It was a bit of a strange evening in Strohville. Since it was Tuesday, that meant I was heading down to Federal Way to see the Manchild for dinner. This time we were eating in the best place in town, his Grandma’s! (My Mom!)
I may be dating myself here, but one of my favorite shows of all time was “Cheers“, from back in the 80s.
It of course all took place in a small bar in Boston, owned by Sam “Mayday” Malone, Carla and Diane were the servers, Coach and then Woody were the bartenders, and the resident know-it-all Cliff Claven.
My favorite character though was Norm Peterson. He would walk in and the whole bar would yell “NORM!” Woody would say “How you doing Mr Peterson?” to which he’d reply, “Like its a dog eat dog world and I am wearing milkbone shorts!”
So why am I saying all this? Because Norm demonstrates why its good to be a “regular” at an establishment of one type or another. Today, “my” Starbucks proved yet again why this is true!
We walked in, and there was a long line, yet the manager, Kimmie, saw me come in nd yelled “T-TOWN!” No idea why I picked up that name, but that’s what she calls me. Ahead of us was some old crotchety guy wanting 6 drinks, a lady who wasn’t sure what she wanted and a myriad of other customers.
As we got close to the register, Daniel the baristo (a guy barista) took my cup. We always order the same thing, Venti 4 pump vanilla black ice tea with a personal cup. Its my wife’s daily rink (I just drink whatever swill is at work, or, like now, since I am being healthier, green tea. It’s always fun when new baristas realize the drink I get everyday isn’t for me, but for my gorgeous wife.
This is the best part though, and here is where being a regular is the best part. Nicole was still working on crotchety guy’s order “I still have 3 more coming back there!” I heard him growl, there were 4 people behind him and ahead of us. BUT, when we got to the register, the ice tea was made, and sitting right there for us to grab! Swiped the card and gone while the old guy was still waiting!
Now, this does not happen in every Starbucks I go to. For the most part, except for airport Starbucks, the employees there all very nice and attentive. This one is special. The is the Ballinger Starbucks in Shoreline, and in addition to those listed above, there is also, Patti, MaryJo, Mandie, Ivory, and Meaghan. Each time a new employee starts, they introduce me by name. When its slow and I have time, we linger and chat, but when they are busy I get out of their way.
Part of this treatment is the culture of the company, but a big part is from my Dad as well. He ALWAYS, used the name of servers in places we went. I asked him why once, and he said “its a hard job, and people sometime treat them like crap. So I try extra hard to be nice.” I told my kids the same when they’ve asked me the same question.
So going here has shown me dad was right. There are benefits to being nice, AND, i honestly like the people who work there. So much so, that I go out of my way on errand days to hit that one instead of one closer. They’ve earned it!
I don’t EVER want to look like Norm, but I am damn glad I get treated like him! Thanks y’all for always making us feel important!