Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name

I had to get up at 4 a.m. this morning so that I could be in the office for a 4:30 conference call with colleagues back in the U.S. I don't usually go to such great lengths to make phone calls, but one of my former students was proposing her Master's thesis, and I was invited to take part. Anyway, when the meeting was done two hours later, I went home and resumed our normal morning routine: V. leaving for work at 7 and me taking care of Will until I dropped him off at daycare at 9. So, by the time I got back to the office, I was starting to feel sluggish after 5 hours of activity.

What a pleasure it was then to go to my favourite coffee shop on the UQ campus (Bar Merlo, at the library) to get my daily cup of flat white. Ordering a cup of coffee there involves giving your name to the clerk who writes it down on the cup's lid. When the barista is ready with your coffee, he or she calls your name out. After several months of being a regular customer, however, most of the staff now know my name. They are always quite friendly, and a few even call me "hon" (even though they are in their 20s), which makes me feel like I'm back in Georgia. There has been only one other time in my life where food service staff got to know my name--more than 12 years ago, when Patty and I used to go to the Crown City Brewery in Pasadena, California nearly every weekend (I miss the lavosh), and we always got our favourite waitress. It's such a small thing knowing a customer's name, but it works on me on every time.


(that's a reference to an old TV show, for you young readers out there).