I like lattes. I like made-to-order sandwiches, from places like Subway. I like smoothies.
What I don’t like is ordering any of these. I know the whole point of the coffee bar, the Subway, the smoothie place is to make and sell their offerings, but I always feel like a jerk for ordering them. They take a long time to make. I feel bad making the person behind the counter make a ridiculous coffee concoction or smoothie. It feels like the line is piling up behind me. I especially hate to be a single person in the Subway or Starbucks line with a big multi-person order.
Does anybody else feel this way?
Some clearly don’t. I was recently in a newly opened ice-cream shop. The line snaked all the way along the counter, zigzagged through the store and extended out the door. It was full of small children. And the woman at the head of the line kept asking for tastes of the different ice-cream flavors, unable to make up her mind. It was like the decision of what ice cream to have was, for her, equal to deciding whether to sign a disarmament treaty or a ceasefire agreement.
And there’s a coffee bar near my house where one of the baristas LOVES to tell you all about coffee. He practically pirouettes around the machine as he makes yours, then takes the time to make a little design in the foam with a wooden stirrer as the finishing touch, waiting people be damned.
Marketers probably have a clever name for shoppers like me, the person who doesn’t want to ask for help, doesn’t want to make people wait, doesn’t want to be a pain in the ass.
Maybe I need to loosen up.