December 9, 2012

College Town

KU's academic semester is coming to an end, and as it goes, so goes a great deal of my business. When people call Lawrence a "college town", what they mean is that there is a certain youthful, hipster vibe to the coffee shops, and a certain broish, douchey vibe to the bars. There are art galleries and a skate park and other things that are maybe not what you expect from the place everyone still knows as Dorothy's home state.

But literally, it means that a great deal of Lawrence's population is transient, gone for several months out of the year. Business owners/managers do not forget this fact, I promise, because of the financial impact it makes.

And so here we are, creeping towards that money sapping 40 days or so without students, and I'm thinking a lot about it. Both how the shop will do and how I will do, because I'm somewhat neurotic about things in general, and it's my job to be neurotic about this thing specifically.

But I can't, just can't, focus on that entirely. I can't think of these people as merely potential purchases, because I've seen them too damn much recently, and, uh, feelings and stuff? I've written about this before, as you may recall. If you haven't, that post went very much like this one seems to be going. I talk about how I genuinely, like, care or something, and mention that the prospect of never seeing certain regulars again is not entirely a pleasant sensation.

So I'm not going to rehash that post. It's here, if you care to read it. My post count is getting somewhat high on this blog, as I've maintained a decent output for about three years now. Still, that post sticks out as one my better offerings, so I dare say it's worth your time.

So, one semester later, and we're doing that dance again. I'm saying goodbye to people forever in my usual flippant ways, wishing that I could convey something beyond the icy apathy that seems to come out. But for all of my (sometimes fairly personal) writing here, I'm not very good at being forthcoming in person. So I say thanks, and return to work, mostly so I don't have to say anything else. I go over alternate lines in my head, contemplating another universe in which I'd actually say something. But I just rinse the pitcher.

Life goes on. I know that, and all of my beatnik pop-zen reading reinforces it. People come and go, and so do we. Our lives are all better off for our interactions and experiences, and so we go to acquire new ones, to add to our life's scrapbook.

It's just nice, I guess, to have people tell you nice things, to say that you were a bright spot in their day, every day, that you meant something to them. It's nice to hear it, and it's nice to aspire to it, to have a job where your expressed purpose is to be a sort of omnipresent friend. The coffee is great, of course, but maybe a bit beside the point. This job is really about the people, what you mean to them, and though we don't ever say it, what they mean to you.

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