For some reason, the manager at Starbucks scheduled way too many people to work on a slow Monday. The reason, we all found out, was that a big order of supplies was being shipped and he wanted to make sure there were plenty of people to put it away. There was, and the order got put away quickly and without too much fuss. We cleaned stuff to keep busy, but mostly there was just a lot of joking around between the occasional customers.
Starbucks has it’s own set of songs it plays, and one that’s been in heavy rotation for the past few days is Elton John’s “Somebody Saved My Life Tonight”. It usually inspires an impromptu harmonizing among the baristas, complete with dramatic gestures like fists in the air, hands over hearts and all the Elton John flair we can muster while coffee-stained. Paper cups become microphones, behind the counter becomes a stage and the customers trying to enjoy their coffee in peace become the unwitting audience.
I was in the middle of a dramatic round of “Somebody, somebody, somebody saved somebody saved” as back-up to the “lead singer” (who was supposed to be making someone’s latte but was actually swaying with both hands in the air) when someone approached the counter. I paused mid-verse and smiled, ready to take his order.
“Oh no,” he said. He was an older gentleman, and was clearly very amused by our off-off-off-off Broadway production. “you finish that verse.” He gestured to me in a Vanna White sort of way, hand up, as if presenting me to the audience. I reached across the counter and gripped his aloft hand, looked mock-earnestly into his eyes, and belted out, “Someone SAAAAAAAAAAAAVED my life!”
He asked for it.