First Published: October 8th, 2015
Word Count: 250
by Alexandra Erin
“Tall whipless double espresso soy mocha!”
“We’ve talked about this, Morgan.”
The barista blanched at the sound of her supervisor right behind her. She stood with a fixed smile on her face until the drink had been collected, then turned.
“Simon, I’m sorry,” she said. “It just slipped out! Force of habit.”
“It never should have become a habit in the first place,” he said. “You’ve worked here long enough to know the policy. We ask the guest’s name, we write it on their cup, we call it out! It makes people feel welcome, as if you’re treating them nice. It’s not rocket science. If it was, you wouldn’t be doing it.”
“Couldn’t I just be nice for real? I have… issues… with shouting people’s names. Julia never had a problem with my little quirks.”
“Yeah, well, Julia retired,” Simon said. “I don’t have a problem, either. You do, and you need to get over it right the fuck now.”
“You’re sure I can’t just call out the drinks?” Morgan asked.
“No. Names or nothing,” he said. “Do your job or hit the bricks.”
“Could I… practice with yours?”
“If that’s what it takes,” he said, rolling his eyes.
She called his name.
It didn’t take long for the EMTs to get there, but it was too late to do anything. The shop closed for the day, and Morgan knew it might be closed a bit longer, but when it reopened, no one would ask her to call out names.