I'm not sure why this freaks me out, but it just does. Like, Meg at Speeders knows my name, but only because I actually TALK to her all the time. I mean, it just feels weird, like some kind of fake community relations thing, to ask people their name for this purpose. The baristas are just going to FORGET your name. They have NO INTENTION of remembering your name. And who could blame them?
Starbucks is not a community coffeehouse, and as long as each venue has identical decor, and all that merch, it's just not going to be. For me, the attraction at Starbucks is that I'm anonymous. I rarely see people I know when I go there. I feel no need to chat with the baristas. I go there when I'm in a hurry, or when I have to focus on work. They make good coffee, but there's just no charm to a Starbucks. Fake, enforced friendliness can't make up for that local je ne sais quoi, non?