Baristas in the Mist
AS I SIT QUIETLY in the Chapel at St. Arbucks sipping on myVenti Skinny Pumpkin Pie Spice Viagra Latte I can see a man up on a ladder behind the counter. When I asked my Barista (Notice that I capitalized Barista – they deserve a little respect.) what was up I was told that the guy on the ladder was installing a camera so that the customer in the Drive-Thru could see the person taking their order. I’m not sure that this is a good idea.
My first reaction to this technological intrusion was that Patrick, the guy I see manning the window most days, was going to have to start wearing pants.
People act differently when they know that they are on camera. They stiffen up, they become afraid to express themselves, (Except in L.A. where any camera is looked upon as an opportunity to audition.) they do stop picking their noses and scratching as much, but then they just become irritable. It becomes like being in a zoo, only here the exhibit does the feeding of the viewers.
As far as I can tell, none of the staff like the idea of being on camera all the time, especially Patrick. None of them auditioned to be on Big Brother, except maybe Patrick.
I have noticed that, given the position of the camera, I or any number of the other Usual Suspects who worship here, will be able to stand up behind Patrick and drop a video photobomb on anyone in the Drive-Thru lane.
Be assured that neither I, nor anyone else in the congregation would do anything blasphemous, cheap or smarmy. At least, I’m pretty sure. After all there are those people who come in and get beverages with six extra shots of espresso. There’s no telling with those folks – Heretics. Of course, half of the staff does that just to get the energy to do their Barista thing – and to get those “Children of the Corn” smiles on.
I have to admit that I could not do that job. It wouldn’t be twenty minutes before I would be coming over the counter at some cipher who can’t make up his mind.
Customer: “Do I want a Peppermint Frappuccino or a Cake-Pop…or maybe a bagel and a bottle of juice? Oh, dear me, perhaps a Breakfast Sandwich?”
Me: “its 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Pal. How about a cup of black coffee and right-cross to your jaw?”
See what I mean? Barista is not the job for me. To work here you must have the patience of Job, the energy of a six year-old, and the memory of the Rain Man. I have the patience of the guy from The Gong Show, the energy of a three-toed sloth, and the memory of…of…I forget his name. And I don’t want to be on camera all the time like a carjacker in the Kroger parking lot.