Friday, August 14, 2009

What kind of person am I?

This morning, I stopped at Starbucks. I was excited! As I sit here enjoying my delicious drink, though, I am reflecting ... 
Starbucks is busy on Fridays. That is just usually a fact. Today was no exception. There were probably 5 people in front of me in what was a very efficient and quick line. No kidding, I was probably there for only about 5 minutes. Toward the front of the line there were two ladies. They ordered, and one lady got her drink (I think it was straight coffee or something really fast - I wasn't yet paying much attention) while the other lady went to the pick-up area to wait. In no time at all, it became obvious that they were annoyed at having to wait. They were rude. The lady making the drinks got flustered. 
My thoughts were: you are at Starbucks on a Friday. Be happy that: A. You are at Starbucks and,  B. It is Friday. Instead, they were obnoxious and, again, rude. 
As the barista handed her the long awaited for drink (can you sense the sarcasm?), she apologized. Mrs. Obnoxious said "I'll just be needing a free drink card." 
It gets better. 
Barista said "sure thing" and told the lady at the register, who said, "you got it. It will just take a minute." 
Mrs. Obnoxious got, again, annoyed that it was going to take a minute to get her undeserved (in my opinion) free drink card.
Poor barista was obviously flustered. 
My question... what should a customer such as myself do in this situation?
A. Ignore it
B. Confront Mrs. Obnoxious
C. Passive Aggressively comfort the barista
D. Something else??

I chose C. When she handed me my drink and apologized intensely (needlessly) for the wait, I told her not to apologize because I am not obnoxious like Mrs. O. 
Barista laughed and seemed to relax a little. 

My thoughts:
On one hand, no matter what I said I would not have changed Mrs. O or her personality. 
On the other hand... do I always choose the "middle?" Wanting to do something but not wanting to confront? Am I one of those "bystanders" that we teach in bullying lessons that stand by and don't do anything? 

My apologies for being a little "journal-y." This isn't usually my type of post, but I'm curious... 

What would you have done??


Kendra Forgacs said...

I would have also comforted the barista...but only after asking for my free drink card! Just kidding, you did the right thing because as you said you can't change that woman. Good post!

Your Mom said...

I would like to think I would have told Ms Obnox something professional and adult in hopes that she would think about her actions AND then reaffirmed the barista. That said, I probably actually would have done exactly what you did and then stewed about my inaction all day too!!...and , that said, even if I had said something profound to the Ms O., it would not have changed her personality.

Gabi said...

B! But thats because I am a no holds bar type of person...dont know where that came from, but I am...My mom wouldnt approve tho, she would have told be to pick my battles.... lol

Eileen Short said...

I think making funny faces behind Ms. O to lighten the mood of the barista. Actually did that at Boston Market once. Then, some sort of comment to my husband about how unkind some people can be -or- how some people will stoop so low for a free drink. Of course, husband should be there in case she takes a swing at me.
You did a great thing! Many people would do nothing.

lainiekitz said...

I think I would act similarly to your Mom. I doubt I could refrain from saying something to Ms. O. I think that showing the barista that YOU appreciate her is most important.
Some people are just rude. I had a woman at Walmart call me a "retard" this week. I guess she thought that me talking to my 4 month old son in front of the deli counter was not too cool. I didn't think it was cool for her talk like that in front of her 6 year old son. I refrained from saying anything since there were kids around, but it was hard to bite my tongue and be the "better person".

Nicole Buchheit said...

I would have done the same thing as you, Chelsea. Said something to the person behind the counter -- I think that really does make them feel better! Such a nice person you are :)

drewthrall said...

I see this all the time at work. I can't believe she asked for the free drink card. there not supposed to ask for those cards. Those cards are there for the baristas to give on there own with out anyone asking. I like what you did. Because the lady probably would have made a seen an as a barista you dont wanna see that. So i like what you did as you showed the barista that you acknowledged that it happened and you appreciate them.