Boost, call me “Amanda”

Boost Juice Bars annoy me. It’s not the product — that’s just fruit juice. It’s not the loud music — that’s just a futile attempt to drown out the machines. No, it’s because they always want to know my name, when all I want is juice.

For Boost, this is part of “Our Guarantee”. I can’t link to it, they’ve got one of those stupid Flash websites. But it includes:

Be polite enough to call you by your first name.

Dodgy grammar aside, this assumes everyone wants to be called by name in a juice bar. I don’t. Apart from having an unusual name and not wanting to draw attention to it, like many people who grew up in the country I find it rude when a stranger demands my name. And I find it uncomfortable when some teenager calls out my name in a busy shop.

As Allan and Barbara Pease write in The Definitive Book of Body Language:

People raised in sparsely populated rural areas… need more Personal Space than those raised in densely populated cities.

This applies to psychological space as well as physical. I won’t tell a stranger my name until I know them a bit better. If I’m just buying juice, I’ll probably never see them again. So I’ll be polite, but I won’t want them to know anything personal. And I won’t be so rude as to ask them either.

Boost does this with best intentions. “Our Guarantee” also says:

Make you feel great, give you something to smile about and always give you a reason to choose BOOST!

But once I’ve placed my order, handed over cash and received change, that’s the end of the transaction. Psychologically I’ve moved into that state called “staring aimlessly at random objects while waiting”. A personal question at this point is unsettling.

So Janine Allis, founder of Boost, I’ll continue to tell your staff my name is Amanda Vanstone and let them suffer a little discomfort too. Unless , of course, there’s another juice bar nearby where I can remain comfortably anonymous.

5 Replies to “Boost, call me “Amanda””

  1. I can’t remember if it’s Boost or one of the other similar bars, but I noticed that at one point rather than asking “What is your name?” they were asking something like “What name can I call you?”

    It seemed to me like they were quite open to the idea of you giving them a soundbite that wasn’t your real name..

    In theory, I always give these places a fake name anyway, just out of protest. In practice, I always remember this three seconds after giving them my name..

  2. I was going to say something. Then I read the comment that’s already here, and was stunned that it was so close to what I was going to say. then I noticed that it’s because it was me…



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