Yesterday, I was at my Starbucks picking up a venti iced latte. They were especially busy and so I sat down to wait for my drink. This impatient feeling rose over me. I mean, really, I phone ordered my drink about five minutes ago! Why wasn’t it ready for me?
I looked around at about ten other people also waiting for their drink. New arrivals came through the door and marched directly to the counter, scouring the names on the cups to see if their order was ready. Some were annoyed and joined the rest of us who were waiting, while others victoriously snatched their drink and proudly walked out.
I was waiting for two drinks and a breakfast sandwich. How much longer?
I looked around some more. An older woman sat next to me. Where was her mask? How come she was not wearing a mask? I started to criticize her in my head. Was everyone else wearing their masks? Yes, every other person in Starbucks was wearing a mask. I let it go. She can choose for herself.
One of my drinks was finally ready. I picked it up and sat back down.
It puzzles me why the entire order doesn’t get prepared all together, but this is a mystery that will remain unsolved.
I looked around some more. Almost every person was looking at their phone, aside from the older woman with no mask. Back in the day, people used to talk to each other. It was easy to strike a conversation with a stranger, but today people look nervous when you talk to them or annoyed that you are interrupting some valuable screen time.
I decided to see if anyone had texted me in the last five minutes. Nope. All good. I put my phone back into my pocket.
A new customer walked in and got in line to order. Are you kidding me right now? Who doesn’t mobile order? I chuckled. She was attractive and I noticed the two younger guys to the side notice her as well. It made me wonder about how many of those looks are happening when we are unaware.
Here comes my sandwich. I brought it back to my seat while I wait for my last drink.
The older woman got her drinks and a bag of food. She left. Another person took her seat. And the attractive girl just walked past me with her order! Okay sometimes mobile ordering is not faster! Ugh!
I tried to be patient. I had no choice really, but I wanted the impatient feeling to go away. I took a deep breath. I must be so addicted to coffee, and I need my morning fix.
I noticed the Starbuck’s baristas. They were working hard. So many cups were lined up waiting to be filled. All four of them were hustling. I imagined myself working here and thought it might be fun to learn how to make all these drinks. It didn’t look like these girls were having any fun though, at least not right now, so I dismissed the idea of a part time job.
My favorite employee was not here today. She is the one who puts extra caramel or has the straw ready because I ask for it every time. Once she filled a separate cup with cold foam because she forgot to add it to my drink. Why isn't she here today? She makes me happy.
As I sat here waiting, I realized that I was enjoying myself. Observing people in the morning made me smile. We are all here starting our day and we all have different paths to take. It is really sort of humbling. My impatient feeling disappeared as I began to appreciate what I was experiencing.
I started to think about my day. I planned my next few tasks in my head. I thought about my daughter (the second drink was for her) and hoped she would have a great day. I was relaxed and my mind was clear. Then it happened.
My second drink was ready. Bummer! I felt sad to leave this new group of friends. We bonded. And I learned a valuable lesson.
I will be back tomorrow, excited to observe once again and this time, with a little more patience.