The Order



I was in the backroom at Starbucks because I was putting away The Order.

We get The Order every Wednesday because we need more things to make your stuff. I spend hours lifting heavy boxes full of things. I put the things on shelves so that some time later we can take those things from the back room and bring them to new shelves in the main store so that we can later take those things off the new shelves in the store and put them in refrigerators or cabinets so we have the things at hand to make stuff for you when you come to our store and want stuff.

This whole shelf changing process repeats itself for several days until we start to run out of things. They’re little things at first, things you probably wouldn’t notice if we left out, but by the time Tuesday rolls around we’ve run out of most of the things for your stuff, so we have to apologize and say we can’t make your stuff and offer you different stuff comprised of things we still have.

No one likes those things, though. The stuff that goes in them isn’t as good. People become angry because they waited in line for the stuff they like, not the stuff they don’t like, and they find it very irritating that we don’t have the things to make their stuff.

“Why don’t you have the things?” They ask. “I want my stuff. Just order more things so you can make my stuff.”

“I can’t order more things because I already ordered more things. The things come in on Wednesday, when the truck brings them. That’s why I go to the backroom on Wednesdays. I put the things on shelves so that later we can move those things to other shelves so that later we can put those things in refrigerators and cabinets and trays and use them to make stuff for you,” I say, “Sorry about your stuff. Have you tried this other stuff though? Some people say it’s nice.”

“I don’t want that stuff,” they say, “that stuff is junk.”

Sometimes people bring their own things from home and try to get us to put it in their stuff. They see with me with my apparatus and they say “can you put my thing form home in there? I like it. It’s nice.”

I can’t let them put their thing in there because their thing might be junk. If their thing is junk or came into contact with any junk while at home, then it might affect other peoples stuff.

I’ve seen it happen.

“Why does my stuff taste like junk?” she asks, wiping stuff off her lips with a napkin. “Did you put junk in my stuff?”

“I did not put junk in your stuff,” I tell her, “I only put things in your stuff.”

“Then why does my stuff taste like junk?”

I shrug, even though I know it’s because that one person a while ago brought junk form home and asked me to put it in my apparatus. They said it was a thing. I was pretty certain it was junk, but i put it in my apparatus anyway, and now everyone’s stuff tastes like junk and all I can do is apologize.

“I’m sorry your stuff tastes like junk” I apologize, “can I make you some new stuff?”

“Please,” she said, handing me her stuff. I dump her stuff out in the trash bin and wash my apparatus. Then I put things in it and make more stuff. I hand her the new stuff.

“Sorry about your old stuff, “I say, “you’ll like this new stuff though. It’s nice.”

Sometimes, though, I don’t have the things to her make her stuff because The Order hasn’t come in yet.

When that happens, you know someone is going to yell at you. People like their stuff. They want it to be nice, not junk, and when they think it’s junk they let you know.

“What’s wrong with her?” a toad-like woman asked me one time. I was cleaning the counter we put stuff on and my friend Peach was making the lady some stuff. “I’ve asked her to make my stuff without this thing twice, and she keeps making it with that thing! Is she retarded?”

I just shrugged. Sometimes people don’t want things that are hard to take out of their stuff. Peach wasn’t retarded. To this day she still remains very unretarded. She can make stuff well.

I wanted to tell the woman that she shouldn’t say retarded. I wanted to tell her she was being very rude.

I wanted to tell her it was just stuff.

It’s just stuff.

But I didn’t.

I knew she wouldn’t understand.

She really wanted her stuff.

People need stuff.

Not junk.


That’s why The Order comes in.

So every Wednesday I put The Order away. All that stuff. It goes up on its shelves in preparation for moving to new shelves in preparation for going into fridges and cabinets so I can put it in my apparatus to make you stuff and I look at all my things and I wonder…

Do we really need all these things?

Do you really need this stuff?

Do you?




Leave a comment


  1. lisabrock

     /  March 18, 2016

    I love it. We do want our stuff.

    Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  2. Nice. A little stuff goes a long way, for me. The only upside to moving is getting rid of it all! Still, memories, emotions, and the feeling I’m home wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have stuff.

    • williamcharlesbrock

       /  March 18, 2016

      I’m the opposite. I find my stuff when I move and I cry. I can’t get rid of it. All of this stuff has memories attached to it. I’m sentimental about stuff, but also cursed with the knowledge that most of the stuff I keep (like the gnomes on my desk) are pointless. Only after months of debating with myself am I finally able to throw my stuff away.

  3. First of all this is just a great witty blog. Second, I don’t go to your place because I buy local, mostly. When I come to your place I’m pretty flexible about the stuff I’m served. As long as it isn’t junk. So yeah. This is just a great blog. Someday maybe you can just write only and not do shelving of the stuff. Love it.

    • williamcharlesbrock

       /  March 18, 2016

      I’m glad you get local stuff. It’s nice. Not junk. I never get Starbucks stuff except at work because it’s free. I normally go to Intelligentsia or other LA coffee places for stuff that I pay for.
      Or bars. I find bars have the nicest stuff of all.

      • Yeah, well, my local stuff is still grown in other places. Places where stuff is grown. Places where they grow the best stuff…
        This feels a lot like a Cheech n Chong routine all of a sudden.

  4. I love this!

  5. This was hilarious. Thanks for making me smile 🙂

    • williamcharlesbrock

       /  March 18, 2016

      Writing something that solicits an emotional reaction from someone is all that I hope to do. That’s for letting me know you smiled. I really do appreciate it.

  6. Brilliant! (And yes, I need my stuff!!!!) 😛

    • williamcharlesbrock

       /  March 21, 2016

      Thanks for the kind words. I had a lot of fun writing this one. I actually wrote it at work and accidentally deleted it. I had to go home and rewrite the whole beginning.

  7. Photos & Musings by Pamela Cook

     /  March 20, 2016

    Cool read!

  1. The Order | Nation of Poetry (Read All About It - Extra Extra)

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