Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Here you go, Honey Bear.

I had nice chuckle over Boo Mama's post today about coffee, coffee shops, and specialty drinks of choice. It brought back many memories during my college and early-twenties days as a Caribou Coffee shop barista. To me, it was like working at the Cheers bar, only there we served coffee. I knew so many of our customers because we had so many regulars that actually came and hung out at the Caribou because they liked the atmosphere and they liked us.

We knew our customers more by the drink they ordered than by their names sometimes. Like, the middle-aged couple who always drove separately to the coffee shop but arrived at the same time because they were going in opposite directions to work. They always ordered an XL skim latte with half-shot decaf/regular coffee, so we always called them the "XL skim latte couple" and their drinks were already made and waiting for them at the counter when they arrived.

Some of my fondest days were the few years that I opened the shop at 5am with Cheryl. Oh. my. goodness....we had a blast. We got some curious smiles as to why we were so friendly at 6am in the morning. There was always something to laugh about.

Like the time Cheryl called one of the regular 6am guys "Honey Bear"...to his face. I don't even remember his name, but he would come in at 6am with a box of doughnuts for us and always bought a cup of coffee, plus honey from the "honey bear" bottles. He was an older gentleman, so it wasn't like he was hitting on us or anything....(unless we were really that naive?). One morning, Cheryl got eager with his cup of coffee ready at the counter for him when he came in. The gentleman had paid for his coffee and at the same time, Cheryl realized she forgot to provide the honey bear to him. She grabbed the honey bear and proceeded to hand it to him, saying, "Here you go....honey bear"...as in "here is the honey bear". Only, it really came out of her mouth as, "Here you go, Honey Bear". There was a slight moment of embarrassment when I just started bursting out laughing, then Cheryl laughed and then the gentleman laughed. That was when we started calling this gentleman "Honey Bear", but only BEFORE he got into the coffee shop.

Then, there was the time when I smoked up our coffee shop of burnt popcorn. There still hasn't been a drink created out of that experience.....