Friday, July 16, 2010
Thoughts While in the Starbucks Drive Thru
I am beginning to believe there is no such thing as a happy medium. No, I'm not talking about some happy nut case that claims to talk to famous dead people. Really, what's up with that anyway? Why do they claim to talk to famous people? If you want to convince me that you actually talk to dead folks then maybe you should talk to some dead guy who lived his life between a river cabin and a trailer park drinking like a fish and smoking like a coal fired power plant until one day dying from a massive myocardial infarction (I just reached my goal for placing the word infarction into a sentence) I would use the giddy grande (medium at Starbucks) to ask the dead dude if the excess was worth it.
Nope, the happy medium I am talking about is in the service we get each and every day. I long for the day where I can go into any store and get civil service. I go to one store, fast food joint or whatever and the person behind the counter barely looks up to acknowledge that I am there. Or, this is my favorite, they do look at me, but in a way that makes me feel like I just interrupted some deep thought that would have changed the world but will now forever be forgotten because they suffer from ADD and can't think past the last five seconds. Pardon me for thinking that your actual job description includes scanning my items and taking my money, a portion of which makes it into your wallet.
Sometimes I am such an imposition.
I guess I would be happy with consistency. If everywhere I went I got consistently bad service, I would be able to accept that. I would even throw in with attitude and a can of corn at the clerks head. Okay, I wouldn't really throw the can of corn, a loaf of bread maybe, but not corn.
So I am in the drive thru at Starbucks. I pulled up to the speaker and get ready to order.
“Good evening. And how are you tonight?” says the singsong voice in the speaker.
I am thrown off by the slightly effeminate voice and before I can come up with something witty to say back I reply, “I am doing well. How are you tonight?”
Singsong says, “I am doing well, thanks for asking. How may I help you tonight?”
Before I go any further I want to say that at this point in this man love conversation I want to say something like, “My feet hurt, can you rub them? That would really be a big help,” Instead I order a Venti Pike's Place.
I get to the window, pay for my coffee...more pleasantries..ignore the tip box and leave with hot coffee in cup holder.
That bit of uncomfortable human interaction really bothered me. I don't know what that says about me. Hmm, on second thought, yes I do. What bothered me was that the guy didn't seem genuine. The clerk at the grocery store is genuine. They genuinely don't want to be there and it shows. The barista, or is that barister, was obviously following a sales technique that some out of touch Starbucks executive thinks will sell more coffee. Do you know what sells more coffee? Addiction...
I think that the happy medium that I long for would be a real interaction between two people. When I order a coffee, buy corn or talk to a real live person in India pretending to be in Newark I want small talk. I want to do what I set out to do and not feel the biting glare of contempt, or feel creeped out. I want service, nothing more, nothing less. That would be a refreshing, happy medium