Wednesday, September 28, 2005

closing time...

As I think about running a business myself, I am constantly more and more aware of the small businesses around here and what makes them special, er, or not so special. As some of you may know, Ithaca isn't a hotbed for good coffee. They wont let Starbucks come to town, even though Walmart has managed to secure real-estate at the FAR south end of town. So, sometimes I end up going to Buzz Coffee, a drive through coffee place that some publication in town boasts is a "Seattle style coffee joint"..heh, if they only knew... anyway, they make a decent "frappaccino" substitute, which is usually what I end up ordering. So, today, at exactly 3:48, I pulled up to satisfy my coffee craving. Outside the cafe hangs a HUGE sign that says "Hours; 7-4pm M-F.." There is also an illuminated sign outside that says "OPEN" in bright neon. "Great, I think, they are still open!" I pull up to the ordering board and am sitting in my car for a couple minutes before I realize that no-one has taken my order through the intercom. I pull forward to ask what the heck is going on, and I notice now that the neon "OPEN" sign is now off, AND the blinds have literally just been pulled down inside the drive-by window. I look at my watch. 3:51. Still OPEN according to the LARGE sign out front, but some employee has decided to pull the plug a few minutes early. I can just picture him crouched behind the counter on the floor inhaling the nitrous from a whipping cream container, in hopes that I will not notice that he has robbed me of a coffee, 9 minutes before closing time.

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