Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Getting To Know You

on 11 April 2010

We know you by drink. Two venti double blended coffee Frappuccino lights. Two grande lattes, one with one Splenda. Two venti double blended mocha Frappuccinos. Quad espresso macchiato- two raw sugars three equals. Iced decaf double venti no ice extra caramel caramel macchiato. Grande no foam latte and grande breve no foam latte. Grande pike in a venti cup.

They are just drinks, to be sure. Yet, it’s nice to know as these customers walk in what they will be ordering; it’s fun to spot them in the parking lot and have their drinks on the counter before they get to the register. It’s nice to have a little respite from the endless stream of customers and see a familiar, friendly face. It’s wonderful to know that they aren’t going to complain about the seating, make a fuss about who makes their drink, argue about the cost and tell us that “the store down the street only charges for such-and-such.”

You don’t tell us how to do our jobs, or how to make your drink. You trust us to listen to your order, to remember those tiny details that make your drink uniquely yours.

In return, we care about you. When you miss a day, we worry. When you miss a few days, we really worry. We try to listen about your lives; we learn your stories. Your joy becomes our happiness- your sorrow becomes our pain.

We notice when your son’s college schedule changes and you come in on your work break alone. We tell you to say “hi” to your wife when you get her drink to take home with you. We fight back tears when you tell us that your daughter will only live two more years. We try to cheer you up with conversation before you have to go spend 10 hours fixing boring mechanical issues. We rejoice when you tell us that your little girl is getting a baby brother. We pray for you when you tell us your son is caught in the middle of devastating earthquakes, and breathe a sigh of relief when you tell us that he’s okay. We ask your advice on where the best auto-mechanics are located.

This is what makes our job worthwhile; this is why we show up day after day, night after night. Brewing coffee isn’t what we planned for our lives. None of us dream of being Starbucks corporate one day. However you, our dear customers, make it all worth doing. You aren’t related to us, we don’t know you outside of the four walls of the store. However, you open up your life to us, you share what you are thinking and feeling, you take an interest in how we are doing. You make it enjoyable to get through our shift, you keep us from quitting when things get tough.

Thank you.

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4 responses to “Getting To Know You

  1. Wongster360 says:

    What a wonderful blog, I couldn’t have said this better if I tried, thank you!

  2. mum says:

    Great post! Your Starbucks is about soooo much more than the coffee! It’s the atmosphere, the people you see day after day, the conversations that get started over a mutual interest, and the continuing interactions.

    It really is remarkable: we’ve seen a baby as a newborn, now running through the cafe and jumping into our arms, we’ve prayed for her dad when he was away at the war and in Haiti. We’ve cared for people as they have lost and/or changed jobs, had hospital stays, planned weddings and ordered their cakes.

    Your team is the best at caring and sharing….certainly what our fast-paced impersonal world needs. There is a warmth there that goes beyond the “Norm!” (You knew I had to work that in….!).

    Wouldn’t trade all of you for anything….it’s a little touch of “Mayberry,” and we all need that!

    Love you,
    Mum

    Besides, who else has their family members and friends tidying up just because we care?

    • Thanks! I agree- it’s a small town world in the middle of a big, busy city. We like to call it the “third place” feel. Too, it’s nice to have a group of pleasant people as our long-term customer base. And yes, “Norm”, we appreciate your tidying help. :) Love you!

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