I love my neighborhood Starbucks. There is something very nice about knowing the names of the baristas whose shifts coincide with your stop-by time. Having them call you by name, too, makes the visits doubly nice.
The manager, Jason, recognized me from the times I used to stop by the Preston Forest location after dropping my son at school. His memory is much better than mine; he brings up names of his former co-workers, but none ring a bell. Still, it’s nice to have that connection, that bit of shared history.
I don’t get by my Starbucks nearly as much as I’d like. My stops tend to be after a swim, which is also after yoga on Saturdays and after running and church on Sundays. I am a boring order. I look steadfastly up at the menu above the bakery items, noting the seasonal drinks as well as the tried and true.
When it’s my turn, if Jason or Susan (whose visor-wearing prowess I alternately admire and envy) is working, they’ll say, “Tall bold today, Leslie, or grande bold?”
What size, yes, my big decision.
I went in on Friday and the store was pretty busy. Jason was doing managerial things and Susan wasn’t there. But when Jason saw me, he said to the young man who was working: “Grande bold for Leslie. No room.” (As in no room for cream)
The barista (baristo?) dutifully filled the cup. As he popped a green mermaid stick into the hole on top so coffee wouldn’t slosh onto my lap as I drove home, Jason suddenly turned from what he was doing, looked at the label on the coffee urn and then at me.
“Wait!” he called. “That’s Italian Roast! You don’t like Italian Roast. I don’t like Italian Roast!”
He was right. I love dark, bold coffee…but not Italian Roast.
He told the young man, “Make her an Americano.”
I handed Jason my Starbucks card. He took it and said, “I’m only charging you for a tall bold.”
So there you have it. Something seemingly small, but also pretty big in my book. Yes, I am a big girl, one perfectly capable of looking out for myself. But sometimes…sometimes…it’s nice to know someone has my back. Or at least my taste buds.
And for the times when that happens…The Grateful Runner says thank you.