I must confess I’m ashamed. It’s been a week since we flew back from New York… and I had yet to go back to my office. And by ‘office’, I mean Starbucks: the other one, the one with teams and tasks and deadlines, I’ve already seen too much of. And by ‘too much of’, I mean I have a major deadline in 10 days, so the return from vacation has been somewhat less vacation-y. And by ‘less vacation-y’, I mean I already forgot I ever went on one to begin with. Hence my posting ever more of New York — I don’t wanna forget.
Anyway, back to my original point… Last time I was at my Starbucks was some time around December 19 — a lifetime ago. Or a year ago. Or about a month, depending how you look at it. Still, given that I use to spend all my (week) afternoons there, that’s a bit of a break. And even since I started a desk job kind of project, I would still go at least once a week. On Wednesday, otherwise known as kids day, when they’re off from school. At least they are in France, dunno if other countries have the same fine tradition. There’s nothing better about school than not having it — that I will never forget.
And, so today, I decided to go back, with my tail between my legs, hoping they would still remember me. They used to call me by my name and immediately start preparing my order when I entered the shop, after all. What’s 3 weeks in such an intense relationship, I ask of you? A little before 4pm, I got in. One of the baristas, a guy I’m arguably most friends with there (historically, that is), walked off as I approached the counter. Instead, a lady barista who’s very nice too, but may not know my first name by heart (in her defense, she’s newer), took my order:
Lady barista: Hi there! That will be a Grande Americano, right?
Me: Yes, you remembered! Thank you!
Lady barista: Huh… You welcome… That will be 3,05€ please… [I get a discount because I bring my own, reusable cup, it’s all perfectly legal. Save the planet and money]
Me: Sure, sure!
I took my phone out and scanned the tag on the Starbucks app — of course I have the app, and an account, and cash on said account. That’s when the first barista came back, with a bag.
Guy barista: Hi GH!
Me: Phew… I wasn’t sure you remembered my name!
Guy barista: Huh… Why?
Me: Because I’ve been away so long…
Guy barista: Oh yeah? Didn’t notice…
Me: Don’t know if I should be offended by that or not…
Guy barista: In any case, I just walked off for a minute to bring you this. This is a bag of Starbucks coffee for you to drink at home. Complete with your very own thermos for those winter long hours. We give this to our very best customers. Like, the top 15. Period.
Me: Oh… I don’t know what to say…
Guy barista: Thank you?
Me: Yes! Of course! Thank you man!
Guy barista: Do you have anything to prepare coffee with at home?
Me: I will have to now…
How could I confess that I still drink instant coffee there? That’s a level of shame I’m not prepared to experience just yet. Not in front of my colleagues.