"Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time"... ;
From A Psalm of Life. By HenryWadsworth Longfellow.
Follow the Stars
At Starbucks, you literary 'follow the stars', not just the celestial, but the symbolic human stars that momentarily find time for a habitual sip of the Starbucks coffee or a frequent visit to the home of one of America's finest coffee.
Unlike my orientation to the Canadian 'Tim Horton's' coffee by a kindly Principal in Bradford Ontario some 10 summers ago, this time around my orientation to the 'Starbucks coffee' was born out of necessity and it is a discovery that I continue to relish. It began some 8 months ago in Greenbelt MD with a desire to find a soothingly reliable high-speed connection to download some of my favorite apps on my sleek-looking nice mini-size white-colored iPod.
This iPod was donated to me by my co-ITU Telecom Fellow Dale Zac and his 'One Story Team' in order that I can help them in their project find those unique voices that are capable of resonating the personal stories of people in my home city Freetown.
Well, it turned out that my first sip of the pleasant coffee became more of an attraction than a WiFi-capable environment, and from that very spot and fountain of inspiration, has come a deluge of brilliant ideas from my mind that will someday stand the test of time, and I will say 'lo and behold' it started at that bright spot of Starbucks where I have been inspired by one of the best coffees, whilst brooding over a laptop, or an iPod, to set up my future inventions or looking at the latest news through a pool of Newspapers from the New York times, Washington post, that have been made readily accessible at the Starbucks.
I was welcomed to Starbucks by the soft din of a combination of 1980's classic songs that came pleasantly through the roof where the invisible speakers chime these melodies like a prelude to the main scenery of what may unfold. The pleasant aroma of coffee may have journeyed from Africa and Asia Pacific to the shores of the US.
Alongside the amazing coffee from around the world, there are an assortment of handcrafted beverages and a sundry of pastries and sandwiches that have been made with high-quality, simple ingredients, to choose from. From the Frappuccino blended beverages, Expresso beverages, to Fizzo Hand-crafted soda, from smoothies to chocolate beverages, the list is endless.
I have sampled several of their snacks and food and they have all the goodness of a really delicious snacks of food. The choice is yours if you wish to have these snacks accompany your favorite Starbucks coffee.
The walls of Starbucks coffee shop have been so nicely decorated with large hanging pictures and photographs, some in colored motif and others in black and white or grey-silhouettes. Some are adverts of the coffee that can readily whet your appetite whilst some of these portraits and pictures defined the very history of the coffee grain at the very inception when the company may have started to bud.
The shelves are adorned with the Starbucks coffee brands which have been finely layered with definite attention to details. What instantaneously caught my eyes in these stack was an advert that sums up Starbucks passion for the greater good, and their unflinching show of Corporate Social Responsibility. When I caught a glimpse of the advert "Every cup supports Youth Education",and knowing that my cup of coffee can help in changing lives of youth through education, It became a refreshing reminder of my own catalyzing efforts in education for youth.
I knew that Starbuck's place in the world as a company goes above and beyond to not only merely offering such qualitative coffee service to customers, but also at the heart of their Corporate Social Responsibility, lies a much more compassionate human interest. Starbucks sets itself apart by doing good and does cater for the education of the young and future leaders of our world.
The waiters and waitresses glow you with an infectious smile, that catches you at a glance and preempts you to give same in return.
At some point the nice chat and acquaintance of customers and waitresses and waiters is often ephemeral , for many Starbucks lovers will prefer to merely vanish with their cup immediately after service, and holding it high like a trophy. The sit-down customers will take to the circular-tall, slim-legged tables their care cup of coffee, and mount on the equally majestic chairs, sitting down to a hot treat of Starbucks. Well some hearts of new lovers too have found a fitting rendezvous.
I have had a couple of successful meetings there myself, and imagine a world of seamless internet connectivity with the finest and newest brands of laptops,and handhelds in use by customers. A lot of Business Executives and new partners make it a date at Starbucks to forge a new business relationship or to strengthen old ones over the smoldering cup of hot Starbucks coffee served in a nice disposable Starbucks brand coffee cup that is inscribed with the encouraging words: "Love your beverage or let us know We'll always make it right". Fair enough, Starbucks makes for a great customer-service and if you want to know it, hit them a feedback and they will appreciate your comments to make their product better.
Their hospitality if rated from (1 to 1o and 10 being the highest), can be rated as 9+. As they do their routine of taking care of the services of catering for your fresh Starbucks coffee, the choice of delicacies are endless. You will hear a call for 'Vanilla Late, Cafe Mocha, Cappuccino or Expresso. It will make you to be really choosy at times.
The miracle of these specially flavored drinks comes from a whole gamut of Silver-wares; (cups, spoons and jars), and the whole ceremony begins after an order from the cashier goes through to the waiter or waitress. Then, behind a counter a green-apron waiter or waitress, with so much flair and dexterity, quickly churns and mixes the ingredients to make the coffee of your choice. The waiting is not long as you feel the spontaneity of the service. Indeed the Starbucks staff have mastered their art.
You may call it addiction to the fine coffee, as you see a ceaseless amount of special people queuing up and in splint of seconds, the lines swell up with Starbucks coffee lovers, shuffling wallets and purses, for bank notes, coins and credit or debit cards to uncover what lay behind the pleasant aroma that pervades the walls of the coffee shop and greets your nostrils as you first enter the door.
The music will still be heard audibly low behind its hiding nook of huge speakers and drooping florescent lights, as the numbers of customers at Starbucks dwindle and the chatter ceases. You turn around and their will soon be a fresh set of people making it to the stars. Where are all the other stars gone? Well, I am still here, a time for reawakening and inspired by the sip of a delicately made Starbucks coffee as i brainstorm my life's purpose.