Friday, September 12, 2008

Starbucks Scribblings

There’s this guy named Dave. To me, he’s an older guy. Smiley, healthy, spry, energetic, but older. He’s one of those guys who’d hang out in Starbucks and everyone seemed to walk over and talk with him or he’d engage them before they had a chance to launch the first word.

A few months ago he started wearing a black Starbucks apron; not as a fashion statement, but because he started working there. I overheard him tell someone, “Well heck, I was in here so much I figured I might as well get paid for being here!

Dave is a “whistle while you work” guy, literally & metaphorically. Can you remember back when you’d see people who were mysteriously working and happy at the same time? If he’s wiping down tables it’s just an excuse to greet people and make them feel comfortable with his contagious smile and sincere country charm. The kind of guy who makes you feel like he really is genuinely happy to meet you.

As I saw him work the room this morning I thought, “He makes people’s lives better. He adds something to their day. He makes deposits in our withdrawal society.”

There’s something you need to know about Dave: He’s a very good musician. He’s the Indianapolis Indians level of country musician—one step away from "going to the show." He’s a songwriter, singer and band leader. There are radio stations in smaller markets playing his stuff right now.

I don’t really know Dave other than small talk, but it seems like he has that magnetic ingredient that great musicians and great individuals have; humility.

Humility focuses on how everyone else is doing. Humility doesn’t care about where you work, but how you add to the people wherever you are---in an apron, or on a bandstand.

And humility doesn’t make you cooler or less approachable just because you’re a darned good musician. It simply makes you attractive and everyone else a little happier when you’re around.

So today I raise my Grande Pike to Dave. Thanks for the deposit.