Friday, April 27, 2007


Today I stopped into Starbucks to have a latté and read. I'm enjoying Graham Greene's compelling espionage novel, the Human Factor; I'm arranging my days in such a way that I have plenty of time to read. I was at Starbucks right before shift change, standing in the predictably long line. There were two cashiers and one person making drinks. Both cashiers were calling out orders while ringing-in customers: "one grande mocha with soy hold the foam" and other complexities rattled-off two at a time. As I approached the counter the manager pitched-in, pre-calling drink orders from those of us still waiting for a register: "let me know what you'll be having, sir." By the time I was crowded with everyone at the pick-up counter, many empty pre-labeled cups were sitting at the espresso machine, there was no longer any line, and the clock struck four. The employee making the drinks got off. Then the manager left the scene, "my work here is done" he seemed to be saying. He was actually saying something along the lines of "make these drinks" to the team member punching-in. She seemed a little surprised she'd be making drinks today. She thought she was replacing a cashier. She wasn't thrilled. But she jumped right in and started knocking those orders out. Orders out of chaos. The crowd grumbled about her attitude: she wasn't being very nice in her hurry. My latté was perfect, by the way. While I didn't witness this scene alone, I suspect I was the only person present with the experience to understand it. Hey four o'clock barista: you did great during your first few minutes on shift today. Your manager, on the other hand, was a useless ass. On the third hand, I'm roundly happy to be retired. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger qemuel added:

Poor kid. Kudos to her for stepping up when those around her were useless self-important asses.

You can always tell the person who has worked retail: he/she is the one who is patient and understanding of the messed up situation.

Sigh...I can't wait until I have retired from retail.

Saturday, April 28, 2007 4:55:00 AM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Yeah. In my fantasy, the other customers actually got rude with her and I got to really tell them off in the very same way I always wish mine had when people’d gotten bitchy with me. But, alas, they were just sort of huffy, so my one comment to the lady beside me (who said "my, someone isn't in a very good mood today, huh?") was pretty peace-keeping. But I was all ready with the righteous fury, damn it.

Saturday, April 28, 2007 1:51:00 PM  

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