It's difficult to maintain empathy during the holidays. A lack of empathy could be defined as evil, so it's easy to be evil during the holidays.
The caffeine and sugar intake is higher than any other time of the year. People are getting buzzed and tweaked.
People aren't just demanding, and pissy when someone else takes their drink, or their drink is wrong.
People glare. While I was on bar, I'd be glared at by at least half customers. Sometimes they would remind me what their drink was. Sometimes they would tell me how to make it.
This is an amazing, unwarranted lack of distrust.
But I bet people feel very paranoid around this time. This is a time of great judgement: Is the present good enough, cost enough, Did I make dinner right, Do my grandkids really hate seeing me?
There's a lot of Mandatory Family Attendance. The holidays aren't about what you WANT to do, but enacting rituals which will, using Magical Thinking, result in Happiness or Comfort or a sense of Safety.
Believe me, it doesn't work.
Some days I have less patience than others when I work. Tonight, I had a stinging impatience with customers and their orders.
One customer ordered two venti Peppermint Mochas. I thought, "Are you proud of yourself for ordering that?"
I've been working at Starbucks or this cafe for over six years. I've made thousands of drinks. At first, I felt disgusted by the enormous caffeine intake customers have. I felt culpable, my hands bloody as I steamed milk and pumped syrup.
Now I feel culpable about sugar intake. Venti Peppermint Mochas have a total of ten pumps of syrup. This takes up half the cup. It's sickeningly sweet and hardly possible to taste the coffee. They're the most popular of the holiday beverages.
What has helped my own disgust was a recent article I read in Mother Jones. I include the link so you may become as revolted as I am.
I understand that everyone is responsible for their own health and well-being. But I still feel like one of the gunmen in a firing squad.
We should be glad we can't ever eat Twinkies again.
This has nothing to do with Batman.