I know it’s crazy. I am berating myself as I type this. (And don’t think it’s easy to type and berate at the same time, because it isn’t. I made three typos in that one setnence alone. Oops. There’s another one.)
It may, in fact, be too soon to sound the alarm. And why do I call it an alarm? There is no current emergency. No urgent need for assistance.
It’s just… something seems to have changed. Or, more accurately,
It may yet flip back again. The signaling evidence remains validatingly uncertain.
Just two weeks. Well, today makes it three weeks.
Based on the available sampling, however, I can at least tentatively report,
EXHALING A PALPABLE “BREATH OF REGRET”
My “Specialized Treatment” at Groundwork Coffee Co. has come to an end.
As abruptly – and inexplicably – as it began.
All I know is I now receive the same homogenized service offered everyone else. Which, at one time, I found perfectly acceptable.
The thing is, I have experienced Camelot.
Where once it never rained till after sundown…
So to speak.
And now, I’ve been summarily thrown back into “The Mob.”
And, though I felt genuinely unworthy of that individualized treatment,
I must uncomfortably acknowledge,
What I 'd never expected nor asked for viscerally hurt being taken way.
The manager, rushing to procure the Venice Blend beans for my “pour-over” the moment I stepped through the door, ordering the cashier to knock seventy-five cents off the charges, his assistant – at his instruction – offering a supplementary sample of Venice Blend beans to take home, the coffista – again, at the manager’s behest – delivering my specially prepared order “double-cupped”, as he knew I preferred it.
And now – for the third week in a row – I wait my turn in line for service, pay full price for my Venice Blend “pour-over”, there are no more “free samples”, and I have to specifically ask for two cups.
Just like before they were nice.
Somebody tell me,
What did I do wrong?
To be cruelly “cast out of Paradise.”
I never wanted to be singled out. It was embarrassing. Of course, I always said “Thank you.” It was a mumbling “Thank you” because I was in this spotlighted
position. People were noticing and I dreaded a backlashing “Who does he think he is?”
I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore. I’m just wondering, you know? not bellowing, “You must put it back!”
What happened to my “Priority Status”? Am I experiencing some rebuking punishment, the manager thinking, “This guy’s getting too big for his britches”? Did he sense a swaggering “tell” in my demeanor? The way I walked in, like, “Here comes ‘His Majesty.’ All hail to the ‘King’”?
I didn’t do that.
Maybe it seeped in subliminally, that “Soupcon of Entitlement.” Just remember, I didn’t start any of this.
They offered. And I accepted.
And now, with no overt explanation,
That generous offer has been rescinded.
Should I have been more “acknowledging” in my behavior? I already tipped 25 percent. Was I supposed to tip more?
Was there some cultural “cue” that somehow eluded me? Maybe I was required to “pass on” the beneficence. Holding the door for a customer on crutches. Saying “Hello” to a tattooed stranger.
I was friendly – I’m always friendly.
Maybe just not friendly enough.
Bottom Line: Whatever I did, or didn’t do…
And, though I am appreciative I once had it,
I can’t help feeling the loss.