The Problem With Being a ‘Regular’

The City Room’s Metropolitan Diary is one of my favorite things because it’s filled with very short posts of very normal occurrences (calling a restaurant to make a reservation for Feb. 14, for example).

Today’s entry is particularly interesting because I relate to it a little bit:

Dear Diary:

I walked into the cafe next to my office to a delightful surprise on a recent Monday: After more than a month of going there every morning for a breakfast item and a medium English Breakfast tea (and a month of tipping well), I had finally been upgraded to the status of “regular.” As I entered, the girl behind the counter grabbed a medium cup and made my tea, so that it was waiting for me when I got to the front of the line. What wonderful service.

The problem? She made Earl Grey. Every day since, she has made me an Earl Grey tea before I could get to the counter to correct her. And every day, I haven’t had the heart to ask for the stronger tea that I actually want.

I think I would chat up the barista and instead of explaining the mixup, would say something like, “I think I’d like to switch to English Breakfast tea for now on, can we make that happen?”

The thing that I experience is that, as a regular, my order is also placed ahead and it’s always right, but occasionally I will be in the mood for something else, but don’t end up ordering it because I don’t want to mess up the system that is in place.

Reader, what would you do?

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