I love regulars. You’re one of my favorite things about working in retail. I love the predictability of your orders and the mock surprise that comes when you change it up. I love the just-right familiarity that allows us to converse beyond the usual “how are you today?” without being awkwardly invasive and the real connection we can feel even for just a brief moment each day. I love the look of recognition and the accompanying smile when you come in and your obvious pleasure when we have your order going or even done by the time you arrive at the register.
What I don’t like is when you act as if you’re some kind of rock star royalty just because you come in all the time and we all know your drink. The fact is we don’t all know your drink. Some of us are new and as a regular you should know this. But because you’re also a prima donna rock star royal pain in the ass, you smirk and tell the me, the new guy, “They know what I’m having.” That’s all well and good, but I still need to ring it up. Or make it for you. Or both. It wouldn’t kill you to just tell me what your special drink is (which isn’t even all that special, as it turns out).
What I also don’t like is how you abuse your status as a regular to get away with paying for a cheaper drink than the one you actually get. Sure, you usually plunk down a fiver and walk away, leaving the change for the tip jar (which amounts to less than 10%, but who’s counting?) but half the time you make sure you get your change and pocket it before walking away. The tip is not the important thing here. What’s important is that you justify paying less than you should for your drink because you “always leave the change” for the tip jar. Which you don’t.
I think you’re a sad little person when you bring your friends in here so they can watch you get your drink without ordering anything so they can think you’re some kind of rock star, too.
But you’re just a minor player, really. The nice ones, the ones who really appreciate their status and the treatment they get, more than make up for jackasses like you.
I loved being a regular myself. I loved that I could go up to the register and the clerk would ask me if I was having the usual and then we could chat a bit while they made my drink. I loved when they’d introduce me to the new people and explain what I was having. I loved getting to know them all, even just a little. And I never once took it for granted.
Being a regular is more than just coming in every day. It’s about respect and appreciation from both sides of the counter.