I’ll Be There
About a week ago I finally crawled out of my sickbed after a three week bout of something nasty. I had reached a point where I was feeling better, not good by any stretch, but well enough to feel the need to get out of the house. I went for coffee. I wanted coffee. I lusted for coffee.
I got my coffee and proceeded to collapse into my chair in the corner. Just coming from home to St. Arbucks exhausted my microbe-infested carcass. I was hoping that the coffee would lift both my spirits and my chances for survival.
As I sat there savoring my brew I heard another person call out my name. I pried open my eyes to see who was paging me. Across the room I saw “Laurie.”
“Laurie” is the Area Manager for the Starbucks Corporate soul in this part of the world. She was the manager of the first Starbucks in Terre Haute (That’s French for “Can I get a refill?”) and after that she had the helm for Store #2, then Store #3 where my pocky corpse was currently ensconced. For Starbucks in Terre Haute “Laurie” was The Man. She knew how to hire the right people and put them in the right places. She has been with Starbucks for about twenty years and is worth her weight in perfect espresso.
I first met Laurie when Store #1 first opened. I was there on Day #1. I was there on Hour #1. I was Customer #1. I had been communicating with Seattle for a year or more pleading and begging them to save this poor ex-Californian’s life. I was used to having five different Starbucks within walking distance. So when they had Laurie open Store #1 – I WAS THERE.
This particular morning when I heard her calling my name across the caffeinated atmosphere I knew that something was up. She came over to where I was semi-slumped over. After the usual niceties and an inquiry into my vital signs, she said that she wanted to ask a favor of me.
Laurie – you who has saved my life on countless occasions, You – who brought Civilization to the Banks of the Wabash, You – who knows that coffee does not and cannot come out of a jar. Your wish is my command.
“Krafty, you know that we are opening a new store here in town and I would like to know if you would be my Customer #1 on our Opening Day?”
How could I refuse?
“Of course I’ll be there, Laurie. You don’t even have to ask. What is your Launch Date?
“We are going to start the building construction any day now and we are aiming for July 15th.”
I know the location where the new store will be. It is only a ten minute drive away – well within my early morning comfort zone.
I feel honored to have Laurie ask me to be there for Opening Day. The last time anyone offered me such an honor it turned out to be a Sting Operation.