A typical week in my life, from a Starbucks Barista’s POV


There are certain people in your life that know you better than anyone else. More than your family. More than your best friends. More than your neighbors. These are people that have a clear insight to your daily life more than most. They are more keen than your therapist, more aware than your own spouse of exactly what is going on in your life. And this is all done in just minutes a day, with minimal communication. All it takes is a simple coffee order.

Monday: <She walks in with a bounce in her step, bright-eyed and smiling>

Barista ~ Hey T, what can I get ya?

Me ~ Hey Sam, what’s new on the menu? I’d love to try something fun!

Translation: Her husband gave her a reprieve by taking the kids out for a few hours, so she’s managed to get enough rest over the weekend and is ready to kick off this new week with a highly caffeinated bang and a positive attitude. And her hair and makeup are on fleek. Another positive indicator.

Tuesday: <She walks in, still smiling with a positive attitude>

Barista ~ G’morning T. Want to try the new Teavana?

Me ~ Nah, too light for me. I’ll take a grande anything of your choice, extra shot of espresso.

Translation: The girl is still open to suggestions, but very clear on the amount of caffeine involved. She must be knee-deep in summer camps and play dates, so she needs some serious shit to keep her going. She has Day Two hair (flatter), but her makeup up is still on point, and she’s rocking those jean capris and Guess flip-flops.

Wednesday: <She walks in, fumbling through her purse, a bit disoriented>

Barista ~ Hey T, I just got done cold brewing a few flavors, want to try?

Me ~ Um, no. I’ll just take The Usual. And a cheese danish.  And a bagel. And a chocolate chip cookie.

Translation: Uh oh. For her to order her usual means things must be going down at home. She’s come back to her comfort drink. And for her to order that many pastries either means she’s feeling frazzled or is PMSing. That stressed look on her naked face and her hair pulled up in a clip is a huge indication that things are changing.

Thursday: <She walks in, only carrying her wallet and makes a beeline for the register>

Barista ~ Hey sunshine, good to see you. The usual?

Me ~ Yes, please.  Make it a venti. And the Evening bash is still going on tomorrow, right? Yes?! Please say yes!

Translation: Oh crap, she’s transitioned into yoga pants and a $5 t-shirt from Target that has mysterious stains. And the fact that she’s asking if our wine night is still continuing tomorrow is a clear sign of desperation. I could smell it the moment she walked in. This mama is clearly overworked and underpaid.

Friday: <She walks in, no more fucks given>

Barista ~ Hey T. Happy Friday! Red or White?

Me ~ Let’s start with white and go from there. Keep a tab open.

Translation: Yea. She’s done. At this point, she’s tired of being everything to everyone. The thousands of hats she wears are beginning to take their toll on her spirit Nothing that a couple hours with a couple of glasses of wine can’t fix. And then it all starts over again on Monday…


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