After a morning jog, I decided to browse through the neighborhood Barnes and Noble. While flipping through the pages of this and that, the Starbucks called me from the back corner of the store. The Starbucks has an evil, beckoning call. Have you ever heard it? It says, “I smell of roasted coffee beans and cinnamon and have addictive caffeine with fancy, nonsensical Italian names that have somehow become universal among all boutique coffee shops. Come. Drink Me.”
So, with zero willpower against the sweet Siren song, I went to the counter and ordered a “Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiato, please.” A greasy, barista responded, “You sure you don’t want an extra shot with that?”
Now, I realize I had just been jogging and was not looking my finest, but I did not feel that it was a Starbucks barista’s place to say so. I wanted to verify that I wasn’t misunderstanding him. “Oh gosh, do I really look that tired?” I said with forced humor.
“Well, yeah, a little,” he said with a frog-like, back-of-the-throat chuckle. A moment of disbelief passed and then he added, “Want 20 extra?” This comment was followed by much self-congratulatory laughter.
He then wanted to know if I’d like to be in the YouTube video he’s aspiring to create. From what I understand, he hopes to be filmed while taking 20 shots of espresso at once. Preferably, with a customer. I do appreciate a person with lofty, artistic ambitions, but I had to refuse.
I left Barnes and Noble with my cup of coffee (3 shots), and thoughts of my conversation with Starbuck’s Man lingered. I was a little disturbed. This was a weird sort of customer service. Why do some people have no sense of social decorum? And, mmm, man, this is a nice cup of coffee. Grande. Skinny. Triple shot. Caramel. Macchiato…
Starbucks’ familiar call lingered behind me, singing, “Despite everything, you’ll be back again. See ya real soon…”