Working at the Holy Grounds in Connelly has made me believe that people are not as different from one another as we like to think. Day after day students and faculty queue up in never-ending lines only to get to the front and ask the same questions and have the same issues as the customer before. So, as the cold weather sets in and the lines of steamed-beverage drinkers grow, I have compiled a set of Commandments to follow when ordering at Holy Grounds to help your daily pilgrimage to caffeine Mecca go a little more smoothly for you and your barista.
1. Know What You Want: When a long line forms in front of the counter, there is little else that is more frustrating than standing behind someone who is making a big life decision out of picking a blend of tea or a flavor for a latte. Sure, you haven’t memorized the menu; that’s ok, just take a deep breath and make a decision or step out of line until you can make up your mind.
2. Know Your Meal Plan: If you’re going to use a meal, you should probably know if you have one first, and if your favorite Holy Grounds location accepts them. Connelly Holy Grounds takes meals all day every day, of a $5 value for breakfast and $6 value from lunch to dinner. If you end up not having a meal to spare, the register doesn’t explain why. You can claim as much as you want that you haven’t used a meal all day, but that won’t change the register’s mind. Falvey and Driscoll never accept meals, so those are places to use up those precious points you’ve been hoarding all semester.
3. Great Minds Think Alike…and Order Together: Imagine you and your friend are in line next to each other talking about what you’re going to order. Your friend wants hot chocolate. You think that sounds good so now you want one too. Ordering separately, your friend gets his or hers first and you both have to wait around for the second hot chocolate. Save everyone some time by letting the baristas know you both want the exact same thing so they can make enough hot chocolate for the both of you at once.
4. Remember, This is Not a Starbucks: Starbucks is a whole other world that speaks a different language. Holy Grounds doesn’t offer that skinny Caramel Bruleé frap with no whip that you may have developed an addiction to, but they do have a Caramel Fredo that you can ask to be made with skim milk and sugar-free syrup.
5. This is also not a change machine: Sorry, but the baristas can’t open the machine to make change. It only opens for transactions so you have to buy something. I’m sure you’ll find something to do with that chocolate you bought to break your twenty dollar bill.
6. Out of Sight, Out of Stock: One of the most popular FAQs asked at the register for the Connelly Holy Grounds is: “Do you have chocolate pretzels?” To which I always want to respond: “Yes, but we’re hiding them.”
7. Choose Your Chai: A big point of confusion is the fact that Holy Grounds serves a chai tea and a chai tea latte. The former consists of a cup of hot water and a tea bag, while the latter is steamed milk (of your choosing of course, but soy is extra) mixed with chai tea concentrate. Specification is key when ordering any chai product.
8. Size: The official sizes of the drinks at Holy Grounds are short (8 oz), tall (12 oz), grande (16 oz) and venti (20 oz). So if you ask for a small and get a short, don’t be surprised at how small it really turns out to be.
9. Be Prepared: Wildcards have a tendency to get lost at the bottoms of bags, in the crevices of wallets. Make sure you’ve dug yours out of its hiding place before it’s time to pay. When you hand over the Wildcard, don’t stare at the cashier like a deer in headlights when they ask if you would like to use meal, points or wildcard to pay. I know you’ve already made a lot of decisions in this process so far, but this one is easy.
10. The Golden Rule: This, the most important rule, is applicable to virtually all spheres of life. So if you want service with a smile, then do unto your baristas as you would have them do unto you. They are more than the espresso machines they operate, so practice a little common courtesy. For example, hang up the phone before you reach the register, and say please and thank you.
By STEPHANIE GABRIELE ’13