Sunday, 17 April 2011

Business in the Front, Party in the Back

I sit once again at Starbucks in hopes of getting some schoolwork done, which works marvelously well provided that Melissa and I don't sit at the same table. I was in here not more than a week ago, when the barristas accidentally mistook a drive-thru order and made two Venti Ice Chai Lattes, to which Melissa said, "We'll happily take your mistakes." And they sold them to us for the price of a Grande.

The managerial staff came by an hour or so later--two men in crisp black and white checked shirts, the first one a fat man with a buzz cut from the nineties, the second shorter, handsome, energetic--and they spent the next few hours helping out with the orders, cracking jokes, monitoring efficiency, asking questions--like "Do you know what a dirty chai is?"--about the drinks, customers, the shop, taking a personal interest in their employees. Everything, I suppose, that a good manager should do.

And as if to grace us with his presence for a grand finish to the day, a young man with a newly cut Kentucky Waterfall stepped into the shop. He was well-dressed and had an affable, clean-cut look about him and a cathedral tattoo on his left shoulder; but the crowning glory of his personage was undoubtedly the mullet. He and his friend who stepped in with him knew Bailey, one of the barristas. She greeted him with a 'Hey, Nicholas' and a second, once-over look.

Bailey: "Do you like it?"
Nicholas: "It's terrible."
Bailey: "But do you love it though?"
Nicholas: "I do." 

The manager, attracted by this hair apparent, fell into the conversation with them--an exchange of words which ended with the final statement, "Jesus had a mullet." You can't argue with that one.

This time around there are no such interesting characters about the place, and I should be getting work done. I have to read Looking for Mr. Green and Langston Hughes's Montage of a Dream Deferred, as well as work on my paper abstract for the same class, get started on my fourth short story due on Thursday, and write at least the first five hundred words for the paper for Professor Anker's class. Have no fear. I shall prevail.

I was wrong. Two men just walked in. The first one, ready to settle down and enjoy some coffee, let out a sigh of disapproval and complained about the music. But the second, taller one turned to his friend. "Oh, come on. Real men like Norah Jones." He turned to Melissa in the corner. "Right?"
Melissa nodded vigorously in agreement. "They certainly do."
But, seeing no place to sit, they turned to head back out, the first one suggesting some other place of repose. The second one agreed, sadly. "But they're not going to have Norah though..."

This is the great thing about coffee shops. So many things to see, and so many things to write. I must write that I may notice and remember. And now you know, as well as I.

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