Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Drive Through

I frequent drive through's a lot. Mostly Starbucks. Now I know all you Backporch and Thump Locals think that Starbucks is the devil. And maybe it is, but I don't really care because he makes a tasty brew (Pike's place + drive through when I'm running late = score!)

Anyhoo, I tend to be a super chipper person in the drive through. Mostly because I worked the drive through at Bank of the Cascades, and nothing is worse than a driver with an attitude. Then last night I was in another drive through (Taco's a weakness, what can I say) and the car in front of us had a bunch of college guys in it. And they were just rude...silly and rude.

So it got me thinking about the different drive through personalities...

1. The Monotone
These are the people who forget there is an actual human being on the other end. So they use the same voice they use when trying to pay their cell bill over the phone. You know the voice!

2. The Yeller
This one makes me laugh because it is usually older people who don't completely understand the sensitivity of the microphone and so they scream their request as loud as they can. Often, you'll notice that the employee does not answer right away. This is because they are desperately trying to muffle their laughter. We're in the 21st century - lower your voice, they can hear you.

3. The Expressionist
Some people are just annoyed all the time. Those people are expressionists. What I mean by this is that the moment they pull up to the speaker or the window, they are already mad. They expect to be disappointed and are pretty upset that you don't already know what they want. But they have some decorum and so they try not to show it in their voice. Instead they have a staredown with the menu. This usually includes 3-4 eye rolls followed by irritated head tilts...which they rationalize by saying, "It's not like they can see me." I have three words for you expressionist: video camera included.

4. The Adapter
Also known as people pleaser. They think it's rude to have any less enthusiasm than the employee and so they will match their enthusiasm no matter how ridiculous or uncomfortable it may be. This person I can't help it. If the Starbucks lady is thrilled with her "sparkling happy great day", then I am equally sparkling. I will never forget the following conversation I had at a Starbucks drive through:

I pulled up to the menu and waited.

Starbucks lady: "Gooood afternoon, and how are ya on this wonderful day?" (Think high-pitched Minnesota accent)

Me: "I'm great, how are you doing?"

Starbucks lady:
"I am doing just fantastic thank you SO much for asking! And what can I get for you today honey?"

"I'll have a decaf grande pike's place roast with cream, please." (Okay that's not what I ordered...but it's what I would today...hint hint)

Starbucks lady:
"All right that's a decaf grande with cream Pike's Place roast (I always say it in the wrong order). That's a great choice, and what else can I get for you?"

"That's all I need, thanks SO much!"

Starbucks lady:
"Okay, honey that's going to be $1.75. I'll race you to the window!"

"You're on!"

Lindsay, sitting in the passenger seat, laughs at me all the way to the window. And I had to laugh at myself. People who know me well would probably not characterize me as a bubbly, giddy kind of person. But that's who I turn into - Starbucks lady has magical powers.

P.S. The adapter might also steal ideas about lists from certain blogs rhyming with Pluff Grishins Zike.

P.P.S. I love Backporch...never fear.