Frappy summer’s happy end

This morning I worked my last shift at Covington Drive-Thru Starbucks, a place that felt a lot like home this summer…probably because I spent so much time there. When my shift ended, they surprised me with a cake that read, “Hi <3 you,” which is a combination of a store inside joke about another going-away cake that said, “I <3 you” instead of “we,” as well as another apparent miscommunication with the cake lady. To me, this perfectly sums up CDT (good humor and miscommunication), so it was delightful to laugh with my friends one last time as I left…for now.

I have worked at CDT off-and-on since 2007. Every time I leave — for college, for the summer, for D.C. — the manager, Jim, promises me to let me come work for him whenever I am available again. And he keeps that promise, so I keep coming back to my CDT store. If this cycle keeps repeating, I will be at Starbucks forever (and it does certainly feel that way sometimes).

Every time I return, though, it takes some adjusting. This summer, I was no longer the “baby” of the store; for the first time, I was not one of the youngest partners working there. Jim hired me when I was 17 — entering my senior year of high school — and now I am 21, entering my senior year of college. Younger baristas asked me for support, even though I still felt insecure in my abilities at times. I felt insecure a lot actually, but it was funny to see how quickly everything came back to me as a barista after my year off. I remembered how to steam the perfect foam, and I renewed my hatred for the afternoon frappuccino rush; some things never change.

I built stronger relationships with new friends at my store because I am a different person than I was when I worked there before, and the people I worked with this summer (especially the morning crew) helped make each day at work something I enjoyed. I will honestly say that, as far as coworkers go, this was my favorite crew in my Starbucks career. Thank you for being good coworkers and for being good friends. Hi <3 you all, and I will miss you for four months.

But I’ll see you in December, CDT.

Store hike to the top of Rattlesnake Ridge in July. From left: Seth, me, Lauren, Michael, Lilia, April, Jim.

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