One of the perks of working at my office is the fridge, which is typically stocked with a variety of non-alcoholic complimentary beverages. And while I’m not a big soda drinker, I do put back my fair share of bottled water. For the last couple of days, however, we’ve been bone dry in the water department. I thought I could hold out, but by lunch time today, I finally broke down and headed to CVS for a little H2O.
I was chatting on my cell phone with Marc as I approached the building and didn’t give much thought to the few people who ventured up to the automatic “IN” door and then turned back around. So there I am, blahbity blah on my phone while I stand in front of a door that is now very obviously not opening. I turned slightly to notice a CVS employee standing half-way in the “OUT” door and gave him a “what’s up?” look. He leaned in a little closer and almost apologetically whispered, “We’re temporarily closed for a few minutes…we just got robbed.” As I relayed the information to Marc, he pointed out how lucky I was to have not embarked on my water seeking mission five minutes earlier. Troy, on the other hand, was a little saddened by the fact that I wasn’t there in time to have possibly scored free candy.
I decided on CVS because they are generally inexpensive, and they take a debit card — very important considering I never carry cash. So now I was left high and dry (quite literally) in my quest for liquid replenishment. With no other real choice, I finally settled for Starbuck’s, knowing that their little wicker display basket is always stocked with Ethos Water. As I forked over my $1.80 for a single bottle of water, I rationalized the expense by reminding myself that this water, unlike other less socially-conscious water, actually helps people — children to be more specific. I felt good about it and even took a moment to read the darn label for more information. Did you know that water-related diseases are the leading cause of death among children worldwide? No. Ethos (TM) spring water comes from a protected natural source, straight from the earth to you. Hmm…I thought it tasted better than that other corporate water. Sodium Free. Always a plus. 5 cents from the sale of every bottle [goes to] humanitarian water projects. WHAT?!? Five whole cents? Whoopdie Doo. I read it again to be sure that I hadn’t missed a zero in there somewhere, hoping that maybe I misread 50. But no, just 5 cents.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than nothing, but these guys are true marketing geniuses. I’m quite convinced that the other $1.75 is disbursed as follows: $0.35 for the positively cool looking bottle; $0.15 for the bottle’s proportionate share of rent for it’s prime location in the wicker basket; $0.05 for my barista; and $1.20 for Peter & Jonathan, the brainiacs who thought this all up in the first place and whose reproduced signatures grace the aforementioned bottle. Who knows? Maybe I’m just a cynic, but it seems like $0.05 on a nearly-two-dollar bottle of water is a little slim.