Observation Skills

This morning, Halloween, Sarah, Audrey, and I “dressed up.” We didn’t go all out. We were subtle. I brought in a set of rabbit ears, a tail, and bowtie I’d picked up in the kids’ costume section at Target, and two aprons from when I used to work at Starbucks. I quickly got tired of trying to keep the ears upright (even being child-sized, they were too big for my head), so Audrey and I were the Starbucks employees and Sarah wore the bunny outfit.

I came in at 6:30 and left at noon. During that time we had approximately 250 customers, estimating how much money we’d made when I counted down the registers and dividing that by a medium latte price. It may have been more than that, but whatever. I’m shooting low.

Out of those 250 customers, maybe half a dozen noticed the aprons right away. Six people. Maybe. Another dozen or so thought something was “weird,” but couldn’t figure out what it was. A couple more asked if we’d gotten new aprons. Some just stared at the Starbucks emblem and were probably wondering if they were in the right coffeeshop. A few commented on Sarah’s bunny ears then asked Audrey and me where our costume was and we pointed to our chests. At least the owner thought it was funny.

I know a lot of our regulars go to Starbucks. That doesn’t hurt my feelings. Some wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Others need their lattes at all hours of the night, and we’re not open that late, so I don’t fault them for going there. Honestly, as long as they come in to our store frequently enough to keep us in business, I don’t care.

But the fact that not even five percent of our customers this morning noticed that we went from wearing plain black aprons to our rival’s bright green ones seems really sad to me. I expected it to at least be a quarter of them.

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