Starbucks, USA

‘Hello!’ The employee said cheerfully as I entered Starbucks. ‘We were just talking about you.’ I was a little confused, but assumed it was a new American ‘thing’, like wishing everyone a ‘nice day’ and irrepressible cheerfulness.

‘Oh,’ I replied politely. ‘What were you saying?’ (I was secretly quite worried. I had been in this particular Starbucks several times already, using their free wi-fi and never buying a thing. I wondered if I was about to be told off). ‘We were just saying how much more fun things would be once you arrived,’ The chap continued. I smiled happily. Perhaps all the Starbucks employees wanted was a slightly disheveled English girl loitering around their café, sneakily avoiding data roaming charges and wondering how New Yorkers stayed so slim when the portions were so enormous.

‘So, come and start your shift, silly,’ The Starbucks employee told me firmly. ‘Um,’ I said cautiously. Oddly, the first thing I thought was that I was wearing running kit. ‘I don’t think I’m appropriately dressed,’ I said quietly. At this point a girl walked past me, laughing at her colleagues. ‘Give me a minute’, She yelled as she walked through the café. ‘I’ll be with you for the next 5 hours.’ What I like most about this Starbucks is their discretion. Not only do they let one use wi-fi without buying a single item, they politely ignore you when you hold entire conversations with yourself. Perhaps they assume both are a highly respectable British ‘thing’. Which, if I were in charge, they certainly would be.

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