Break out the Boynton mugs -- It's somebody's birthday!

I secretly sort of enjoy working on my birthday.

There is something so satisfying about being surrounded by mostly new faces (as it often goes in the coffee biz) on the anniversary of the day on which every single thing was new.

Especially this year, scheduled at the nascent Joe@Alessi store as I was. Everybody and everything in the shop is fresh (so much so, in fact, that I still barely know where to find anything I need), and it's a little like opening your eyes for the first time.

Well, that, and it's so freaking bright in there.

Anyway, most importantly, I was at work today, and I was really happy about it. It was quiet (SoHo doesn't wake up much before noon), and I had plenty of time to think about coffee and plan my next few months and dote on the people who did stumble in sort of bleary-eyed at 8am. I guess customers should always walk into a kind of birthday environment. Let 'em get doted on for a while, you know?

Also, I do have the greatest boss in the entire world pretty much, and he brought me the most beautiful flowers today. Spoiled barista alert!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think about customer service a lot -- mostly because it's a really important and really difficult element to the kind of coffee culture we at Joe (and tons of great folks at wonderful shops all over) are working on -- and that having it be a special day for me behind the counter sort of drove home the idea that it should pretty much always be somebody's birthday, you know? Here, have an extra clip in your free drink card. Here, let me pull you another shot because this one has fallen a little bit. Here, how about I ask you about your shoes, or your dog, or the book you've got under your arm there. Happy birthday.

Anyway, so I'm totally cheesed out about it right now, but you catch my drift. Now I'm going to go drink a celebratory Americano and sit back in the sun for a while.

Cheers, everybody!