by Juan Valdez
I opened the tall glass smoky door and slowly made my way in dragging my feet. Starbucks. My heart started to palpitate. It was a tough night of tossing and turning. I couldn’t get to sleep as my mind was racing. This was probably from the large amounts of coffee that I consumed during the day. I am hooked like most Americans on this drug called caffeine. It makes me happy during the day, and, restless during the night. I tried to stop but the local coffee pusher makes it difficult.
The line up to get coffee is more than 10 people, all waiting for the one cashier to handle them. There are a lot of people on Caffeine.
They always play loud music of a type that I would call, gothic – modern – rap. It is played loud on the speakers. They offer CD’s from Gloria Estefan and the Rolling Stones at the counter beside the cash register, but they never play that music. Instead, Gothic -Modern – Rap that you would never hear on the radio, let alone on the street. But, the manager of the store likes it, and one of the perks of the job is watching customers in pain both from the volume levels and from the beat of the music. My headache is getting worse. Where’s that coffee!
I am at the cashier.
Starbucks makes sure to hire only the medium shelf people that cannot get a job at the local Publix. Something about ‘dress code’ and keeping yourself pleasant so that a customer doesn’t become sick just looking at you. This is not what Starbucks looks for in an employee . They believe in ‘Give me your poor, down trodden, etc’ in other words anyone they can suck in for a low wage that couldn’t get a job anywhere else. This is the way loyalty is created ( another word for slavery).
There is no one in line now, but that doesn’t stop the attendant from taking her time. It seems that the inverse proportion rule governs here. The longer the line the faster the service. The less amount of people waiting the longer it takes. It is truly frustrating. She has a grease pencil in one hand and a cup in the other…I better not mess with her….Oh. The music changed. It is now Rap-Modern-Classical Evangelical Spanish music. Great. Can they turn it up another notch please?
Finally….The cashier looks at me and is saying something in a language I can partially understand through the pierced tongue.
“Can I take your order? Would you like to have our cake today? How about a bagel? How about our new cinnamon rolls? How about…”
I interrupted her.
“Can I have a Grandé Latté Brevé Quad?
“You mean a Quad Grandé Latté Brevé ?”
“Isn’t that what I said?” ( I felt like it was a pink panther movie…)
“We have a system here. We like to say it a certain way so that our Coffee Engineer can make sure he gets your order just right.”
“You mean the guy over there with the metal shards through his ear, lip and eyebrow? He has more flack than a B-17 flying low over Germany during world war II. “
“World War II ? Oh, I didn’t know they made a sequel already. Tom Cruise was great in it wasn’t he? “
“Can I just get an extra strength coffee with half and half milk.?”
“Sorry, we don’t make that here. “
“How about then a Quad Grandé Latté Breve?”
“That will be $15.00. “
“For a cup of coffee with milk?”
“No, for a Quad Grandé Latté Brevé. “
“Thanks. It’s great to get change back from twenty bucks “
After waiting in line for several minutes and then to watch the contortionist Coffee Engineer weave his way through a series of sequences guaranteed to take more time, the coffee with milk finally arrived. Is there no other place in town where we can get a good cup of coffee? The Answer is : Finally Yes! Java D’Lites.
Java D’Lites is a locally run coffee / wine bar that just opened. They offer all the types of coffee styles that you are used to, as well as wine. Coffee and Wine is a great combination, and to add to it, they offer great desserts as well.
The features in this place are:
This is truly a destination place to go to after dinner, or for coffee in the morning.