Saturday, April 2, 2011

Coffee Shop Roundup, Part III, Now with Random Snorts

This economy blows.

The writing refuge has undergone the slow dance of change. The owners of the coffee shop let go over half the baristas. The evening baristas are out—instead, the owners, brother and sister, work the afternoon and early evening away.

They did not have this in mind when they bought the business I am sure. Some people invest in small businesses as a means to diversify their steady income streams. Don’t stick all the eggs in one basket, and all of that. Hire a good manager and let her sweat the details. Good plan, until everybody starts cutting their spending in half. Suddenly the manager is too expensive. Suddenly the shop needs you not as an investor, but to work.

The coffee tastes the same.

Nubile pretty, Allan is not.

I am sure he wants to go back to playing golf.

Epic Fantasy Book Reading Dude still comes into the shop. Yesterday he was actually reading a smaller trade paperback, obviously borrowed. Indeed, he looked like he was reader twenty-five or something—such was the wear on the book. I wonder if Epic Fantasy Book Reading Dude bought it used. It didn’t have a used sticker on it. The writer in me holds on to the small thread that this is a book passed down from friend to friend.

Work is consuming and too much of it occurs here, not because the economy blows, but because it’s so damn fascinating. Would a less intellectually stimulating job leave room for the fiction that needs to bathe in creative juices?

I wonder.

There are more people here working on… something… in the coffee shop. Handsomely Dressed Expensive Laptop Business Man hasn’t made an appearance in over three months, replaced by three other peoples of various persuasions: Homeschool Mommy with Two Fine Teenage Sons, New College Girl, and Perpetual Frown Woman.

The morning crew is still the same. Replacing the morning baristas would be a colossal business mistake and the owners aren’t dumb. The customers in the morning are all the same too, either people going off to work or mommies meeting other mommies with their bundle of cuteness in tow. I rarely set up shop in the morning, but I wonder if I did, what changes I would see?

There seems to be more readers, in the coffee shop. I spotted a book on an iPad, in addition to the occasional Kindle.

I’ve drank the cool-aid and Kindle got my business. I love reading books on my phone, and my new Windows 7 phone had a Kindle app. It did not have a Barnes and Nobel app like my old phone. It’s not as if I have a particular devotion of Amazon, it’s just blazingly clear that Amazon loves me (or, specifically my money) but all these other sellers don’t.

I only buy books that I would not lend to other people, because Kindle book lending still sucks rocks, but I devour books, selfishly only for me, on my phone. I’ve bought a book in bed. I’ve bought a book at the coffee shop and started reading a minute later. I bought a book at the office during lunch over my PC and told Amazon to send it to my phone.

And it did.

This is a reader drug. I feel like a teenager just discovering that kissing girls is great and wonder what else I can get that girl to do.

Thinking about teens and girls brings up the wondering about the afternoon baristas, and not in an Uncle Pervy way. Those girls loved their jobs. Did they find other afterschool jobs? What are they doing now? The coffee taste the sane, but Allan is no flirt. Maybe I should switch my hours, work in afternoons, and do some writing in the mornings.

Bah. Mornings are too noisy.

This economy blows.

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