Starbucks: A ‘Tall’ task


I am not a coffee drinker, in any sense of the title, but today I found myself standing in line at a Starbucks in Vancouver, British Columbia, trying to adapt to the whole B.C. lifestyle of spending hours at a coffee house. Looking up at the menu I glance over the many options trying to decide what to get. How do I decide what to get? There is essentially two criteria that my order needs to fit: (i) do I think I will like it and  (ii) do I think I will be able to fluently order it? And to be honest, the latter tends to trump the former. I see many different types of Cappuccinos, Frappucinos, and specialty drinks which, according to my brain, are far too difficult to try and order. Scanning, scanning, scanning….ah I’ll just get a normal coffee. But wait, now I gotta decide what size is the easiest to say: Tall? Grande? Venti? Well, Venti is out of the question, I have always had a hard time with V’s and frankly, that big of a coffee would probably give me a heart attack. So now begins the mental process of trying to imagine and plan out what is easier to say aloud: “Tall coffee or Grande coffee”.  Tick-tock, tick-tock. “Tall coffee” it is. I step up to the barista and place my order:

– “Can I get a Tall coffee”? Flawless. Boom! Success!

– “Medium Roast”? replies the barista.

-A simple nod here should suffice, I would love to know the difference between roasts, but Google can answer that later, and I don’t have to use my voice to do that.

-“What’s your name?” asks the barista….

-“Chris” is my response. I assume she understood,I have trouble with my own name sometimes, so I tried to mumble it out clearly enough so I shouldn’t have to repeat myself

-“Sorry, what was that? Trist?”

-“Um…no”….try and be clear here buddy, it’s your name and I know it’s a little embarrassing to stutter over your own name but you can do it, I have faith in you! “Chris”

-“Great thanks” *writes my name on the cup*

– Exhale. Smile. Move on.

The anxiety and difficulty associated with ordering food/drink is constant and it never seems to get easier. There is a lot of internal planning that goes through my head when I need to speak (something I will talk about at greater lengths in upcoming works). I really wish it were easier to order food/drink but the reality is that it isn’t and that is just something, like many aspects of my life, that I have to live with. Thankfully, most of the time I end up getting what I want, and when I don’t, I try and enjoy it anyways.

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