Monday, August 4, 2008

Language lessons over a cup of Joe

With the exception of a blue-moon latte, I've successfully weaned myself from the Starbucks teat. I was never sold on their drip coffee anyway and only became addicted to lattes after a stint of back-to-work desperation. Have I given up the hedonistic ways of the overly caffeinated? Uh, no.

May I introduce my newest acquaintance, McDonald's large coffee with 10 creams, $1.89. His personality traits: loyal, rich and yet fantasically cheap, tasty and has a brilliant sense of humor.

I thank my frugal mama for this newfound friendship. But too bad McDonald's doesn't make an iced drink without sweetener. Coffee and sugar should never mingle, but I understand the need to drink the sugary concoction. Most people don't care for the bitter taste of coffee. Heck, I like mine with cream (just bring the cow), but I have also been known to swill a black cup of Joe on occasion. So, suffice to say those blended drinks they peddle won't be included in my daily routine. But I have a somewhat funny story about them.

So, I'm at the window, having to wait as they brew a fresh pot, when I come across the brilliance that is McDonald's ingenuity. I usually try not to stare as the workers fill orders, dashing to and fro. And it's not a superiority thing. Watching them through the drive-through window gives you unique perspective of the operation, something walk-up guests don't get. If I was to study their every move I'd feel like an annoying voyeur ... I used to work in the service industry so this makes sense to me, anyone else? I digress ... But this day I happened to glance inside and then wow, the magic unfolded. I watch as the worker grabs a pitcher and places it under a spout, then pushes a button. An icy mixture shoots into the container and starts blending and THE WORKER DOESN'T EVEN HAVE TO TOUCH IT. In fact, she's multitasking during the process. After the blending stops, she pours it into a cup then sets the pitcher upside down and water begins to rinse it. After working as a barista I can't communicate how magical this is. Yeah, it's sort of impersonal but that cute notion can't tend to thirsty hordes during rush hour.

As I continue to be transfixed by the machine, a hand holding my coffee is jutting out.

"That coffee machine. It's awesome!" I say to the girl. She looks at me like I've just insulted her mother ...

"It cleans it for you ..." I reassuringly go on. She's still confused.

"Machine ... oh, good," she says. Ah, she didn't understand me, let alone my praise. I explain to her what awesome means ("cool") and she repeats it slowly. The look on her face reminded me of a child's when they learn a new word. It was a cute little moment. Language lessons at McDonald's. I've seen this particular girl before so it's likely she and I will have face recognition in the future. Her job is to hand things out of a window, no English required. I may have to fix this. As I drove away I thought: Next week's new word, "irony."


1 comment:

Missy Wiggins said...

Where were those machines back in the day?
Starbucks has some auto machines but I don't think they are quite as simple. I need one for me!

I had one of their frappé drinks and it was disgusting!

Black coffee ain't bad if I am desperate.