Coffee! The nectar that brings the dead to life and moves the sluggish to functioning. Some would say that the beautiful brown liquid alone brings hope to their day. I would be one of those people.
No, I am not writing a full post about coffee as a Hope Influencer. Although…
Being handed the most important liquid of the day by a barista who has taken the time to smile, take care in my order and take a minute to connect can change your outlook on the day. Sometimes even your outlook on life.
Some of you may see that as an exaggeration. I see it as hope.
The first time I experienced a Starbucks was in Lynchburg, Virginia. The baristas were all around incredible. There was one that took extra care to get my order correct. Her smile was contagious and within a few visits, my name was on the outside of the cup and the drink finished before I finished ordering. After a couple more visits, MJ and I were friends. She has been one of my closest friends ever since.
There is a cute little local coffee shop around the corner from me, Coal Mine Coffee. The coffee is great and the atmosphere so friendly. What was even better, Trish. I met a friend there for a meeting and of course grabbed coffee. Trish brought our drinks over and just started to chat with us. She took a few minutes to find out who we were and why we were meeting. Never intrusive, simply friendly and kind. We were able to find out a bit about her as well and even though we were there to take care of business, Trish helped make our time a little more lighthearted.
A new Starbucks opened near my apartment a few months ago. Of course, I needed to check it out. I mobile ordered my drink and found a seat. When I went to get it, the smile that greeted me was beautiful. Mary and I talked in between her serving customers. Then a few other baristas did as well. I walk in now and they just know what I want. But it wasn’t only me. So many other customers were greeted by name. A few days after my first visit, I met their manager, Kelly. I knew immediately why the atmosphere in MY new Starbucks was so welcoming.
I was catching a connecting flight at O’Hare on my way to Denver a month or so ago. Out the window, I could see the planes being de-iced. I have no problem with flying. In fact, I fly often and actually enjoy it. This day, just the thought that the planes needed extra care sent my anxiety into high gear. I decided to, you guessed it, grab some coffee while I waited. As I approached the Starbucks line, I heard a beautiful sound from behind the counter. I looked over and a barista named Antonio was singing to the customers as he made and handed them their drinks. In that moment, what was happening outside didn’t matter. He was serving some hope and joy along with the coffee.
Fort Worth Texas was my last trip. There was a café in the lobby of the hotel. Tiffany was there one evening when I needed a drink and just smiled a huge smile and started talking. It was the usual conversation, what brings you to Texas, how long are you here, you know the deal. From there the conversation went to our tattoos and what they meant. We found out we had a little more in common. Her smile brightened the room and shined a bit of hope with each drink, candy bar, or pastry she sold.
I had a friend read last week’s Hope Influencer post and messaged me with the hashtag #teamhopeinfluencer. So, MJ, Trish, Mary, Kelly, Antonio and Tiffany, welcome to Team Hope Influencer! Thanks for the coffee and all the care and hope that you give with it.
Who influenced your hope this week?