December 11, 2012

The Milk Man

The vast majority of my writing here is not planned in any real sense, but is instead an outpouring of spontaneous thought. Maybe this gives it a certain "urgent" quality; maybe it just seems hurried; maybe it's just awful. But there are certain ideas that have bounced around my head for some time, sitting there, collecting dust, doing nothing in particular.

One of these ideas is to say something about my milkman.

I would like to say that he is nice, that he is good at his job, and that we should remember to thank people like him. There are a lot of parts and pieces that have to come together to make a coffee bar work well; us barista folks are really the last link on that chain. And though it's tempting to think that we're the talented craftsmen the people are clamoring for, the truth is a little more humbling - but no less true.

So, the milkman. I'm not going to say his name, or give any real details about him, because I don't know that that would be appropriate. I've made the decision to exist as myself on the internet; he has not. And I won't simply tell you that he is nice, or that he is good at his job - although both of those things are true.

He's nice, in the folksy and chatty way you expect the classic, black and white TV milk man to be. He also made our staff cinnamon rolls (he sells these at the local farmer's market, and they are not from a cannister) today, which is a small gesture that managed to make several people very obviously happy.

So, there's that.

Also, on the instance that I forgot to order any milk at all, he filed and delivered an order for me, averaging together what I had ordered the last several weeks to form a reasonably accurate guess of what I'd need. I'd have been fucked without that.

And I'm looking at this now, remembering why I never seem to publish this. I want to tell you that he's nice and that he's good at his job - and I've done so. But it's hard not to look at the words on the screen in front of me and know that I've failed somewhat, that I've fallen horribly short in depicting what a genuinely good guy he is, and has proven to be over the nearly 4 years he's delivered dairy for me.

Very soon, however, I will click "Publish". If you're reading this, I've already done so, of course. (Isn't this whole present tense writing thing awkward?) I'm not doing this because I think I've given the man a fair account, a glamorous profile, or even written a decent post. I'm doing this because there are people who make your job both possible and more enjoyable, people like my milk guy, and we really can't thank them enough.

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