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CoffeeJuly 21, 2008

Starbucks. Come on. You're hurting me. You know that I usually don't get coffee on the way to work in the morning. I like to save my pennies and spend them on more important things, like yarn and kitty litter. I can make my own coffee. But this working twenty-four 12-hour days in a row, I've been needing java brewed FOR me.

And I don't want to talk.

That's why I go through the drive-through, yo. Because if I walk in, then I actually have to SEE you at five in the morning. I don't WANT to. So I stay in my car, and when you tweet, "Good MORNING, thank you for choosing Starbucks, and how are YOU today?" I don't want to anwer you. I am NOT fine yet, because I have no coffee, and I don't want to have to break that to you, so I say, "Fine," and wait for you to ask me what I'll be having on this fantabulous day.

I totally get that might be the rule. You might hate having to say that. That's cool. But when I drive up and hand you my money, and you take it and then lean OUT the window while we're waiting for the coffee to come up and say, "So! How ARE you today? What's going on? How's your day? What'cha got going on?" that's just too much. I don't make eye contact because I CAN'T. I am trying not to roar away, leaving my precious coffee behind.

I so appreciate service professionals who know how to read people. When I waited tables, I tried to be really conscious of it. You can tell, immediately, who wants to engage and laugh and joke with you, and you can tell the person who would really to just tell you their order and then get lost in their book. Laugh and joke with one, be courteous but no more to the other. That gets you the tips.

Please. Just hand me coffee.

PS - I have discovered that you can make pseudo-poached eggs in the microwave! Put a little water, maybe 1/4 cup, into a cereal bowl, break two eggs into the water, and nuke for about a minute (with something covering the bowl in case the eggs blow up -- something that hasn't happened yet but I hear it might). Meanwhile, your piece of bread is toasting. In about a minute, you have something I've always called chipped egg (poached eggs and buttered toast, all chopped up) which I thought was actually a phrase people used, but I just googled it and I think they don't. But it's fun to say chipped egg. Real breakfast! At work! So nice!

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Comments

Wow...Starbucks doesn't have drive-thrus here.

I do something similar with eggs, 2 runny poached eggs mixed with a leeetle butter and nutritional yeast (sounds bad, tastes good) all chopped up together and eaten on toast. Mmmm.

For crying out loud! You'd think people who sell coffee for a living would know better.

I can see where you get "chipped egg", it sounds like "chipped beef" which is that gravy and dried beef on toast concoction the military folks (affectionately?) call "shit on a shingle". I've actually seen it as "SOS" on a breakfast menu at a military cafeteria (dad was Air Force).

Dang! Now I am dying for poached eggs on toast!

Oh great - Now I have to go make poached eggs. My comfort food is 2 eggs sunny side up on buttered toast with salt and pepper. This might come in second.

Love the Starbucks drive through...

It sounds like you might want to look at one of these: http://tinyurl.com/5jyxqn (shortened link to Target). It's a brilliant toaster that will also poach an egg and has a little tray over the egg part to warm up a sausage patty. Everything is finished at the same time. It is a wonderful wonderful thing.

OMG, Rachael... how did you DO that?? I was all set to click through and talk about my Starbucks barista offspring, but mostly about how one of 'em used to work for Arby's (I'll get to that in a minute)... MORE IMPORTANTLY: On my Bloglines thing RIGHT NOW it shows you with 911 subscribers. I kid you not. 9-1-1. Yer payin' extra for that, ain't ya?

Anyway, Katie worked for Arby's when she was in high school and they had their normal drive-thru greeting they were supposed to say, but one time she was in the midst of a heavy conversation with a coworker/friend when someone zipped up for a roast beef and, instead of saying "Thank you for choosing Arby's" she said "Thank you for feeling" and everyone dissolved into giggles, of course.

I still do when I think of it, and it's been years.

Anyway. Now I'm hungry AND thirsty.

EXACTLY- and that will be a 'MEDIUM' sized cup please... Venti/Grande? which is larger? ugh.
have a great day!

As long as you're microwaving meals at work, here's a recipe for chocolate cake. That you can make in a coffee mug. In the microwave. In five minutes.

http://tinyurl.com/6mzh4v

O brave new world, that has such cake recipes in't!

Well...that would be the last straw for me. Forced socialization? On NO coffee? Nosireebob.

