Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Barista Barometer

Friendster Guy has this theory*.


After several tedious and frustrating encounters with service professionals on our way to Maine for vacation, FG explained to me the Barista Barometer.

This theory is that you can determine the state of the economy by the service you get at any place with a service counter - Starbucks, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, movie theaters, etc...


When you are being waited on by someone really great - prompt, courteous, has their shit together, can count change without using their fingers - the economy is going down the toilet. These are educated individuals who are either working their way through grad school, or, more importantly for FG's theory, already have several perfectly good degrees but can find no other gainful employment than as a barista.

When you are being served by someone who you are pretty sure can't tie their own shoes in the morning, nevermind work a cash register, (and it's not because they are, what's the PC term these days? "special needs" - because at least those folks are friendly and hard working) then you know the economy is going great. If Starbucks has to scrape the bottom of the barrel because everyone else worth their weight in coffee beans is employed, well, make sure you're contributing to your 401K. You don't want to miss the wave of prosperity.

When we caught a news clip a few days into our vacation stating that unemployment was declining FG said, "We could have told them that a few days ago."
The Barista Barometer never fails.

* I don't know if it's his theory or one he heard about but it's a good one nonetheless.
[Update: FG has informed me the Barista Barometer was an NPR thing. And here I thought he was so clever all on his own.]

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