It's time to put the smartphone away and talk face to face

I'M in a pretty bad relationship with my barista, and I know it's entirely my fault.

I usually walk into the place, not hung-over, but in a place so close to it I may as well have spent the night getting acquainted with my ol' porcelain pal.

It's usually in this state that I wander over to the counter, and mumble something about a skinny latte. Although, at that time of morning I can't be entirely certain of anything.

In between making coffee for this dishevelled human being, baristas try to be decent people and talk to me about…actually, I'm never quite sure what they're trying to say because I have my head in a smartphone so quick it's scary.

I say scary, because once upon a time we would have been forced to make small-talk with the people making coffee simply for the reason that there was no way not to.

But now when a person tries to be a decent human being and talk to us we can simply ignore them.

Once we would have pushed through the early-morning fuzziness to interact with a fellow human being; these days we simply stare at a screen and become social by tapping out messages to other people who are ignoring their hard-working baristas to tap out messages to other people who are ignoring their baristas.

We're all interconnected in a world full of rudeness.

I know it's wrong, but I can't seem to keep my phone in my pocket and stare my barista square in the eye and say, "Yeah, I'm good. How are you?"

The crazy thing is that I used to be on the other side of that divide a long while ago, and customer interaction was one of the perks of the job.

I know this full well, and still I retreat into a world of tweets and twits.

So from now on, and I encourage you all to do this as well, I promise not to take my phone out of my pocket and withdraw from this world for another.

And baristas of Gladstone, I encourage you to hold me to that.



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