Pumpkin spice lattes are making Americans less productive

Get to work!
Get to work!
Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
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Pumpkin Spice latte season is upon us—also Pumpkin Spice latte outrage season—and that means countless sugar-crazed Americans standing in long morning lines at Starbucks around the country. Long lines that can cut into important work time.

This is hardly a new problem. The polarizing Starbucks drink is celebrating its 14th year, which means 14 years of workers clocking in late just to get their fix.

It’s worth remembering that the PSL almost never existed: Employees initially thought—rightly, in my opinion—that the pumpkin flavor was overwhelming and “didn’t put Starbucks’ coffee in the best light.” But the trend took off anyway. It’s now a fall (er, late summer) staple, and we’re definitely maybe??? paying for it economically.

“In most respects, America embraces any excuse to inhale sugary crap,” Georgia Frances King wrote in an eloquent PSL defense last year. “So why not pumpkin spice lattes? This is a country that makes casseroles from sweet potatoes and toasted marshmallows, and pudding from canned pineapple chunks and Cool Whip.”

The difference? A sweet potato casserole never almost never made anyone late for work.