Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Miss Manners

In the area of my office, there are at least three textbook publishing companies. Magazine publishing offices are not too far away. Thus, it is no surprise there are a plethora of coffee shops in the area. Today at lunch, which I take around 2pm, Kristen and I walked over to Starbucks to partake of their holiday lattes. I elected not to get one since I'm saving my money for booze this evening and I'm already edgy, but I savored the walk over.

Once we walked inside the Starbucks, it was bedlam. Bedraggled people in thick-framed glasses and sensible shoes waited in line, visibly craning their necks to see how many people separated them from their precious three-o-clock caffeine hit. The order-takers were dealing calmly, but the coffee drink preparers were moving around like worker bees in a hive. Kristen placed her order, and we waited in line to pick up her drink.

Directly in front of us was a short woman in black pants and a sensible gray wrap sweater, her dark hair pulled back. She had a tray in front of her, waiting to pick up her coworker's orders. The barista (that is a stupid word) gave her her caramel iced something or other and the woman immediately tried to get the coffee-slinger's attention back. Since the line was about 150 people deep, the coffee-slinger turned away. The woman rolled her eyes and got the attention of the coffee-slinger as coffee-slinger deposited another cup on the counter.

"Can I have more ice?" The woman asked.

"Well," the coffee-slinger replied, "I can't fit more ice in the cup. I can get you a bigger cup."

The coffee-slinger brought back the drink in a bigger cup.

"Can I have more caramel?" The woman requested. The coffee-slinger popped the top of the new cup and drizzled some more on top.

"This looks awfully light to me," the woman said to the visibly annoyed coffee-slinger.

"The tall only comes with one shot," the slinger replied.

"I come here all the time, and this is the only thing I get, and it's usually not this light."

The slinger relented. "I'll remake it."

The woman looked at another customer who rolled her eyes. "It's expensive. How about a little coffee with that milk?" She bitched.

Listen, lady, Starbucks isn't tea at the Ritz. You weren't the only customer there. You had multiple drinks in your order. If you want to be treated like a princess, go someplace else. If you want a size up on your caramel whatever-the-fuck, ask for it. Don't make the harried coffee-slinger remake your order entirely because it's not the right shade of brown for you. You're lucky she didn't do like the bartender I saw at the Foundation Lounge a couple weeks ago who nearly got into a fistfight with a customer who kept her unnecessarily running when it was busy.

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