NOTE: The good folks at Something Awful tried this. They did not like the results.

http://tinyurl.com/5tccoo

(NSFW: bad language.)

My dad always called that "dropped eggs on toast." That's still what I call it, and what I make when I want some really comforting food. Though I leave off the extra pat of butter set to melt in each yolk! It's a wonder I didn't have a heart attack at 12.

Sometimes it's dangerous to make your own coffee. Just this morning, I took the lid off the grinder before it stopped twirling. Sure sign of needing caffeine. But I nearly did not get any.

It was a close call. At least I didn't have anybody chirping at me.

Poached or fried eggs on toast (or tortillas) are one of my very favorite meals!! YUM!

another reason why i love new england. no early morning chirping. i mean really. how can i expect to talk to someone UNTIL AFTER i've had my coffee.

and i like that poached egg thingy idea.

Oh I hear you. I tell everyone at work that I can accept change any time AFTER my morning coffee. I don't like talking before that either.

"Chipped egg" - I may have to try that!

Oh thank you, Beth-- I laughed myself silly!

I think they've been drinking too many lattes. I've noticed that the Starbucks workers near me are just a little too over-caffeinated lately. They should be stopped at two cups per shift.

At that hour of the day, the only appropriate response is 'uncaffeinated'. I have noticed they are a bit too chipper at times, ever since the re-training, a few months back.

But, I think you may like this, I was knitting on a sock, while waiting in the drive thru, and the guy made a point to tell me there is a knitting group that meets there Wednesday night, and that he thinks of me, when he sees them. I guess I am the only one knitting in the drive thru lane. He even noted I was working on a different pair than last time I was there.

Yum, thanks for the poached-egg idea! I adore poached eggs. Chipped eggs sounds lovely, too!

Ugh, I hate it when service and retail workers so obviously have a script they're required to follow. It's so impersonal.

Well, I've had chipped beef on toast. Maybe that is where it came from?

It's desperate times when I get scheduled to open at work. They know it's just really not worth it. I'm the utility player in every other respect, but 6:30 am, god, no.

Here's a 5 minute cake for your hectic life: http://www.dizzy-dee.com/recipe/chocolate-cake-in-5-minutes

My friend tried it today and says it comes out chewy (c'mon it IS a microwaved baked good) but it's 5 minutes and minimal ingredients. And it's cake! In a cup! Get it? Cup-cake! ^_^

And at 5:30am, the barista had best be just slinging coffee not making with the extra high voltage chit chat.

You can cook the egg in the bottom of a coffee cup and it'll be the right size to fit on an English Muffin just like at Mickey D's!

my microwave comfort food is to open up a can of black beans, drain, and warm them up in tupperware, top with a glug of salsa, and then poached eggs on top, salt and pepper. Tasty and very filling :)

So in our family, it's poached eggs on buttered toast, with a sprinkling of Lawry's seasoned salt (it ROCKS on eggs) and a little pepper. Mmmm.

Or how 'bout the "perfect sandwich" from Spanglish? Oh yeah.

The best way to get a tip from me as a waitress is to avoid chit-chat. My husband and friends think I'm crazy, but I don't want to have small talk with random people. They like the waitress who have a smile and a joke every time they pass the table. I just want someone to fill my tea glass and leave me alone.

I was gonna tell you about chipped beef but I'm too late.

That coffee chit chat thing is just wrong. How can you work in a coffee house and not know that? May you have some days off soon and be able to make your own unchatted coffee.

PS Thank you for the hard work you have been doing for us all.

In defense of baristas, starbucks doesn't have a 'script' per se, but when you're mystery shopped you're marked on whether you made any conversation over and above what's necessary to conduct the transaction. Some managers put the fear of...whatever into their staff over poor mystery shopper results (because that affects the manager's booooonus wah wah wah), but all you get out of partners then is stilted, scripted conversations because they're trying way too hard. Common sense goes a long way, and I should think that if you grunted a reply in the first instance, they'd know to back away from the undercaffeinated lady! Come to the UK and we'll show you some hands-off customer service ;D

I have a new fancy schmancy toaster that will crispy toast FROZEN hash browns in the time it takes to poach an egg. My favorite thing.

Totally been there... I'm always conscious of that too. Some people lack the ability to get a reading sometimes. I choose to call it socially inept ;)
Anyway, glad to hear your well and enjoying your breakfast and coffee, even after the small talk.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

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