Friday, March 25, 2011

A Comprehensive Analysis of Starbucks' Atmosphere/Ever Heard Someone Ramble About Useless Shit?

This collection of words was written on the fly as I observed. Every break in the writing was real, and none of this was pre-drafted or brainstormed. You are reading the stream of my disorganized consciousness. Let the creeping begin.

I wonder how customers view shot calibrations. When shots are too long or too quick to draw, it means the espresso/water mixture is fucked up, resulting in murky or watery shots, respectively. So there are times, as is right now, when baristas will stop the drink making process and fix the shot time. Customers generally don't seem to understand this, because lattes, to most people, doesn't involve espresso shots. It involves hot milk, sugar, and coffee.

I think I can hear "...don't give a shit." trailing off from a sentence in their heads.

Look at her go. She can't shut up, and manager lady doesn't care about her convo anymore. Neither do I. IT IS SO CUTE.

Another social oddity involving SB is the intimacy involved-

I've got to stop staring at her ass.

...Between its partners and its customers. They are incredibly well-acquainted, with every facet of one another's lives commonly shared and known. Ever stopped to chat with a D&D employee on break? Hell no. Not that you'd know how to speak Indian anyway.

This is deeper, however, then the mere openness of us baristas. It is the environment that engenders interaction. Often, customers will speak and be overall more talkative amongst themselves as well. There's also a constant amount of laughter and smiling that happens, particularly at the register. All of this would be almost maniacal in, say, a Wal-Mart.

It lies in the architecture/design of Starbucks. The atmosphere is especially created to not only keep people coming, but to keep them inside the store. The collusion of its soft, home-like browns and greens, the dim lighting that's only particularly strong around the barista workspace, and of course that persistent scent of fresh coffee charms people in a subconscious way.

Starbucks' mystique is in fact not an inexplicable mystery; it's a testament to the power of architecture, design, and the nostalgia, purposefully designed and wielded to positively influence a person's social experience there. It's kind of amazing.

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