The Drink Dictated By Rob On His First Day
Walking into the Starbucks on Huffman Mill Rd, we three are all noisy conversation, laughter, and relief. People look up from their laptops, take sips from their white cups, then get back to work. We move to the counter, studying the menu as if looking at the Rosetta stone — like we discovered a new language, like we weren’t here yesterday or the day before.
“What are you going to get today?”
“I don’t know. Something hot. Whip. Lots of whip.”
“Whip is a good word.”
At the counter is the new guy, Rob. I remember Rob’s first day, as he was shadowing Sherri, an older women who I knew to lean in when speaking to because she never spoke above a whisper. Sherri told Rob to ring our order, whispered to the floor, “Help them. They’re regulars. They won’t mind you being new.”
When I worked at Macy’s in Spokane, there was a woman who came in every morning, just after we opened. She always wore a blue knitted cap and sweatpants. In my first few weeks, this woman drove me bonkers. I’d watch her walk in with a Macy’s bag, knowing she was headed to the closest clearance rack, where she would go through each item before moving to the next rack. Only after she had inspected every single clearance rack in the ready-to-wear section would she approach my counter. Some days, she exchanged a sweater for a vest. Some days she bought three turtlenecks, returned a pair of pants. Some days, despite an hour or more in the store, she left with nothing. After several attempts I stopped trying to help her — she always found me when she was ready to checkout.
One day in the break room, I mentioned to my favorite coworker that I didn’t understand why this one lady came in every day. My coworker looked at me over her vending-machine-Coke.
“Blue hat lady?” Read more »