Let me tell you something about Starbucks (this particular one being on N. Michigan Ave.) at 8:50 AM in the morning: It is basically like Walmart on Black Friday, crammed into a tiny 1,500 square foot space.
I walked through the revolving door and immediately ran into the backs of about three people who were all trying to get in line. People start piling in behind me as the line moves forward, not as slowly as on Black Friday, but also not as quick as a leisurely shopping day. At the front of the line a manager ushers people closer to the front so more people can fit at the end and directs sleepy, uncaffeinated people to registers with a peppy voice. I guess when you work at a coffee shop and it’s before 9 AM, you are peppy for one of three reasons: 1. You are actually (God bless you) a morning person, 2. You yourself have already had 1-2 cups of coffee with immense amounts of caffeine in them, or 3. You are high off of all coffee and caffeine fumes around you. The baristas at Starbucks at 8:50 AM are exactly the opposite of the greeters/ticket takers/parking attendants at Disney World at 8:50 AM, which I have seen before and it’s incredibly hilarious because they tell you and your party to, “Have a magical day,” in the groggiest, most unanimated voice ever that can only reminiscent (to me, at least) of a David Sedaris book (more to come on this in a future blog post).
I get closer to the registers and see that there are five baristas working, with smiles plastered across their faces as they grab one of six different sized cups to write down orders. I arrived at the front of the line (and I’ll shamelessly admit that my eyes were scoping for any attractive baristas. Katie Heaney was right. Guy baristas are usually just attractive.) and the manager directing the groggy foot traffic motions me to the first register (which was not operated by an attractive male barista) and says, “Good morning! Emma will take your order!” I walked up to Emma and ordered my nonfat Chai tea (which is new for me. I’m not a coffee or tea person, but this is just so tasty) and scanned the Starbucks app on my phone so I can earn more stars (I’m slowly and surely making my way towards a gold card!!!!!!!).
The manager ushers me toward a throng of people, literally a throng of people, who are all huddled around the pick up counter waiting to get their coffee, tea, what have you. There are people waiting doing online shopping on their phones. There are people conducting business calls (it’s barely 9 AM. The work day is just on the cusp of beginning. Who are you calling, China????). There is a mom trying to control her two young children as they run around, trying to make a maze between the throng of people…”Charlie, throw away your garbage! Get back here!” “That’s Lucy’s garbage mom make her throw it out!” “UGHHHHH!!!”
Names are being called. Ralph! Kara! Jen! The manager parts the throng like the Red Sea and hands a barista a drink that was prepared incorrectly. Susan! Dirk! (Okay, I don’t actually know if someone named Dirk was there this morning.) Anna! No one walks up. The lady is still trying to control her children. Anna??????
I walk up, look at the cup and see my order. Sheesh, Emma, I said HANNAH. Not ANNA. It’s like Anna but it has Hs!!!! I grab my chai tea and a cup warmer and make my way through towards the door. I mean, I guess I could be an Anna. Then my life could really be like a musical and I’d just go a-knockin’ on Maggie’s door and ask (sing) her she wanted to build a snowman.