AGE: 30
i am pretty sure the barista at my neighborhood coffee shop thinks i'm insane. i hate this, actually. the fact is, i am there nearly every morning to purchase an iced latte and it always tastes the same - smoky, cold, and delicious. unfortunately, the employee turnover at this coffee shop is high - it seems people are not satisfied to serve banana muffins to au pairs for the rest of their lives - and a new hire (who works the breakfast shift each weekday) simply has no idea how to make this particular drink. this is actually the first time it's ever happened and, while i used to be a bit timid about demanding better service, i recently decided that timid people are asking themselves for lives filled with minor disappointments that might someday culminate in an unexplained killing spree. so on this occasion i return the coffee to the barista, explaining that it just tasted like brown water.

and he argues with me, claiming that OF COURSE it should taste that way because (as he explained in please-jump-over-the-counter-and-punch-my-nose detail) that is often the result of pouring hot espresso over a cup full of ice. i attempt to hold my ground but, not knowing the intricacies of iced latte production, can't be sure about what exactly he did wrong. i even offer the typically crazy and self-important, "well, i order these all the time and they never taste like this" but he just shrugs at me until all the muscles in his shoulders cramp.

in the end, he agrees only to put more ice in the cup (since all the ice was mysteriously melted within seconds of receiving the drink) and i end up with an even more watery beverage and the belief that, as soon as i leave the coffee shop, he will make the 'crazy' sign to all of his co-workers and explain my stupidity or insanity by reiterating the simple physics of hot espresso-meets-cold ice. as a result of this incident i make myself a persona non grata at the coffee shop, although i continue to occasionally poke my head in to see if perhaps today he's been fired for his complete ineptitude and poor customer service. and each day i go without an iced latte, i have to scramble for alternatives that all seem obviously insufficient. this is the danger of my new adventures in not-timid, when i'm clearly still a giant sissy at heart.

(p.s. is it painfully obvious that i only included this story because i am in fact very crazy and secretly hoped you, the reader, would side with me and tell me i was totally in the right? i was afraid so.)