N is for….



A few years ago, I worked for a coffee company who have little kiosks in train stations. This meant the nature of the interaction with the customers was defined by speed. They were always in a rush. There was always a train about to leave that they needed to get so they need their drink now! RIGHT NOW! MY TRAIN’S LEAVING! HURRY UP!

It also meant people asked for things without thinking what they were saying. The most common of these was asking for something ‘normal.’ I used to get it as a reply for everything.

“What size would you like? Regular or large?”
“O, erm, just normal. A normal one.”

Right, that’s ridiculous isn’t it? Because none of the sizes I’ve offered you are abnormal. What I want to say to them is, “yes, ok. So would you like normal regular or normal large?”

“Can I get a coffee?” they would ask, eyes on the train timetable, barely paying attention to you.
“Yes, what type of coffee would you like?”
“A normal one, you know.”
No I don’t! What do you mean? Just order a drink!
“What type of coffee?” I repeat. “Americano? Latte? Cappuccino?…”
“Um, yeh, a latte.”

A latte? How is a latte more normal than a cappuccino or a mocha or an iced coffee? Or even an americano? That’s a bit normal I guess, if anything. But often its a latte. That’s normal, apparently.



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rambler5319 on April 21, 2012 at 08:14

    Latte…..that’s late with an extra tea isn’t it? Does that mean, really, they want 2 teas instead of 1 as they’re running late? Or have I got the wrong idea?


  2. To be honest I rarely go into coffee shops, I’m old fashioned there was a time when you asked for coffee, that’s what you got a normal sized cup of coffee…lol.

    Now you have menu’s and everything takes twice as long.:)


    • Indeed. The worlds of coffee has become far more complicated than it needs to. And there’s also iced versions of everything! Plus the recent arrival of the ‘flat white’…. It goes on…


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