Saturday, November 14, 2009

Awesomness in Service

My very good friend who may or may not want to be named (will discuss later the details personally before publishing) who worked for the trendy and upward moving empire of the Starbucks corporation. The 200% profit making company hired her as promising member of the barista family. Her uniform was a clean evergreen polo, with black accents. She long deserved this charge of random act of awesomeness from many different moments combined into this one story.

I visited her frequently mainly for the free drinks. Mostly for the adrenaline rush of a constantly high volume, kid screaming, machine steaming orchestra that vibrates off the walls. I remember now why I go to support local coffee shops instead of Starbucks. It reminds me of a bar, leaning over and yelling my particular drink order. Ill have a tall non fat 155 degree sugar free vanilla latte. But Starbucks jargon understands like a Jedi what your order is, or they must know how to read lips because they understand me despite the decibel level.
Anyways, on one particular morning I visit my friend to check in on her considering she ran out of the house that morning running questionably still drunk to work. She was freshly into her shift. My eyes scanned for her as I approached a vacant but cashier-less register. I see a figure moving underneath the newly open cash drawer. Its her.

I say her name, and to her excitement she popped her head up like a bolt of lighting from Zeus. Only to be pushed down again to the ground harder than any hit Ali could have given. She moves instantly into a rolling rumble, rocking back and forth on her back, legs paralyzed upwards stuck in the air. Her hands were grasping tightly her head. It took her much time to get level with gravity again because her large screaming laughs tightened her stomach making it hard to move anything in fear of cramping. The restless other employees don't even glance at the wounded solider, instead rush through the tight barista counter with large gallons of milk, moving like carpenter ants.

Finally she pops to her feet and echoes loudly with excitement "Hey man, whats up! What can I get ya" I admire immediately her perseverance in delivering world class hospitality. I make my order and she puts my cup on the line. I watch the robot like movement of the baristas pumping out lattes with a perfect assembly line. It shouldn't be much time now, as I part ways from my friend she turns away, and I see immediately a sliver of skin belonging to her butt. It not only stretched from the bottom of her back, to the top of her knee....all skin......0. Naturally the girl thing to do is to whisper politely the almost embarrassing flaw in her outfit.

" I know, so check this, I was running down 55th to get to work, still drunk and I was running and thinking. hmm...... It's a little breezy, but whatever. But when I get to work I bend down and it just RIPS!.

...thats unfortunate.

"Yah ill probably fix it after work"


She remained exposed for the duration of her shift. Strategically stepping behind people and never to face her back to them. When you stand still no one can really see the tear anyways, it sort of blends back in to the pants.
Except for me.

I commend her on the effortless calm behavior to her misfortune, and extreme moment of pressure. A true quality of the Starbucks work ethic, coffee first and sacrifice everything else till after your shift is over.

Of course I was amused to be in the busiest Starbucks in the world. Closely tied to one somewhere in China. That makes my friend a celebrity on some level. But I left satisfied. I remembered why I walked in to the Starbucks experience like visiting a large city. But I also remembered the reason why me and my friend are friends. She took a knock in the head and she did it with class. Classy because of her slightly revealing uniform, and awesome because she potentially had a minor concussion.


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