It’s quite trying to greet people with a sincere smile, ask them how their day is, and get this response:
“Yeah, I’ll have a double nonfat vanilla latte.”
My gut reaction is to give them a second chance to behave like decent human beings. Something to the effect of: “Let me try this again. HELLO! How are you today?” (Because it’s only after you acknowledge my existence that I will feel compelled to take your order.) But of course I make their order, still with a smile, as I dance to a rhythm stuck in my head and ponder why so many people negate the art of desultory conversation.
I go through these motions because I need to — money is tight and jobs in my field are somewhat scarce. It’s not that they’re not out there so much as I choose not to relocate (at least not until my son is old enough to leap from the nest and land on a college branch). This limits me to applying for writer, copy writer, editor jobs in which telecommuting is possible.
I go through these motions because I love my boss. We have a common bond of being divorced mothers to stubborn teenagers, and I want to do everything within my power to make her business a success.
Even though many of the people I greet each day see merely a coffee wench and not a person, I am more than just a barista. I am mother, lover, writer, adventurer. I am truly grateful that my boss, my friends and family all appreciate me for these attributes, and encourage me to keep the muse fires burning. I am ever hopeful that the right writing job is out there for me, and, until I land it, you can find me at that independent coffee house by the beach. Don’t forget to say hello before I whip up your latte.