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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(from levon)

We’ve all had jobs in customer service, at least I thought. Working in the upper east side has opened my eyes to a world of wealth where people don’t have jobs at all; but customer service is otherwise a common denominator if we go back on the resume far enough.  I have my days where customer service comes naturally, when I’ve had enough sleep and I’m cheery to be the person touching the customer on behalf of the corporate mother.  Then there are the other 7 seven days of the week.  

At one moment today I had a lady angrily searching for 3 cents in her Louis Vitton because I wouldn’t take it out of the tip jar.  This, of course, held up the 5 second rule held by New Yorkers, for the time it should take to walk in and out of a Starbucks.  The lady next in line snarled audibly to everyone, “OMG there’s only one register open and this is the only Starbucks on the block!”  The first lady looking for the change grabbed a dollar and huffed “here.”  I gave her back $.97 and she grunted that she didn’t want to have to carry change.  I said “sorry.”  She said “yes, you are.”

But then I’m just a dumb kid at Starbucks trying to get $.97 into the tip jar. 

Then I heard something from an old man that made me smile:  a thick country accented “grande” that rhymed with “band aid.”  I said, “Please tell me where you’re from.”  

“Bowling Green, KY”

I almost teared up.  “Madisonville, KY,” I said.  In four seconds we shared our family names, our mother’s names, why we came to the city, said goodbye and good luck; and the lady next in line gave me a threatening look because now she was 4 seconds late.  

My day kept getting better.  For a moment there were no other customers in line as I looked outside in time to see my absolute favorite movie starlet walking down Lexington Avenue towards the door of our store.  She was going to open it, which meant she would have to talk to me.  I swallowed hard in preparation and my chest fluttered.  Her blonde hair was pulled back and her face hidden behind large sunglasses which she didn’t take off.  She smiled and made her order in the familiar voice that sounded surreal in its direction towards me.  I had to make a choice, to do my job or stammer like a fool.  I opted, as it turned out, to do a mixture of both.

 I couldn’t find the espresso button on the screen because it was spinning.  I kept repeating her order over and over out loud so that I could have something intelligent to say.  She smiled warmly, probably used to her star power’s abilities to dumbstruck even the most seasoned barista.  It was clear I had recognized her and was desperately trying to do my job so that she could go on to wherever people like her go when they leave Starbucks.  It wasn’t working though, and she mercifully asked me where I was from to get me to stop repeating myself.  


“I knew it!

And with that, we shared maybe three more sentences and she left.  I stood there wondering why Renee Zellweger had made me more nervous than the former President of the United States had done just last week.


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