Saturday, October 17, 2009
Apparently, I have a nemesis. It's not the kind of relationship I thought I'd pick up by working part time at a café, but so it goes. Our first meeting was normal, I made her some milk/coffee/flavor combination and attempted to exchange pleasantries; the only somewhat unusual thing about her was that she didn't seem interested in making eye contact or smiling at me. Our second meeting was similar; she didn't speak to me except to order her coffee, she ordered the same thing, and I failed to make it correctly. I left out the vanilla flavoring, and her latte tasted like coffee. I don't habitually make this kind of mistake, and it is indeed about as bad a thing as one can do whilst supporting oneself as a barista. I was in the wrong, I screwed up, It was all my fault. Our third meeting shortly followed our second, and she was livid. Her eyes seemed to have doubled in proportion, and the pallor which had theretofore characterized her visage had vanished, leaving in its place the deepest crimson hue I'd yet seen across human features, and scarcely would have thought possible had I not beheld it myself. "Would you please put vanilla in this latte, like I asked you to before?" She seemed to be speaking in two voices at once, the first for the purpose of conveying information, the second merely for conveying the profundity of the contempt in which she held me. Trying my best to keep my composure under the intensity of her glare, I offered to re-make her the entire drink, but to no avail. I would happily have refunded her out of pocket, and considered it a small and entirely reasonable price to pay for the privilege of never seeing her again. It took ten minutes after she'd stormed out of the place before the sun started to shine back in through the windows, and I began to collect myself. I'm not used to being despised. I'd even thought to myself in my some of my more foolish and youthful states of mind that one day I should know that I'd done some good in the world if someone hated me for it. But this was over coffee. It's shameful, really. I've made an enemy out of someone, over coffee. This isn't how it was supposed to be at all. I know that I have indeed made an enemy of her, by the way, because the third meeting was not our last. Twice since then, she has walked into the café, noticed that it was me, vocalized her disgust (the most recent expression of recognition being "Oh, come on!"), and stormed out. Somewhere in the course of my life I've done something terribly wrong, such that my worst enemy was made was over a vanilla latte. It's all wrong. It wasn't supposed to be like this.