Bare with me. I’m actually typing this on Sunday night through swollen eyes and caffeine withdrawals. Tomorrow morning I will hand in my two week notice at work. A decision that has literally taken me months to make.
The first time I worked for Starbucks…21 years ago…I was young, single, working two jobs, and would blow my tip money next door every night at Barnes & Noble. No, really. I would read a book a night. And talk to some cute Aggie on AOL. When I came back to the company 2.5 years ago, I was a tired toddler mama who was smothering in the loneliness that stay at home moms aren’t supposed to talk about. Since then, we’ve had two diagnoses, a boatload of occupational therapy and two years in public school preschool. And now the decision to change school districts to move Jack someplace that better suits his needs. We’ve also had 2.5 years of Kevin and I working opposite shifts so that one of us is always available for Jack. We just THOUGHT we were tired 2.5 years ago. 😉
What I personally have had, though, is the chance to learn more about myself and humanity. I’ve been stretched in ways I didn’t were possible in working a simple little coffee job. For starters, that 2:45a alarm is a beast. Plain and simple. It wasn’t too bad when Jack was 2.5 and still napping but when he gave up naps and I was going from 2:45a to 11 most nights? Yeah. Game changer. My store is located at the corner of two of the busiest freeways in Houston and as such, has a very large homeless population that has shifted over the last two and a half years. I have the HPD and HCSO non emergency numbers on speed dial in my phone and have called them as well as 911 more times than I care to admit because of shady behavior either in our parking lot or in our store. I’ve also had my heart tugged multiple times by young men who clearly had more than just recreational drug issues. I spent many mornings wondering if their moms knew where they were and if they were worried about them. It has made me fight harder for Jack and his future.
I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing, and a few not so amazing, people. All of whom have taught me more than I could have ever hoped to teach them. It’s always amazed me that the ones I’m most drawn to are the ones whose lives are absolutely nothing like mine. What is that? Is that God teaching me a lesson through this awesome young person or just my weirdness acknowledging their weirdness? Weird is good in my book, just so you know.
I’ve had my share of crazy customers that I will not recount here. If you have access to my personal IG or FB pages, then you’ve read them. I’ve been encouraged to write a book about the crazy things I’ve seen and heard out my drive thru window. I don’t know that I’ll ever do that. What I WILL do is teach my child to be respectful and loving to everyone, no matter what their job or life status is. Holy entitlement, America.
For every unpleasant person, there’s at least 5 amazing souls that I’m blessed to serve. Some on a very, very regular basis. Like, when they don’t come through, I worry. And if I’m gone for too many days, or days they aren’t used to me being gone, they ask about Jack. Some I know well enough that we have exchanged phone numbers and they’ll text me on my day off to tell me a prayer request or if the person on drive thru wasn’t friendly enough. 😉
The mamas who come through my line. Oh my heart. Instant connection with some of the coolest moms and somehow we can all relate to something.
Speaking of HPD and HCSO…I’ve always had a deep respect for the men and women in blue, mostly because of the members of my family that are law enforcement, but if seeing the human side of police officers come through your Starbucks every day doesn’t make you love law enforcement, you need a soul check. My favorite is actually a security officer for Jack’s school district. We have kids the same age and laugh on a regular basis about how we can never dress our kids correctly for the weather in Houston, because it literally changes by the hour. There’s no telling what the teachers think of us. Whatever…at least our kids are fed and dressed, right?
I started to write about my favorites, but then the tears started again. I hope I’ve done an adequate job of loving on my favorites and I hope I’m able to stay in touch with them after I leave. I will say this…the customer who orders an Antonio Banderas will always be my very, very most favoritest. And no, that’s not a new Frappuccino, so don’t you dare try to order one at your Starbucks.
As I said, I’ve spent months trying to make this decision. Kevin has been telling me for months that both of us being so tired isn’t worth it. He’s right. And it certainly isn’t helping Jack. We’re about to be putting him in a new neighborhood and school. That’s a lot of adjusting for a little guy like him. If I can be home to help make that adjustment easier for him, I need to be. Kevin has a major change going on at his job, too. Thankfully, it’s a good one, but change, nonetheless. If I can be home to help keep things calmer for him and help him get rest, I need to.
So if I’m totally honest, I’m a little nervous and a little sad about quitting. But I’m also really excited. Jack had a really silly but fun idea for a summer long project that he and I will be embarking on. Theres a whole lot of packing and unpacking to be done in the next few weeks. Possibly adding another four legged family member to the mix. I said possibly. I don’t think I’ll have time between now and him starting Kindy to get bored and lonely. Ask me again in September.