December 1, 2011

The Gift of Ignorance

The blueberry scone? Oh, that's the blue-specked one. With the blueberries in it. And the pumpkin bread is orange. Like a pumpkin. As for precisely what makes a brownie vegan, well, you'll have to ask it. Everyone, it seems, has different reasons; but I'd hazard a guess towards various ecological concerns.

These are the things  - or at least, the sorts of things - that occur to me, at random times, on random days. You think them, but don't say them. To do that would make you something other than nice - snooty, perhaps. And since I was told, just recently, that I am not one of those "snooty baristas", things better left unsaid tend to stay that way.

Which is not to say that there's an endless pool of snark welling up inside me, but rather, is more of a comment on the perceived state of the profession. We are a demographic from which snootiness is expected, perhaps, and thus encouraged.

Oh, you don't know what a dry cappuccino is? Here, let me help you, by tilting my head slightly, raising my eyebrows, and exhaling. There. Now you've learned, not what the drink is, but to not ask. Most of all, you've learned that ignorance will not be tolerated, but instead, made cruel spectacle of.

This is not the way it should be, or the way it has to be. Nice people think not nice things, and even say them sometimes. But a pattern emerges. It's said you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat food service employees, but the opposite is every bit as true.

I've talked about this before, of course. Generally, I believe in playing nice. There is a place for snark, dispensed judiciously, a touch of seasoning on the entree of general congeniality. But just a touch. More, and you mask the fact that baristas are paid to hang out at a coffee bar all day. It's an enviable situation - though I'm biased.

Sure, some questions may seem unnecessary. But ignorance is bliss, for those with the answers. Without the questions, we'd be automatons, replaceable by push-button machines serving dismal coffee. The blueberry scone? On the left. Thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment