How to order and behave at Tim Hortons to make the world a better place

I’m one of those oddball Canadians who doesn’t frequent Tim Hortons on a regular basis……probably because I’m not a coffee drinker! I have sipped the occasional iced cappuccino, hot smoothee, or hot chocolate from Timmies, but my visits to this hallowed Canadian institution are rather infrequent.

While in New York City recently I walked past a couple small Tim Hortons restaurants that had just opened. These weren’t the stand-alone establishments with drive thrus we’re used to finding on every other street corner in Canada. These were small coffee shops sandwiched between souvenir shops, clothing stores and hotels on busy streets in Manhattan. I wondered how they would fare in the U.S. and how quickly Americans would pick up the Timmies coffee lingo.

Ordering a beverage at Tim’s – or at just about any other coffee establishment – has always held a kind of mystique for me since the world of double doubles, mocacchinos, grandes and lattes is not one I visit very often.

Luckily for me and all those Americans just being introduced to Tim’s, the Facebook group Tim Hortons Rules of Ordering and More (which boasts over 7,000 members!) has posted a comprehensive list of rules for proper behaviour and ordering at Tim’s. The group is for “everyone who gets fed up with people who don’t know what they want, and for workers who have to put up with this everyday.” Apparently “If people would just listen to these rules when ordering, the world will be a better place.”

For the sake of world peace, you’d be advised to read on…..

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“RRRoll Up The Rim” invention a great stocking stuffer

The Lee Valley Early Christmas catalogue arrived this week. Yikes! A sign of the season, I guess.

It’s not that I’m surprised to see a Christmas catalogue. After all, Christmas is just a little over two months away. It’s just that there’s too much on the calendar between now and then. No doubt it will – as usual – be a mad race to meet the festive season deadlines (i.e. Dec. 25th!) and still remain sane.

Okay. So I just took a time-out to do some deep breathing and relaxation exercises. The thought of the impending arrival of Christmas had the heart rate and blood pressure up for a minute, but I think a few deep breaths and mental images of lying on a white sandy beach in Mexico have brought things under control. I think. Now, where were we? Ah yes, the Lee Valley catalogue…..

As I paged through the catalogue, an item sandwiched between a finger wrench and a tea ball infuser on an insert between pages 16 and 17 caught my attention.  Called a Rimroller, the gadget promises to “effortlessly unroll rims on paper cups”. It was invented by Paul Kind of Ottawa, Ontario as a tool to roll up the rims of the gazillions of cups of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. purchased at Tim Hortons during their RRRoll Up The Rim To Win contests. The Rimroller reveals whether you have won something or are invited to “Please play again” with a quick push down and a pull up motion, and more importantly, without chipping a tooth or breaking a nail (as one might do if performing this task manually!).

Although Tim Hortons provides tips on unrolling cup rims, or as their web site calls it – becoming a master roller, I invariably fight with the rims of my empty hot chocolate or hot smoothee cups to reveal the hidden message that will tell me if it’s my lucky day. The Rimroller, which conveniently doubles as a keychain, sounds like it would be a helpful gadget. Since there will likely be another RRRoll Up The Rim To Win contest in 2009 and the Rimrollers are just $2.50 each, you really can’t go wrong picking up one for yourself and some to give as stocking stuffers. (The catalogue price drops to $2.00 each if you purchase five or more.)

You’ll find more information about the Rimroller on the Rimroller website and in this CityNews report. Look for it here in the Lee Valley catalogue. Oh, apparently you can buy it at Zellers too.