Wednesday, December 03, 2008

“My” Starbucks: Volume One

It’s good to be back in Sacramento. One reason: I’ve missed “my” Starbucks. That may be a silly concept, but for a freelance editor who struggles to be productive at home, Starbucks has become my office.

Calling it “my” Starbucks is an interesting label because I pass two other Starbucks to reach this particular location. But I prefer this one because I know some of the employees (two of them are former students from my youth ministry days), it has a more open feel, and it has a great area for working on laptops with easy access to power outlets.

There are some very interesting people who spend time at this Starbucks. A couple of weeks ago, a guy and his wife walked in, and as he approached the counter, he yelled, “Is everyone here happy? Are you happy?” He certainly seems to be a happy guy, and the workers smiled – or at least chuckled – in response.

On another day, I managed to get “my” corner spot in the store, and I found myself sitting near two day-traders. I don’t think they knew each other before that day. One of them was loud and boisterous; he yelled – in a loving way, of course – at a guy who left the bathroom door unlocked. The guy who got yelled at – well, he didn’t think it was a loving thing to do.

It’s Wednesday afternoon (two weeks ago, not today), and I’m sitting here editing a file and sipping on my Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino – yes, I know that’s a “foo-foo” drink but I needed a change from my Unsweetened Iced Green Tea with 5 Splendas – and a woman walks up and says, “Hey, you’re the real Eagle Man!”

This statement makes no sense to most of you because you’ve never experienced an “awards chapel” at Antelope Christian Academy. For several years, the students knew me as “Eagle Man” because I was the person who randomly drew the name of the Eagle Award winner each month. This mom recognized me – I’m embarrassed to admit that she only looked vaguely familiar to me – and wanted to say hi.

That’s the bane and blessing of this particular Starbucks. It’s on the edge of Antelope, and lots of people from my old church visit here. Usually that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s a little weird or awkward, especially if the person wants to talk longer than I’m really available.

I used to get paid to have conversations with people and learn what’s going on in their lives. Now I get paid for editing. Personal chats? Those hafta be on my own time – and my own terms, perhaps. OK, back to work…