It was 8:15 a.m., and I decided to stop at Target to purchase a few items. I learned that going to Target is much better on a Monday morning, and not on a Saturday afternoon. When I walked into the retail giant, there were more workers than customers. I was asked several times: “Sir, can I help you find anything?” Nice!

Starbucks in Target

While in Target, I noticed a Starbucks shop near the exit. I remembered that I had earned a free coffee because of my loyalty to the Seattle-based company, so this was a good time to take advantage of the reward. Interestingly, there were more people in the Starbucks line that those shopping at Target.

A 30-something attractive blond woman was in front of me in the Starbucks line, and it was finally her turn to order.

BARISTA: May I take your order, Miss?

BLOND: Yes. Let me think … I would like a decaf tall caramel Frappuccino light.

BARISTA: Great! We can get that started for you right away.

BLOND: Ok. I guess I need to pay for it. Let me see if I can get the app to work on my iPhone. I’m still getting used to it.

BARISTA: You just have to put it near the reader, and it takes care of itself. It’s almost dummy proof.

BLOND: Yeah … well … I just realized that my battery ran out on the phone. I guess a credit card will work.

BARISTA: We take those, too.

BLOND: Oh … let me use debit. I have that card right here.

BARISTA: I like the way you smell. What are you wearing? Is it Shalimar?

BLOND: This is Chanel No. 5.  I haven’t used Shalimar.

BARISTA: I’m usually very good at knowing a fragrance. I think they’re close, but not sure.

BLOND: I guess so. Where do I wait for my drink?

I guess the barista was looking to make small talk with the pretty blonde woman. However, perhaps this was a standard pick-up line. If it were, he was pretty good at it, and he was bold. He asked the woman within ear distance of several customers and other employees.

When it was my turn to order, he didn’t ask anything about the cologne I was wearing. I guess that’s a good thing because I have no idea what I would respond. I guess guys normally do not ask other guys the brand of fragrance they’re wearing, especially not in a public setting.

The takeaway for me was the bold question asked by the barista. He had the guts to ask a pretty girl to disclose the fragrance she had on that day. She seemed a bit surprised with the question, but the answer followed quickly.

In business, many people are sometimes afraid to raise an issue or to ask the tough questions,feeling that their questions might be stupid and will lead to an embarrassing situation. The next time you are on the fence about a question, consider the bold approach used by the barista, and how he put himself on the line to get the information he wanted.