Coffee With The Morlocks
I was up early today. It just happened. So, naturally I crawled down to St. Arbucks earlier than usual. It’s a different place at 7:30 in the morning. It’s like a scene from “The Time Machine.” At 7:30 the Morlocks are out and the Eloi arrive later.
It started with me standing in line behind a woman who hemmed and hawed, deliberated and mused before ordering a “tall” black coffee. (At St. Arbucks, a “tall” coffee is just a hair bigger than a thimbleful.) At first I thought she was doing a “Sophie’s Choice” kind of thing. I’ve gotten mortgages quicker than her decision on a cup of coffee.
After I got my order placed with the young lady, whose eyes told me that she had already downed a half-dozen shots of espresso, I shuffled to the other end of the counter to await delivery.
Most of these people order “Half Decaf, Half Caf, Soy milk, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Sugar-free, with 12 pumps of Hazelnut, Frappuccino,” sorts of things. I order “Iced Coffee with a hit of cream, Thank you.”
As a result, they may be standing there for five minutes while the mad scientist/barista fills their order. While they are huddled in anticipation my coffee is ready in about 12 seconds.
This morning, as I burrowed my way through the twitching mob to get to my coffee, I saw proof that I belong to a different generation.
Standing by the counter was a woman in her mid-30s by my guess. She was dressed for work – a sharp looking gray business suit, low heel, sensible, shoes, and tortoise shell rim glasses. She had the Corporate Executive look going strong. Her brown hair was in a short, stylish, coif. It was also half blue.
The back half of her hair was brown, but the front half was a nice, sort of, Robin Egg Blue.
This is a gal who has two lives.
There is her 9 to 5 life with the brown half of her hair along with the gray business suit and then there is the 5 to 9 life with the blue front half calling the shots.
At 11 AM I see her leading a Board of Directors meeting deciding on next quarter’s stock dividend.
At 11 PM I see her playing lead guitar in a Neo-Goth, Heavy Metal, Steam Punk, Dance Band – all the while dressed in Peek-a-Boo black leather lederhosen and seven inch heels.
Visualizing all that at 7:30 AM was a bit rough on me. It was a good thing that I found a seat quickly.
I know that things have loosened up a bit in the corporate world with regards to acceptable dress, make-up, and even tattoos, but where is that line in the sand anymore? As recently as ten or fifteen years ago, anyone showing up on the job with blue hair would have begun their day by putting on a paper hat and firing up the deep fryer.
Time marches on. Things change. What used to come under the heading of “Anything Goes” in my Wild Oats days would be looked upon today with the question, “Are you, like…in a cult or something?” And I’m sure that in a few years folks will snicker at the gal with the blue hair as looking “quaint.”
But I’ll bet that, in the days to come, it will still take forever to get a cup of coffee when the person in line ahead of you has all the decision-making powers of a squirrel.