Sunday, July 19, 2009

Starbucks, Ph.D.

I have a confession to make. If there were such a thing as a blogging dictionary (perhaps there is), and you looked up the word "sporadic," you would find there a picture of me. That's because, even though I understand that blogging is intended to be informal and spontaneous, I have not yet been able to bring myself to post anything other than carefully thought out, well-crafted essays--which are a lot of work!

If you have have read my previous posts, you may disagree with my self-appraisal, but please don't shatter my il/delusion.

Anyway, I am using my Rocky Mountain solo retreat as an opportunity to break that particular mold. I am committing myself to post something every evening, hoping that the day's activities and/or the quirky ambiance of Bongo Billy's will be sufficient inspiration. Plus, that's where I go for free wifi. Don't expect anything profound or insightful. If you do get anything out of reading these, consider it pure lagniappe.

The trip has been relatively uneventful so far, but there have been a few interesting episodes. I will relate only one, in case I need the others as fodder for the week of "marathon" blogging.

As I left the Denver airport, I hadn't decided yet what route to take to BV. Last time I made this journey (see earlier blog, "God's Grandeur") I came all the way on 284, so I was inclined to take in some different scenery. On impulse, I decided to stay on I-70, thinking I would come in from the north, through Leadville (elevation 10,152 feet). On further impulse (and, to be honest, part addiction), I got off briefly at Idaho Springs because I saw a Starbucks sign.

Everything was going pretty much as normal: iced venti latte, Gold Card, treat receipt. But while I was waiting for my drink, I wandered over to the stand with the straws, napkins, sugar etc. There I saw a holder with business cards for the District Manager, and something caught my eye. It said "D____ M____, Ph.D." (don't want to out her in such a widely read venue, hence the anonymity).

I have probably been in 100 different Starbucks since 1996 (the year of my first), and I have never seen anyone associated with the company who had a Ph.D. degree. Intrigued, I went back up to the counter and asked the barista. After all, maybe it was some kind of Starbuckese with which I am not familiar, not the abbreviation for an advanced academic degree. Sure enough, she has a Ph.D. in industrial psychology.

So, I did what anyone else would have: I emailed her to ask how and why the holder of a Ph.D. ended up as a District Manager for Starbucks . . . and did she think there was room for one more! Imagine that--all the iced venti lattes I can drink . . . for free!

And just so she wouldn't think I was weirdo or something, I took a picture of the Idaho Springs Starbucks and attached it to the email. That doesn't make me a stalker, does it?

Haven't heard from her yet, but I'll keep you posted. See ya tomorrow!


P.S. - In keeping with the title and theme of this blog, I have to admit that Jesus probably doesn't give a rat's ass about my little Starbucks adventure today . . . unless he is the one who prompted me to exit at Idaho Springs. Hmmm, I wonder.

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