As a Barista, the exchange you and I have is a relationship. Much like all relationships, if you’re not willing to be faithful, what’s the point?
I see you.
I see you at your worst.
The morning you. The one who grunts at me through eyes crusted with sleep, mouth crippled with fatigue. As a Barista, I know our relationship. I give you life in the morning, and I don’t see you again until tomorrow. It’s a one-way relationship, sure, but it still remains one.
A relationship is discovery. I learn your name, maybe where you work, how you have your coffee. The last is tantamount; it’s a needs-based relationship, which is fine.
You need what I serve, I need your business. Simple. They’re the rules, that’s how it works.
However, like all other relationships, there is one golden one. Don’t cheat. You see, we see things. You think we don’t, but we do. We know where you are when we don’t see you for days on end, we see you sneaking past us, either not stopping as you usually do, or in some cases, hiding a coffee cup with the name of another printed on it.
We can handle one-off coffee transactions, they mean nothing to us as much as it means nothing to you. We know we’re not your first. What matters is when you come back, when we learn your name, when we award you a loyalty card. That’s an exchange of trust, and you coffee hoes ain’t loyal.
You know what hurts? When we see you with the stain of cheapness on your lips. We can smell it all over you. Was that 11 pm 7-Eleven fling worth it? The fact that you chose the same that I served you is a knife. You’ve just cut me out. Replaced by a button. You may get temporary satisfaction from a machine, but it won’t love you like we do. But you know what? Machines might break, but we won’t.
If you want to play it that way, fine. We can forget your names, and the amount of chocolate you have on top that you absolutely don’t need. This can be how you want it. A cold drip of emotion, or a volcanic pour.