Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sweet, caffeinated memories

I am in Starbucks, rockin' out to my classical Pandora music station. I am rocking out privately, via headphones, but every once in a while I pull the buds out of my ears to make sure my musical party is in fact private. It's been long enough since my retirement at Starbucks that I can generally come in here and feel like a customer, but occasionally, like today, I reminisce of times when I was on the other side of the counter at Starbucks. Come back in time with me, will you? Once upon a time, in a time called 2009 (or thereabouts)...

A man who was sitting at the much-coveted table with a cushioned bench seat was working on his computer. He had his headphones in. He was being a good little worker bee. And suddenly: Jock Jams were being broadcast from his booth, much to the enjoyment of the caffeine-hyped baristas, who--duh--began to dance.

Eventually the man realized the sound was being fed outward to the public rather than only to his ears. Though embarrassed, the good sport made a joke. And then, sadly, fixed his blunder which had spread happiness and cheer to those of us in our aprons and who now missed the tunes. I recall Lynn specifically expressing her hope that they would come back. 

Another 'Bucks memory I recalled earlier today comes from a shift early on in my career as a java slinger. 

Background info/coffee lesson for the day: I worked at a drive-thru store, and several of us would wear headsets so that we could work as a team to take outside orders. For example, if I was talking to someone outside, asking for the details of what exactly was desired in a latte, while hustling to the back room to get more cups (kind of a key ingredient in the coffee business), someone else could be standing at the register and punching in the order. Then, when it came time for me to announce the cost of the order, my coworker could press a button on the headset making her only audible to me and the other baristas but not to the customer, then tell me $7.35, and then I would repeat the price to the customer. 

High tech, eh? And you thought making coffee was a simple affair. I believe at no other job have I multi-tasked the way I did at Starbucks. 'Tis not a vocation for the weak, my friends. 

During one of my first shifts, while I was just a baby barista and before I had made my break into blogging, my hilarious friend Tahlia, a veteran barista, was wearing a headset. I don't remember if she was taking a drive-thru order or just listening in, but the person placing an order must have been a little snippy, because Tahlia said, just to us inside, "This guy sounds like he needs his Frappuccino down his pants."

I thought this was so funny that I told my mother, who laughed. And today, nearly five years later, I still can laugh out loud just thinking about it. Like I did this morning, and again just now, while typing about it. 

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