First off, I’d like to point out that I’m not a particular fan of Starbucks the company and, when given the choice, I will almost always choose a local coffee shop over a chain store.
Except for my Starbucks. It’s a specific location around the corner from my office that I’ve become a regular at and– it’s different.
As this project get’s going, I’d like to give a quick shout-out to the staff at my Starbucks. I don’t know if every Starbucks location employs people like this, but I do know that these folks do way more than just serve up a good cup-of-Joe everyday.
Working in the service industry is tough; if you’ve been there, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. It’s not easy to always put on a smile and be nice to people who are (mostly) only stopping at your location because it was convenient. There are plenty of people who work these types of places and are just as indifferent to the customers as the customers are to them– but there’s something special about the folks at my Starbucks location.
It’s not uncommon to see people smile while ordering their drinks here. The baristas are not only helpful, but personal and honestly like to know that you’re having a good day. They ask about things, like “how’s work”, “why the frown” and “I’m tired too, why are you tired?”. It makes a difference in a person’s day to have that little bit of sincere interest shown.
I know them now. After two years of going nearly every day (sometimes more than once a day), I’ve gotten to know their names, what they’re going to school for, how their kids are doing and what they’re excited about next. They know the names of their regulars and they ask about how someone’s boyfriend is and where someone was when they hadn’t come in for their regular drink for a week. Through the two years I’ve been going to this location, these people (even when the shifts change and people move on) are always there and always willing to share a smile.
And that’s all it takes sometimes– to turn the (seemingly) worst day of your life… into something not-so-bad.
Sometimes, I wonder if they know they make this much of a difference?