Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 111- Why I'm a Barista and not POTUS

Dear Mr. President,

Today I was yelled at by a customer I was serving, rudely scolded before I'd even had the chance to do anything wrong. It wasn't a big deal, or even an interaction that far outside of the ordinary, but it's had me contemplating the type of person who gets that angry about coffee. You certainly get angry complaints all the time, you must hear it and read it and see it on a daily basis. Your job requires you to make unpopular, difficult decisions that affect people's lives; a certain amount of anger is just to be expected. I feel as though my relative lack of importance ought to keep people from every getting this angry at me, but then, I suppose every one needs a way to deal with their bad days.

I think this is a bit like appointing a Supreme Court Justice. You've barely begun the decision making process, and already some are angry that your nominee will be too partisan, too moderate, too traditional, too activist, or any number of other hypothetical superlatives. I understand a reasonable amount of concern with who the next Justice will be; the lifetime appointment affords so much power for so little accountability that it is important for citizens to be engaged in the process. However, like my customer today who had a very specific idea of what she wanted and was already convinced that I would not give it to her, many of the hysterics over your decision seem absurdly preemptive.

I hope that the wisdom you displayed in nominating Justice Sotomayor will see you through to making another excellent choice. I'm lucky, in that my conflicts with those I serve can almost always be quickly resolved; I'm empowered to just give them what they want, even when they don't think that's possible. You can only nominate one person, and they can't possibly hope to please every one. I suppose that's why you ran for office and I make coffee all day. Anyway, my workday will be starting in only a few more hours, so I'll leave more important issues for another day. I hope this letter finds you well, and not too overwhelmed with the impossible task of governing a country as difficult as this one. And please, be nice to whoever is serving your coffee.

Respectfully yours,


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