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The Starbucks Life Coach

Updated on May 6, 2007

The Life Coach At Starbucks - Don't Get Me Started!

As you all know, I'm off the coffee for the moment. However, I'll be in LA all week on business this week so most likely I'll be back on the "junk" by midweek. At any rate, I have been meaning to write about this for weeks but as my mind is constantly moving in at least a hundred directions, sometimes ideas go away and then come back when I least expect them. I was not thinking of my coffee fix when this came back into my mind, believe it or not, I woke up thinking, "Crap, have I ever written that blog about the life coach?" And so here it is...The life coach at Starbucks - Don't Get Me Started!

I was in Starbucks for my usual Grande Americano when I see two young women sitting at a table. As I'm waiting for the barista to make my coffee, I can't help but notice that one looks like every girl you ever knew from band in high school. You know, she has that unfortunate stringy longish permed hair that she leaves with the wet look like a bad Jerri Curl from the seventies and she has the plain Jane feel about her complete with the small glasses that do nothing for her face and seem exactly what Mrs. Beasley (Buffy's doll from Family Affair) would have upgraded to eventually. As I subtly move in to get a closer look, there it is my senses were dead on once again. Around her neck is a thin gold chain with a charm on it and the charm (drumroll please...) is a tiny saxophone. Can I peg people or can I peg them? I can see her now on the field tilting her saxophone this way and that to keep up with the choreography and keep her glasses on as her band slaughters Kool and the Gang's "Celebration".

The other woman at the table is a petite black woman who looks all of about twenty-five. She is on the edge of her seat at everything Miss Band 1997 is talking about. I can't help it, I'm intrigued, so I find something over in that general area to look at and I move over to hear some of the conversation. The band geek is a life coach, putting the young black woman through a series of surveys to find out about her.

Now for those of you who don't know about life coaches, these are a relatively new idea and I just happen to have a friend who is a licensed one. They are a little like a therapist without the therapist prices but different from a therapist, they are honestly a coach. They help you to determine what you want to be when you grow up (even at my age), work with you to make a plan, ask you to make commitments to deadlines and then they check in with you to make sure that you're playing by the play book you've created together and making the right plays. My pal who is a successful life coach in LA (although she's been able to do nothing with me as the old saying is true, you have to want the help first, right? And I prefer to kvetch and blame the world) is completely certified and has helped several people. She is hip, has her finger on the pulse of just about everything and I don't know anyone who would not be comfortable working with her or her knowledge of how to get you the help and incentive you need. But this poor life coach in Starbucks, I wouldn't trust her to hand me a straw without breaking down in tears.

Life coaches I would hope have had some life experience themselves, right? You can tell this girl has not had any. She's sitting there in her best Little House On The Prairie dress and you can tell that other than the one time the tuba player asked her out and stood her up, this girl has spent her life on the sidelines of the dance called life, a perennial wallflower. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I want Courtney Love as a life coach but come on, there has to be something in the middle of these two extremes, yes?

As I waited for my coffee and listened more, it was a little like listening to my mother when she got a pack of tarot cards years ago. You know, those mystical fortune telling cards that tell you what your future will be, etc.? My mother bought a pack of these once with an instruction booklet but she could never remember what the individual cards meant so while she was doing your "reading" she would turn over a card and then have to look it up in the glossary. She would say you were going to have great fortune and then she would change her mind and tell you it meant the exact opposite because it was upside down or something. It was like having your fortune read by someone who doesn't know the language and keeps referring to a phrase book that is fifty years out of date. It provided hours of laughs. But the thing is, this young black woman was not here for laughs, she was looking for advice and help.

I suddenly felt badly for both of these women. I mean, the band girl who thought she could be a life coach and the girl who thought she was being coached. I can't imagine either of them profiting by this union. I wanted to call my friend in LA but thought it would offend her if I went on and on about the life losers who became life coaches. So I just got my coffee and left thinking, who would I want as my life coach? I thought and thought and thought. Who would be good for me? And the only person I could come up with myself. And yet, my life is a complete mess for the most part. Yes, I think I'd make a great life coach but after more thought, for someone else's life. I mean, I love telling people what to do and I know what they should do, I just can't implement it myself. Life coach, heal thyself, right? And then I thought, I wonder if the band girl brings all her clients here? She may not be good but she's probably cheap and what's more important? The life coach at Starbucks - Don't Get Me Started!

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      SWEET 7 years ago

      Kathy I so agree with you! Real sad way to live making up miserable stories in ones mind about the people one sees. Scott please write something worthier next time instead of picking and judging others. It shows pride and foolishness! Dont get me started!

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      Kathy 8 years ago

      Hear, Hear Wendy! Well said! I was disturbed by the cavalier judgements in the original blog - what a sad way to live, making up miserable stories in one's mind about the people one sees. As you said, who knows, that coach may have made an incredible difference in the coachee's life. And if not, who are we to judge?

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      Wendy Allen 8 years ago

      Helpful messages come in all types of containers. I just thhink that the layers upon layers or judgement by the blogger speaks to something bigger than how a lifecoach shoud speak, dress, or act. And believe me, I have seen all kinds of therapists and lifecoaches and psychics in action. What if this coach said the one thing her clients was needing to hear? As you said, the client was on the edge of her seat. Who would take advice from a bald man with glasses wearing nothing but a diaper? Yet, I would have like Gandhi to be my coach.

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      coachniquenya 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Oh this is too funny! Made even funnier by the fact that I was in fact in Starbucks today for the sole reason of being in a coaching session; however, I was the black woman conducting the session rather than being coached. I have seen other coaches of whom I have often wondered what kind of coaching could they possibly doing for some of the same reasons you've outlined here in this post. Hilarious!!!