Job Opening: Exentric Starbucks Oddball

As you may or may not know, I love Starbucks.  OK, maybe not as much as Jones Coffee in Pasadena with their Aztec Mocha or that little coffee counter at the Metreon in San Francisco where they have killer chai but for my regular chai fix, it’s Starbucks.  My drink of choice is a Grande, non-fat, no water chai tea latte.

Starbucks is a place where I can relax, plug in my laptop, write, surf the web and contemplate the Universe.  There is another thing that seems to tie various Starbucks together, the excentric oddballs.  I’ve had the “Camel Toe Lady” in Livermore, the “Crazy Tie Dye Hippie” in Point Richmond, the “Musical Farter” in Pinole and the Trap Door Begger in Piedmont.  Though to be fair, he wasn’t in Starbucks per say.  He camped out in the alleyway next to Posh Bagel but it was close enough to Starbucks to still be creepy.

Now I have found a Starbucks that needs an oddball.  It is the Starbucks on Richmond Parkway between Point Richmond and Pinole.  Every time I have checked in there I have found the lounge to be depressingly normal.  Normal people coming in, ordering their lattes, reading the newspaper, chatting about the Giants game, even a few cops doing their paperwork.  No oddballs, no specimens of the variety that is the human condition.

Then it hit me.  The Voice.  Now I am not categorizing this person as an oddball associated with a specific Starbucks on a regular basis.  This could be a lone soul passing through on the way to another destination, her stop mercifully brief.

Everyone, let me give you a bit of advice.  Just because you have vocal chords, just because you may be very smart, does not mean you need to talk.  All the time.  Constantly.  About nothing at all.  This woman would not shut up.  In fact, I’m not even sure if she paused to breathe the entire time she was there.  She never ordered anything.  She came in with a friend or unwitting soul that had been punished by the Gods and had to cart this albatross around for eternity while she yammered away nonstop about absolutely nothing.  At times these tangents took on the shadings of academia.  It didn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter if you are the most brilliant person on the planet if you are an insufferable know-it-all and a total douche.

I felt so very sorry for the woman having to listen to this but felt more pity for Motor Mouth Mabel.  How was she raised?  I am thinking in a highly competitive environment where if you didn’t get your points in by all means possible, you would not be heard.  If I could tell her something it would be this “The best things are said in silence”.  I just made that up.  Feel free to use it.  It’s true.  I understand you want to express yourself.  I feel for you.  I really do.  You want to feel noticed, recognized, worthy, loved.  We all do.  But you are driving people away, people are tuning you out and that is running contrary to what you desperately want.  The validation of human interest and contact.  In your effort to push for validation and attention at all cost, you are denying yourself the one thing you want.

Stop.  Listen.  Sit a while.  Silence is your friend and your teacher.  Learn now before it is too late and you are left railing at the walls because no one else will be there to hear you.

Posted on October 8, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I feel for you. A couple of months ago I was in a Poinciana, Florida Starbucks. Some woman and her friend came in. The friend was quiet but the woman talked at the top of her lungs non-stop. Several times she would answer her phone, have a conversation and share what was being said on the phone by the other friend to the friend that was with her. Sometimes she would treat ALL of us into having to listen to her phone call when she’d put it on speaker phone, yet keep it up at her ear.

    Some of the most amazing ‘treasures’ of humanity use Starbucks as their watering hole.

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