Ok – Starbucks is one of my favorite places of all time…love it! Something about it just energizes me. Three years ago I would not have felt this way, and I would never have dreamed I’d be in this postion regarding the Bucks. See, I never wanted to be a “regular.” I never wanted to be a customer who walked in and picked up the drink prepared for me because I got the same thing every time, never saying anything to anyone because I’m in and out and on my way. First of all – what fun is that?! Second, that’s not how to be a human…and I’m all about being human.
The baristas at Starbucks may get paid to make my drink, and I pay a pretty penny for said drink, but they are people, meant to be treated as such. While I was in seminary, I frequented the same Bucks nearly the same time each week – that just happens because of the class schedule. I tried each visit to talk to the baristas – find out about them, how their day was going, what they would do after work…you know, converse with them. Lo and behold – as the days went by, I became a regular. Ugh. That’s so not what I wanted. Until tonight – the moment I really truly accepted my regularity as a gift.
I walked into my regular Starbucks, with my good friend, and was so happily surprised to see my favorite barista – she’s the best. Student at a local university – and cute as can be! I was surprised to see her because I remember on my last visit she talked about studying abroad in the spring. Well, despite the temperature and snow outside, for students its nearly spring. I asked her if she was still planning to go, we had a lovely conversation about where life is taking her, then she asked about me. We had a great chat (without holding up any customers, because that’s not polite) and I said I hoped to see her again before she left the States. I left feeling great – and had a great drink in my hand. My friend turned to me and said, “Was she your roommate or did she go to school with you?” And at that moment I realized I was proud to be a regular…I responded, “Nope, I just know her from Starbucks.”
I want it to be my mission to talk to people who serve me – it may be your job to make me a drink at Starbucks, but I care about you. I want you to know that you matter more to me than just making me a Grande-Extra Hot-Half Pump- Raspberry-Mocha…you matter to me because of who you are.
So folks, let’s make sure we at least thank people who serve us, try to get to know them. You might be the brightest face they see all day, the only person who treats them like a person – the best part of their day. Get to know people…it’s just how to be a human.