Whenever a barista bellows my name in a crowded coffee shop, I squirm.
Why do I feel so exposed?
I understand the concept: Baristas write the names of customers on cups to speed up lines and ease confusion.
Perhaps I should work at the CIA…
A recent Washington Post article about the CIA Starbucks echoed my uneasiness about the practice. According to a food services supervisor at the Central Intelligence Agency (who asked that his identity remain unpublished for security reasons,) “Giving any name at all was making people — you know, the undercover agents — feel very uncomfortable. It just didn’t work for this location.”
They should use an alias – like me: In December, I may be “Holly” or “Noelle.” By April, I’ve switched to “Iris” or “Bunny.” In July, I become “Summer” or “Sandy.”
I certainly don’t mind seeing my name written on a cup – or printed in a newspaper.
Bylines, blessedly, remain silent.
In fact, most newspaper and magazine readers don’t even notice the names below the headlines. (Mothers and spouses are the obvious exceptions.)
My name is personal and when someone approaches me using it, I’d like to be sure that we’ve actually met – instead of simply having heard it shouted in a coffee shop.
Allow me to introduce myself. Please.
Renee Garrison is the author of “Sweet Beams: Inspiring Everyone Who Lives Under a New Roof,” available on amazon.com.