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Did I Pay You by Frank

By February 17, 2014The Coffee Blog

‘Did I Pay You?’

When one thinks about it, isn’t it strange that there isn’t more awkwardness between two

people when one has just prepared something with their hands and the other is ingesting

it? (There may be now for those of you who have not given much thought to this; and why

would you as it is a common occurrence? But when one has 20 minutes between your first

and second customer of the day and one has already had 4 espressos by 7 am to make sure

it tastes right one starts to develop a keen focus on the presently occurring moments of

one’s life.)

To make this situation even more awkward there is money involved. It’s the thing we try

not to talk about with our friends and family, that we try to pretend doesn’t exist so that we

don’t seem too preoccupied with it and it’s the thing that we are all just trying to play it cool


However sometimes we just get comfortable, we forget about the fact that someone else

touches something we ingest and forget that we need to have a conversation about money

and we simply just trust and act like we are at the home of a good friend; we allow ourselves

to open a door, receive a hug and wrap ourselves in hospitality.

I am relatively new to the Commonplace family compared to many of my colleagues but

something I was immediately struck by was the theme of hospitality that runs through

this company. I received hospitality upon entering a Commonplace Coffee House as a

customer for the first time and I received it upon my first meeting with ownership when

I was considering/being considered for employment with the company. Having received

this hospitality allows one the freedom to demonstrate hospitality beyond what I think is

considered normal for a ‘business transaction’.

On account of this I love when I hear a customer ask, “Did I pay you?’ or exclaim “Oh wait

I need to give you money!” It says to me that both parties, barista and customer, have put

the business transaction in a secondary place and allowed ourselves to be at ‘home’ in our

moments together over the bar. As milk is being steamed, coffee is pouring and cookies

are being handed over we have allowed ourselves in that time to ask the question “How are

you?’ and mean it. We have also allowed ourselves to answer that question as if the person

asking it actually cares because a part of us recognizes that they do. (Or in some cases we

allow ourselves to say mean things to each other because we both think it’s funny, right?)

Thanks for engaging with us and feeling at home at the Commonplace. It is one of the

highest compliments we can receive. And thank you for remembering to pay even when we

don’t ask so that we can continue to do something we love and let you know that we care

about you.

Be well,


PS-I hope you feel the same way about the words ‘Did I forget to give you your cookie?’ as I

do about “Did I pay you?”.