Day three of love letters. I pre-wrote a few to take to work and drop around on my way. I decided to wait until most of all the other baristas were busy on their closing shifts before I dropped my letter in the lobby. It was gone when I checked later, so here’s to hoping that someone took it home.
Today in general needed a lot of love. We had a lot of negative energy walk through our doors at Starbucks today, and I tried and tried with all my might to keep people in good spirits. I was on bar, so I didn’t have the face-to-face interaction with customers that I usually get while on register. Whenever I’m on bar, I do my best to sing whenever I can to keep those that are waiting a little bit entertained. My regulars get nervous when I’m not singing while I’m on bar; it must be a bad day for Jen if she isn’t singing. Today included a lot of Billy Joel, Weird Al, and Etta James singing as well as a few syrup smiley faces when applicable. All was fine and well until a “past barista” from the store sat at our bar (we have a counter and bar stools by the espresso bar and hand-off plane) and decided to start telling anyone who would listen about how awful the store was, and about Starbucks being a bad company. I VERY strongly believe that Starbucks is a fantastic company, and I love my store beyond how much I should love working. I did my best to counter this man’s slander with positivity, but had to tell him that I wasn’t interested in further conversation on the topic. A coworker of mine took him outside on his break, and I suppose he told him that his behavior was unacceptable, because the man left and my coworker returned red-faced and raging. I wrote my coworker a little love letter to lift his spirits and tucked it in his apron. He found it later and beamed that it made his night. Love letters make everything better.
Shortly thereafter, a couple came in, seeming pleasant enough, and ordered a few lattes. They tucked themselves away in the corner of the cafe’ and proceeded to talk over coffee, as most cafe’ customers do. Within ten minutes, the woman was sobbing and the man was cussing and degrading her. It was a very unpleasant scene, and it made everyone uncomfortable. Unfortunately, we had opted not to say anything due to the nature of the argument; it seemed very domestically abusive, and on-the-spot intervention by anyone less than law enforcement can cause a violent backlash once the couple retreats into privacy.
Besides those two incidents, the general weekend-worker population finds themselves in the throws of frustration by the end of the day, so the mood drags quite a bit as the sun goes down. Here’s to you, Weekend Warriors. To the night-shifters and the day-off-called-in workers. To the abused and the unamused. Thank you for all that you do. You make the world a better place with every contribution you make. I can’t express how much I appreciate you. Things will get better, and there are brighter days ahead. I hope you find love wherever you keep it; tucked away or in the open, waiting in the wings or merely waiting for it to happen. You are loved. You are appreciated. You are wonderful.
Days like these remind me that The World Needs More Love Letters. Take some time to write to the ones you love, the ones you just met, and the ones you don’t know. Everyone could use a verbal pat on the back, a hug drawn in cursive, and those xoxo’s that mom used to put on your birthday cards. Go forth and love.