Not Independents Day

Maybe if you give me a cup of English Breakfast (and not Earl Grey) when I order a cup of English Breakfast

Maybe if you stop telling your colleague about your date last night long enough to listen to me say “English Breakfast”

Maybe if when you give me an unwanted cup of Earl Grey you make it from boiling, not lukewarm, water

Maybe if you look me in the eye when you ask for my money

Maybe if you ask for my money and don’t just passively wait for me to read the cash register display while you avoid my gaze

Maybe if you say “thank you”

Maybe if when I say “thank you” you respond with “you’re welcome” instead of “uh huh” (or silence, or a grunt.)

Maybe if you put the change in my hand instead of drop it on the counter

Maybe if you clear and wipe tables once in a while

Maybe if you refill the cream dispensers

Maybe if you clean the washroom once a month, maybe refill the paper towels

Maybe if you give me a mug that doesn’t have residual lipstick stuck to the rim

Maybe if after steeping for eight minutes and I can still see the previous customers’ stains at the bottom of my cup then you need to put more tea in the bag, or stop buying such shitty tea

Maybe if you fill my cup more than two-thirds full in the first place I won’t have to make my weak tea even weaker by having you add more lukewarm water to fill it up

Maybe if I don’t have to listen to your grunge rock mix tape

Maybe if, when I order a cup of tea “for here” at 8:54pm, unaware that you close in six minutes, you will tell me that you close in six minutes and I won’t find a table, remove my coat, sit down, open a book, and begin to relax only to have you come by and bark “Just so you know, we’re closed.”

Maybe then I might feel motivated to contribute to the only thing in the store that you seem to care about: the tip jar with the cutesy little inducement to overlook your mediocrity

Maybe then I’d be more willing to come through your front door in the first place, instead of rely on the bland uniformity of the corporate chain up the street

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