, folks!) – I’m wondering if there is a bit of a REAL conspiracy going on right now – Literally – under our noses.

I like coffee from the street.  I can’t make a good one at home.  Actually, I only drink tea at home because the coffee shops can’t make a good one on the street.  I usually buy 3 to 4 cups a day (even when I am p-o-o-r).  A few times recently, I’ve had to buy different sizes and I nearly bought a small.  I usually have jumbo or large.

I bought a medium size coffee at Tims recently and I noticed it was small.  I mean tiny.  I had to ask if they made a mistake.  It was a medium.  So I figured I would stay away from mediums at Tims.

Then I went to … Coffee Time (CT) … and got a … medium coffee.  I thought it would be a good deal for caffeine because they aren’t the same as Tims, so you get more.  Also applies to pastries.

That’s when my Meaning Making Machine (my brain) took over and started creating stories about what I think is going on.  That’s when I started to wonder about the conspiracy thing.

Here’s how I see it:

  1. The economy sucks.  To make money for their shareholders, they either raise prices or give less product (and squeeze the hell out of the poor staff that endure the punishment from management).
  2. The sizes of donuts and other foods at Tims get smaller and smaller.  CT’s pastries are excellent in the morning on the way to college. (There’s one at the end of my street.)
  3. They had to make the products smaller because they raised the prices quite a bit a few years ago.  They said it was because of the bad years of crops.  The prices never did go back down when the crops were better and the market was getting bigger. (Tims wasn’t bought out by Wendy’s because Dave Thomas enjoyed a smoke with the counter lady in Fort Erie after a Saturday night hockey game.  The company has been repatriated from Wendy’s though).
  4. The competitors in the coffee-delivery business got together and created this plan so they can all survive – even Tims.
  5. Because of the economy, this time they have to make money by cutting costs.  They may not be serving a growing market because their sales are shrinking, but they are still making a profit.
  6. Taking the point of view as a conspiracy, I figure “how Tims goes, so goes the competition”.  I think Tims leads the market, and don’t they have some kind of association or something?
  7. Then they discussed it and decided to keep each other afloat by smaking things smaller and then – RAISE THE PRICES!!!!!!  Everyone!!!!

I’ve got to stop.  All this conspiracy thing is getting my blood flowing.  I do have one final thought that has me question my thinking (my “why”).

Remember a few years back when it was all abuzz about there’s got to be ‘something in the coffee’ at Tims because people wait for 15 to 20 minutes for a coffee from them.  And most of still do!

Well, even if it isn’t true, they’ve all got us hooked.  Part Nurture, part Nature.  First, the Nature: we love coffee because we live in a cold climate, and coffee is addictive.  The Nurture: we are easily led (by our Canadianism) to accept Tims place in our historical lore; and as a result, they could raise prices, make goods smaller, or slow/unorganized service with relative ease.

So is Nurture the key?  Is that the Social Conditioning?  Have they conditioned us to accept the coffee wars as they play out because we love coffee and they love us for loving it.

So now you know my dilemma, and it is right under my nose.



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