If Aristotle worked in Starbucks..

I’ve heard it said that it’s just twists of fate that make people successful or unsuccessful in life. That our careers are decided upon just as much by where we’re born and the choices our parents make as our own drive to succeed and conscious decisions regarding goals and ambition.

Today I met one such example, who has obviously been handed an unfair lot in life, most likely through no fault of her own.

Out in Hampstead, near one of the more charming Starbucks locations, we were deciding whether to stop for a quick drink or go peruse the bookshelves of Waterstones. C turned to the barista and through no intention of his own, was given the oddest answer ever given to this particular question.

“What time do you close?”
“What time are we open untill? Or what time do we close?”

Baffling. Clearly I am not on the same plane as this particular barista, because try as I might, I am not seeing the subtle distinction.

After spending a few hours mulling it over, I have come up with two possible solutions to my conundrum.

1. She is one of those poor unfortunate souls who has come over from Eastern Europe and is forced to be a waitress, even though she in fact holds a Doctorate in Philosophy.
2. She is a first class idiot.

I’ll leave it to you to decide.

(Ps: No offence meant. She’s probably very happy with her job. After all, if I were a barista, I’d just leave the apron at work, say it really fast, and hope people assume I practise law.)

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  1. You forgot the obvious–the time lag between the end of service and when the responsible party locks the door before leaving. You are open until a predefined time that is typically listed on your door. You are closed when you lock the door. Jesus H Christ that’s so obvious!

  2. Alex Jones

     /  April 22, 2012

    Delete the last reply. This is the correction. Cut and paste failed.
    If this is Aristotle then we are into the realms of potential and actual.
    “What time are we open until?” : this is the planned time of closing, it is the potential.
    “Or what time do we close?” : this is what will happen, the actuality.
    In theory both “What time are we open until?” = “Or what time do we close?”
    The difference is one is in potential (to come) and one is in actuality (came to be).

  3. I see your point, but if we wanted the actual answer, she couldnt have told us anyway!


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