Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

At the free sample table

A well dressed man in a dark suit and top coat strode up to the sample table. He removed his i-pod buds from his ears. Then he reached for a napkin and began to vigorously blow his nose about 12" above the sample basket, then walked up to the counter to place his order.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pink pajamas

Overheard awfully juicy sniffing and snorting from the area where a mother and little daughter in pink pajamas were sitting. I looked over at the little girl (about 7 years old), but it was the mother! Gross! I thought about handing her a Kleenex, but I was using mine. Another woman came in and I heard the snuffly, sniffy mom tell her the little girl was sick so she was keeping her out of school. Soon the mommy moved to another table to join her friend, leaving the little pink clad girl alone. She sipped a bit of her hot chocolate--mostly the whipped cream. Then she got up and started running around--not obnoxiously, but bored. Took a few more sips. Finally, mom was ready to go. She put the lid on the little (sick) girl's cup and began to drink it.

On the other side of my table I overheard a female attorney telling a male friend how much she hates her job--I think it involved family custody battles. She was complaining that when she loses, she eats the costs--sometimes thousands. The lies are just awful, she said. The children suffer. She was thoroughly disgusted with her clients, many in prison. Evil, she said. Just evil. Made me happy I'd been a librarian where the worst lies we'd get were "the dog ate it." (And in vet libraries that really happened.)

I suspect her friend was also an attorney, and good for him, he just listened and nodded. He offered no advice; no "can you top this" stories. That's what friends are for.

My Kleenex would have had a good work-out if I'd shared it today.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Heard at the coffee shop

"What did you name the puppy?"




Thursday, January 17, 2008

The arrogance of power

At the coffee shop I often chat with a man who formerly managed a high-end men's clothing store (considering the casualness of fashion today, it's probably good he changed professions). Today he told me two stories, both representing the arrogance of power, and unfortunately, extremely poor Christian witness.

The first was the wife who came into the store and selected four or five $500 suits (they would probably be $1,500 today), take them home, and then return all but one or two in 10 days. She did this about twice a month. Because his sales staff were on commission and the returns would really mess this up, soon he was the only one who would wait on her. Finally, he suggested to her that her husband come to the store, select what he wanted, and they'd do the measuring, tailoring, alterations, etc. She insisted that her husband was "too busy," and this method worked fine--they had a tailor on their staff who would do the alterations. So he explained the problem. She would take everything in his size; the manager would need to reorder; then she would return them, and he'd have too much. Plus, if someone his size came in during that overlap, he had nothing to show them. She was adamant. Her husband, a high profile local pastor (she identified him as though that should explain it all), was simply too busy. But then she wrote to his regional manager, and complained about how she was treated, although he says he'd been very polite and tried to work out the problem. I've known him long enough to know he has excellent people skills. But I've dealt enough with the public to know that people with a sense of entitlement are not influenced by this. Only obsequiousness satisfies them.

The second incident (same store) involved a rising, popular, young gospel singer, in town for a concert in the mid-1980s. He came into the store with one of his "roadies." He complained about the selection and said he had much better choices in (southern city). But he did buy a sport coat. He was so whiny and arrogant, that the former manager remembers him to this day (I looked him up not being too familiar with this genre and he's been in a sex scandal, but has continued his career). The bright spot was that the roadie was a real nice guy.

The man I was talking to is a Christian. He said if he hadn't been, and those two were the only Christians he knew, it certainly would have turned him away from the faith.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

How embarrassing

The other day I met my friend Judy for coffee, and had forgotten that I only had about $.90 in my purse. In the days when I served coffee at Zickuhr's Drug Store coffee was only a dime and sometimes I got a quarter tip, but those days are long gone. So I had to borrow money from her. I forget how much money I need to have with me just to have a cup of coffee!

Now I've put $40 on a Panera's card, and I got a Caribou card from my son for Christmas for $40, so I'm all set for awhile. I think I even have a Starbucks card for $5 in my purse.