Back in the day the question I would have asked is “where are you reading this from?”. Nowadays, I’ll rephrase that to “on what device?”…
Yes, the days of standing in silence are over, or at least these new gismos and gadgets are making face-to-face communication a whole lot more obsolete! I’m still waiting for the day when customers facebook, text or tweet in an order…oops, did I say waiting? I meant dreading. When it comes to communication technology, I am fascinated by the evolution of the traditional Line-Up thanks to the extinction of the Land-Line.
If you are waiting for this page to load or tweet to send, whether you’d admit it or not, stress levels are rising, and frustration climbing. Yes, the socializing world just got that much more highteningly exciting, or brutally excruciating. Ah! The social gap is widening; those who aren’t cellularly up-to-date are the ones who must be old-fashioned and, well, wait. Yes the waiting game is only going to get more neurotic and more unpredictable; with everyone playing on their own devices, playing by their own device’s rules. Out-of-control?! Hey, that just about describes me in the morning when trying to deal with customers who are totally plugged in, yet utterly unplugged from their reality in the coffee shop line-up. What happened to the good, old-fashioned flow!? You know, line-ups that moved?
While there may be an App for customizing your beverage, finding out if your favourite cafe is open late and discovering that the scone you’ve been eating for the last month has too many calories for your customized eDiet (I’m sure there’s an App for that too), there is definitely no magic button, fast-forward, or drink downloader to make me make your drink with any more haste. I’m not a virtual Barista… so while you’re waiting for that App to be invented, you may as well wait patiently for your drink, too.
Not only has the waiting standard revolutionized so that we are desensitized to standing in one place for longer than 0.2223 seconds, we also take offence/seem dumbfounded, perplexed and perpetually puzzled when our orders to do not instantaneously appear after the transaction has been completed. No, your time here hasn’t been deleted, you drink is almost completed, no, your complex order need not be repeated, or re-heated. Even though I know this reassurance feels much-needed, I often feel defeated/depleted and then I feel the frustration rise because I just despise how the customer won’t even look me in the eyes ‘cuz his head is bowed, back hunched, thumbs pattering away…what’s the matter, sir? Please sir, just PAY ATTENTION! Can’t you spare me, your Coffee GIrl, just one iSecond?!
Yes, the line-up is your time. And for many of you, this is your only time to whip out your personal communication device undisturbed and personally connect with the people you love elsewhere. Actually, it takes some of the pressure off; when customers are absorbed in their iWorlds, they are not focusing on my mistakes or the time I take to make their drinks extra-perfect and do a quick no-foam-sugar-free remake. When eyes are down in an unfocused, concentrating frown, bowed to the phones, our new home-away-from-homes, I can sigh and take some Barista “myTime”.
It’s ironic how I am always priding myself on being the Cafe Connection Queen. Yet, typing out this post took me many distracted attempts, edits and saves and misconstructed sentences. I’m blushing red because I too am being pinged-ponged, binged-bonged from my own little iDevice; and it’s nice, I’m not going to lie; it gives us all a real high to feel connected. Though in future I’ll open my own cafe somewhere with bad reception! I promise my fellow store friends, Baristas far and wide, that the next time I’m in the line, I’ll give you my full attention!
Here’s to no more missed connections.
Sent lovingly from your iCoffee Girl,
The last weekend I worked the following drinks (all costing an average of $4 or more) went unclaimed, were mistook, orphaned or remade due to lack or attention from their rightful owners:
- Extra-large Non-fat Steamed Milk and Early Grey Tea
- Double Decaf Non-fat Latte
- Medium Extra Whip Mint Chocolate
- Steamed Egg nog
- Two Medium Lattes
That’s a whole lot of iStress on me!