Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Coffee break

Today I stopped by Starbucks for coffee on the way back to work. As I stood in line I was thinking I'll just get a cup of decaf, maybe a biscotti. I listened in on the conversation at the counter. There was no way anyone in the store could not have been listening in. This woman's voice was penetrating.

A thirty-ish woman, short, wearing a thick sweater and slacks, with long curly reddish hair, first introduced her daughter. "This is Kim, my daughter, visiting from San Diego". She then gave her order, which was so confusing that I can't begin to repeat it here. Something about iced coffee with sugar-free syrup, whipped cream in the mix but not on top, and something else. And not one but two of these things, except one had a shot and the other did not. Then she asked her daughter what she wanted.

Her daughter wanted a Chai, something simple. But the clerk, whose name is Craig (we all also learned this), was having some trouble translating the order to two cups for his coworker to fill. He was alert and listening but somehow missed parts. Not somehow, really, as I recall this woman saying something at the end of her order like "and you know, the usual that I like". Not even finishing the order. The person making the drinks tried to get confirmation of the order, and this woman loudly repeated the instructions, laughing loudly as well, a laugh that I found irritating.

I was thinking, "Her daughter must be hugely embarrassed by now".

The drink maker realized she had made a mistake, asked about the shots. The woman said "these drinks don't normally have shots at all. It's just coffee". Apparently Craig had written that down wrong. He apologized for not hearing "iced coffee", said something about he must have spaced out.

The daughter said it was a "man-thing" to listen this way. Craig confirmed, said his girlfriend often accused him of not hearing what she was saying. But I was thinking, no, this young woman isn't embarrassed by her mom because she's just like her.

During all this activity I changed my order. I figured if I am going to be standing here and putting up with this the least I should get is a latte. So that's what I did.

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