May 06, 2005

the waiting is the hardest part

At some point in the near future, an enterprising sociologist will write their doctorate thesis on the minute interactions that take place between people waiting for espresso drinks at their neighborhood Starbucks. Obvious distinctions will be made between these interactions and those previously documented in studies of behavior in elevators, medical waiting rooms and traffic jams; extra care (control groups, hidden cameras, longitudinal analysis) will be taken to distinguish the wait at Starbucks from the wait at the local deli, the drycleaner and other retail establishments. 

It will be a dry piece of work. But after being approached by an up-and-coming editor from Harvard Business School Press, the author will publish a heavily edited and fully illustrated version titled No Foam, No Whip, No Eye Contact:  How Luxury Retail is Redefining Social Space, and go on to Paco Underhill levels of fame.