A coupla weeks ago I did a seminar on ‘The Secret Art of Managing Your Boss’ for a local association. Along with the Olive Garden buffet and the little bag of goodies, they flowed a Starbucks gift card my way.
I’m more of a local coffeeshop guy, but I can’t argue with free. So I started using the card this week. Today I went to the Starbucks that’s closest to my office and it reminded me of why I don’t go to malls. Too many people in one small space. In true Northwest style, though, everyone was pretty chill while waiting for their coffee to be made. And we all felt a bit of communal corporate pity when the Tie Guy showed up.
Tie Guy rolled in out of the rain, with his hand on his bluetooth headset (if you don’t put your hand on it, people might not notice it) and his suit and tie. I felt a collective sense of discomfort among the other folks waiting for coffee…here it was, a rainy Friday, and this dude comes in wearing a suit and tie. He’d clearly made some vocational missteps along his career path. Plus, the end of his (very nice) tie hung about three inches below his belt. It was clownish and sad–he just didn’t know any better.
Since we were all busy feeling a little awkward with Tie Guy in our midst, nobody raised a stink when he informed the cashier that he needed his coffee RIGHT NOW. He did this covertly by vigorously pointing down at the ground, while never removing his hand from the headset. The cashier, silly girl, mistakenly interpreted the sign language to mean "I’ll drink it here." When she said "for here?", Tie Guy was forced to utter his demand that his order must be expedited. He needed "front of the line" service. Which, to Starbucks’ credit, he got. With at least six people waiting in front of him, his order came up first. Maybe not fast enough, because as Tie Guy moved from the ordering area to the "here’s your drink" area, he examined the two cups already taking up counter space to see whether they were his. They weren’t, which the barista calmly explained. His order came up quickly though, and he was outta there. Never took his hand off the headset.
See ya, Tie Guy.