Friday, July 29, 2011

Being Known

Hockey Boy has been waiting for the baristas at Starbucks to "know" my drink. I guess he thinks it is as cool as I do when someone knows your drink as soon as you walk in the door. Especially since I have a complicated drink order. If it is not too hot, I order a single, grande, hazelnut, nonfat, no whip, mocha. Ordered in the correct Starbucks-ese because I have been trained properly. Right now though it is too hot to drink a hot drink so I am trying different iced concoctions. I am not as loyal to my drink in the summer. I guess the sun brings out the adventurous spirit in me.

Unfortunately, none of the baristas have learned my drink order yet. I cannot blame them. I live in a triangle of Starbucks and depending where I am going, I will visit different ones every day. Also, I am really enjoying sleeping in and being lazy these last few weeks and just making coffee at home. So I am still not known. I am still anonymous. And Hockey Boy is a bit disappointed by this. Someday, when school is back in session, I am sure I will develop a routine Starbucks, a place to grab coffee after dropping the boys off at school. I may even get to know the baristas names and recognize a few familiar coffee drinkers in line.

But the anonymity, the not being known, is okay for now. Because while I may not be known and the stores may look different, Starbucks still feels like my place. I read an article about Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, recently and he said, “We’re not in the coffee business.  It’s what we sell as a product but we’re in the people business—hiring hundreds of employees  a week, serving sixty million customers a week, it’s all human connection...”

I love the distinction. "We're not in the coffee business." I am not in the laundry, carpooling, homework helping, dinner cooking, time out giving business. I am in the people business. I am building a relationships with my kids. I am helping them to be known. Known personally, in a busy, hectic, over crowded world.

I know my kids' drink orders. I know them. And I don't ever want to lose that. In a world full of anonymity, my kids are known.


  1. Beautifully written. Still trying to figure out what I want to be known for...

  2. Just getting to reading some of your old posts... and I loved this one! It is good to remember what "business" we are in, isn't it?!!