Starbucks stores do inter-establishment transfers from time to time when supplies are low. One Monday morning we made a pretty even trade with another store in the area for some mocha. We were going to throw some syrups their way, or something.
I was up front that day, so I was in charge of meeting the other store’s partner and sorting out some stuff. Not a big deal. The guy shows up. He’s nice. All smiles. He said that he needed a signature from my manager. I turn to the bar area, and I yell without thinking,
“Hey! The Mocha Man is here!”
He was black. Instantly, this sensation went up my spine. I remember thinking, “Oh, fuck. Please don’t beat my ass…” I turned to him immediately after I realized what I yelled.
“Not like because you’re… you know. Because you brought the mocha. You bring the mocha. Wait, no. Ugh. I’m sorry.”
He just laughed. It was obvious that I wasn’t trying to call him out for being black. He was honest to God bringing us mocha. I just felt awful for that. It would be like me, for some random reason, taking a bag of beans somewhere and the clerk yelling,
“Hey, y’all! The beaner’s here!”
As much as I think of myself a frijolero, I don’t think I would appreciate that. So, to random black dude I called Mocha Man. I’m sorry again.
Is this what white people feel like all the time? Awesome.