In Like a Line
I can't really figure out if March has come in like a lion or a lamb this year. On St. David's Day, it was beautiful and sunny and not too cold. Yesterday, great sloppy ice-blobs fell out of the sky and coated the trees which tried valiantly not to bow. Today it was about 50 degrees until my drive home from work, at which point it snowed a little bit. I'm confused. I think March is confused. If it starts off with multiple personalities, does it stay that way until April?
Furthermore, Saturdays seem to be thrown into the Starbucks week to test my Lenten resolve. Maybe because it was so warm, everyone came out of the woodwork and ended up in our store. In the six hours I worked today, we had a line out the door which really only lulled about three times, for less than twenty minutes each. I felt pretty much overwhelmed all day.
There is an upside to this, though. It seems to me that in the battle between good and evil, if you get blatantly confronted by the thing you're trying to combat, it's easier to triumph, because there it is, right in your face. Today I could say to myself, "Wow. This rush is not ending. Clearly, I am going to get annoyed. I had better be extra vigilant not to say anything cutting and nasty about anybody." (It may also have helped that there was no time to do this.)
Also, that aspect of the ordeal was probably rendered easier by the fact that, with that many people, customers cease to be individuals, and become The Line, a living entity separate from the sum of its parts. When there's a Line like the one we had today, there's almost a sense of solidarity between baristas and customers, because nobody likes The Line. Everybody just wants it to go away. Customers don't want to be in it. Baristas want to be able to refill the stacks of cups and lids and bins of ice and fridges of milk, but they can't, because there is The Line, staring at them, daring them to move from their posts. On the other hand, they can't fulfill The Line's demands if they can't run off and get any of those things.
This Line was a sassy, teasing kind of thing, because for hours it would keep dwindling down enough so that we could see the end of it approaching the register. Then, just before we annihilated it, just before we could refill the shockingly barren pastry case, or empty the astonishingly replete trash at the condiment bar, five more people would walk in, and there--The Line! It would almost have been more bearable if it had stayed level at the door the entire time.
I left in the early evening, saying sincere prayers for a reprieve for my colleagues, and feeling relieved to have escaped The Line without being mean.