Last year I had the opportunity to work at Starbucks for about 5 months. The location I worked at was in a very affluent community in the west valley of Phoenix. It was some of the most difficult & rewarding work all at the same time. I know what you are thinking "rewarding? you're making coffee and espresso and selling it to the masses!"
you are correct. in a sense. here's what I learned from one of the most strenuous, taxing, fulfilling, humbling, growing experiences I've ever had.
It all started with a table.
I would work the "no one should get up this early and get coffee or hang out at Starbucks" shifts.
At the middle of our store we had this huge brown modern table that took up about half the room.
At about 6 am-7am every morning a very cool thing happened.
One by one each person would trickle in from all walks of life and gather around this table. doctor. writer. customer service rep. actor. engineer. waitress. fireman. Vietnam war veteran. Every morning they met around that table to converse, laugh, enjoy life together before their respective day. What was impressive wasn't the fact that they met at Starbucks each morning, but the fact that they all craved community together. It became a gathering place for them all to meet and uplift and encourage each other. It didn't matter where they came from or what they did.... at this table they were friends and comrades in this crazy walk of life.
It wouldn't even last an hour sometimes before one by one each person would continue with the rest of their day & pick up their coffee and leave through the double doors from where they started.
That hour meant the world to me each morning. I would watch them and it would remind me that there are people out there who care. Who love to invest in the lives of others and don't care who you are or where you came from to be apart of it.
I like to think I made it through those 5 months because of that table and those wonderful everyday people who gathered around it.