14 July 2012

A plug for Starbucks’ awesome air conditioning.

From my life’s soundtrack:

She: Why do you have a jacket in your bag on a hundred-degree day?

Me: Starbucks.

If it’s insanely hot, as it has been in northern California for the past week, Starbucks is the place to go. Not just for Frappuccinos™ or iced coffee. The air conditioning in those stores are cranked down to a nipple-hardening 55 degrees, and although most customers don’t hang out there long enough to notice, I do. I sit there, totally taking advantage of the free refills they give you once you register your Starbucks card, and as I suck down cup after cup, I gradually lose feeling in my fingers and toes. It’s like an ice-skating rink in there. It’s awesome.

How do the baristas stand it? Easily: They work the espresso machine. They work the drive-thru window. They handle hot coffee. They’re in regular contact with things that warm them up, and in every food-service job, that always makes you uncomfortably warm. The frigid air conditioning more than makes up for it. And if it doesn’t, they can wear layers.

When I lived in Scotts Valley, I lived less than a mile away from my nearest Starbucks, and it quickly became my home-away-from-no-AC. My rooms always had a southern exposure and no shade trees, so they kept turning into hotboxes on the warmer days. My options were either to resort to nudity (which I knew the roommates wouldn’t appreciate) or Starbucks. Easy choice.

The other bonus is that the temperature is so low, my overheating computer won’t even bother to run its fan…

Update, 10 minutes later. Ah, the little ironies of life. Just as I was typing that bit about my overheating computer, the screen quietly faded out—just as it always does when it’s overheated. So I spoke wrote too soon. Stupid computer. At least I wasn’t doing anything more complicated than blogging.