My Secret Fear

by on October 11, 2007 at 8:02 am in Education, Food and Drink | Permalink

My secret fear is that one day I will find myself working in Starbucks; the cashier will call out orders – double latte frappuccino, no whip, extra hot, tall; iced caramel macchiato grande; pumpkin spice crème with soy… I will become confused and disoriented, was that extra whip or no whip?  Tall or grande?  Soy or no soy?  What am I doing?  People will shuffle their feet impatiently, check their watch and stare at me with disdain as I struggle to keep up.  I will start to sweat – now people are frowning.  Aaarrgghh – take me back to my quiet office!

I try to remember my secret fear when the conversation at lunch turns to IQ and yes I tipped extra today.

What’s your secret fear?

1 Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 8:09 am

I do not see (in an economics’ sense), why you tipped extra, due to the fear.

2 Perry Garvin October 11, 2007 at 8:22 am

Regrettably, I was a barista (their word not mine) at Starbucks. It’s not as bad as you think. The way that the cashier calls out the request has a strict order (caf or decaf first, number of shots (if not standard) next, size of cup third, etc.). Cashiers get trained in calling this out and it’s actually rather fun to take a customer’s mangled order and put all the pieces together in the right way. This makes it easy for the person making the drink to write it all down on the cup as the words flow out of the cashier’s mouth.

3 MattF October 11, 2007 at 8:25 am

Well, if recurrent dreams are any indication, I’m afraid (thirty years after graduation) of having to take the final exam in a college course without ever having been to any of the classes.

4 jason voorhees October 11, 2007 at 8:43 am

My department will realize what a mistake that they made in hiring me.

5 Tom October 11, 2007 at 8:46 am

“I do not see (in an economics’ sense), why you tipped extra, due to the fear.”

Not due to fear, just to help the barista pay for his liberal arts degree.

6 Bob Lawson October 11, 2007 at 9:07 am

The sound of a jackhammer always gives me a “there but for the grace of God go I” moment.

7 Bob Lawson October 11, 2007 at 9:08 am

The sound of a jackhammer always gives me a “there but for the grace of God go I” moment.

8 A. Nonymous October 11, 2007 at 9:25 am

That a woman I’ve slept with got pregnant and had an abortion without telling me.

9 Henrik Mintis October 11, 2007 at 9:34 am

As Wittgenstein said, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” Perry Gavin explained perfectly why capitalism works and politics/ ideology/ philosophy doesn’t. Some random person with a media outlet has a nightmare about a subject he knows nothing about, and wakes up to tell the whole world how bad it was, whereas someone who is a member of the fully-functioning wildly successful capitalist machine, a membership that is typically too busy actually doing their job to worry about philosophy, explains that, indeed, things work because they are workable. As if Starbucks became a multi-billion-dollar enterprise because working there was a nightmare.

10 ZBicyclist October 11, 2007 at 9:38 am

My fear is that they revoke my PhD because there were some pages in my dissertation which had slightly less than the required margin. As a result, I have to correct these pages AND GO THROUGH ANOTHER DEFENSE.

11 Justin Ross October 11, 2007 at 9:52 am

That after going through the upcoming job market, I wind up conducting my research and teaching at a community college.

12 Peter October 11, 2007 at 10:21 am

The sound of a jackhammer always gives me a “there but for the grace of God go I” moment.

Well then you should really hate going into a Starbucks. Working as a jackhammer operator is probably 10X better a job that working as a “barista.” It pays a lot more, you get to work outdoors, no dealing with annoying customers, etc.

13 B.H. October 11, 2007 at 10:34 am

Lighten up and read: “How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns To Live Like Everyone Else”
by Michael Gates Gill. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks (really, I am not making
this up).

Maybe your life will improve working at Starbucks.

And you can learn about price discrimination, brand-name capital, fixed costs, productivity
with random demand shifts, corporate governance, and queuing theory. When Naomi Klein comes in for
her triple-decaf-latte made with fair-trade coffee, you can discuss Disaster Capitalism over the bar.

14 josh October 11, 2007 at 10:38 am

jeez, it’s not that bad. I haven’t worked at Starbuck’s, but I have worked at a Subway-type restaurant. It’s not much fun, but neither was my last job as a financial analyst. That’s life, folks.

