Thursday, June 14, 2007
Thank you note
So, just in case there is anyone out there who hasn't met me, or who has only the vaguest idea of who I am, let me clue you in on how I make my money. I am a barista, which is the single most cliche occupation in this country right now. But unlike the liberal arts majors making beer money with headset walkie-talkies at the Gap, I have done this job for a long time, and I intend on doing it for a while longer, and I really, really like it. One of the things I like so much about it is the customers. I have the best regulars in the whole world. I have watched as their children grew and graduated and went away, I have seen them sell houses and buy boats and get married and fall apart and heal. They are what keeps me serving coffee when I'm thinking, I could get a B.A. and temp in an anonymous corporate office for the rest of my life. Every once in a while they are so marvelously thoughtful that I could cry, or kiss them. Last week, when there was a convention, and my relief pitcher was out of the game, and I was seriously lambasting myself for not becoming a pediatric nurse like my mom secretly hoped, the men who come in every morning and share their views on the world and sometimes on my clothing took up a collection and tipped me very well. They handed it to me non-chalantly and said, "We wanted you to know we appreciate how hard you work." They wrote a little note on one of the bills, and they all filed out as if nothing happened. I could have cried, or kissed them. Instead, I gave them a little something to talk about. I made them this shirt.
All day long, I kept waiting for someone not in the know to smile slyly and say, "I drink coffee!" I was hoping it would be someone I could smile back at and flirt with, but I figured it would be some skeevy dude off a Holland America cruise ship, or a teenage boy who thinks that women half a decade younger than his mom are GROSS. Instead, it was another fabulous regular, whom I consider a friend. Thanks, Mr. B. You sure know how to boost a girl's self-esteem.