The nice—and somewhat strange (but convenient)—thing about working at Starbucks corporate headquarters is that there is a Starbucks store inside Starbucks. This morning, I headed to the store to get a yogurt parfait and some juice.
Like most Starbucks, the Starbucks store inside Starbucks is usually very busy in the morning. But when I arrived, the line snaked down the hallway and groups of people were jammed in the seating area.
Then I remembered. Oprah was coming to visit.
While I waited in line, I heard people excitedly discussing Oprah’s eminent arrival. Her first stop was going to be at the store.
I have rarely been in the right place at the right moment, but today I was.
After getting my breakfast, I joined the throngs of Starbucks employees waiting for Oprah. I saw a woman wearing an Oprah sweatshirt, her cell phone already positioned to capture Oprah’s image.
Why do people love Oprah so much? Oprah is like a real-life fairy godmother. She could completely transform your life in an instant with her money and power. But somehow she still seems totally relatable.
Then there she was, Oprah Winfrey, queen of all media, ambling down the hallway with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, a small video crew, and a bevy of staffers. The crowd did its best to keep squeals and cheers to minimum, but it was hard for many people to contain their excitement. I half-expected people to start chanting Oprah’s name.
I watched Oprah come closer and closer to me. Right in front of me, Oprah slowed down momentarily, looked me directly in the eyes, pointed at me, said “Oh my God!” and then continued on her way.
She had perfectly captured what I was feeling at that moment.