15 odograph October 11, 2007 at 10:52 am

That I will be reduced to making empty blog posts, like some rat in a cage, pushing the button again, again, …

16 Walt October 11, 2007 at 11:37 am

Being served food I dislike at a dinner party.

17 Ed D. October 11, 2007 at 12:12 pm

That I’ve really got an IQ of 87 and that everyone’s just been humoring me all this time.

18 max davis October 11, 2007 at 12:25 pm

that I’ll be caught for the sum of my many white lies all at once.

19 javier October 11, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Ed D.–actually, it would only be 63% of everyone, since 100 is mean IQ, so don’t worry so much.

20 Person October 11, 2007 at 1:04 pm

javier: SHHH!! Shut up about that already!

Ed_D.: lol, that’s good one, you’re a really clever guy. How do you like your toys?

21 C October 11, 2007 at 1:21 pm

I also fear chickens.

22 odograph October 11, 2007 at 1:57 pm

I got a kick out of hearing about “How Starbucks Saved My Life”, thanks.

23 Indigo S. October 11, 2007 at 2:11 pm

I occasionally have dreams where I have sex with someone, then suddenly realize that I’d forgotten I was married, causing me a great deal of angst over the inadvertent adultery. Then I usually wake up, and spend a few frantic moments searching my memory to make sure the sex really did happen in a dream and not in real life.

My secret fear, of course, is that one of these days I’ll discover it wasn’t a dream.

24 guy in the veal calf office October 11, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Getting fired for trolling around blogs.

And being chased by Dinosaurs.

25 Patrick R. Sullivan October 11, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Soy or no soy?

Por lo tanto piense.

But, also read Pour Your Heart Into It.

26 Rajan R October 11, 2007 at 3:03 pm

“double latte frappuccino, no whip, extra hot, tall; iced caramel macchiato grande; pumpkin spice crème with soy” – well, as someone who worked in Starbucks, I’ll throw a brick at him/her.

In Starbucks speak:
Tall double extra hot latte (there’s no whip cream in the original configuration, so there’s no need to say, “no whip”)
Ice grande caramel machiato (there’s whip cream)
SIZE soy pumpkin spice creme (Heh, we never had that drink while I worked in Starbucks, I don’t really know how to call that one – but I’m guessing there’s whip cream, the only expresso beverages without are cappuccinos and lattes it would seem).

Also, frappuccinos is ONLY used for Starbucks’ ice blended beverages…. I still hate the name.

27 Rajan R October 11, 2007 at 3:08 pm

Err, double tall extra hot latte.

BTW, working in Starbucks isn’t half bad. Benefits’ good, their culture is a whole lot better than other F&B’s. Pretentious, yes, but a good job. I only drank Starbucks twice since quiting though–both out of coercion.

28 Robert Olson October 11, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Zombies. Our defense establishment doesn’t work too well against zombies.

29 Trieu Truong October 11, 2007 at 4:06 pm

My secret fear is that someday I start going to Starbucks as a customer.


* * *

My secret fear is being responsible for another person’s death.

30 Marko Siladin October 11, 2007 at 5:24 pm

31 theo October 11, 2007 at 6:33 pm

My secret fear is that I’ll give up on idealism. How long can a man keep
trying to change himself and the world around him before restrictive
culture defeats him?

32 drivel October 11, 2007 at 7:42 pm

that i am stupid as my resume indicates.

33 The Profesora October 11, 2007 at 10:48 pm

I still remember Wendy’s condiments’ order for burgers: mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle, onion, tomato, lettuce, all on the bun, and the mustard goes on the burger, because it brings out the flavor.

34 Phil October 12, 2007 at 12:44 am

Being asked to chair my department.

35 MrBeefy October 12, 2007 at 1:01 pm


Do you mean that they will end up on the pole? :).

36 Pablo October 13, 2007 at 3:38 pm

You might be interested a memoir about an executive who lost his job, family, health and the took a job at Starbuck’s where he supposedley found respect, structure and happiness.

“How Starbucks Saved My Life”

37 James Chapman October 14, 2007 at 1:47 pm

My secret fear is waking up one morning and finding out that I am French.

38 鑽石 April 2, 2008 at 10:35 pm

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