Saturday, May 30, 2015

Iced Tea and Life

I stopped on my way to work for an iced tea. It had been a long week, and thanks to a rewards program, I had a free drink coming my way. I was on a schedule, but was fairly confident that I had time for the stop, and that the iced tea would help me through this last day of the work week. And then, as I waited for my drink, I watched as the customer in front of me thrust her drink back at the counter, demanding rather harshly, "can you fill it up?" Seems the froth at the top of her cup was occupying an inch or two of space that she expected to contain liquid. Behind the counter, the drink was remade to her specifications, and she huffed away, much as she had arrived. As I waited for my own drink, I thought about the day of the worker who had been spoken to that way. Presumably, she'd already been there for hours, making drinks to the assigned specifications. Who knows if she was having a good day up until then, but clearly, the woman's outburst had rattled her. The customer's attitude had startled me--what impact had it had on her?

It is easy for us customers of life and iced tea to challenge how exactly our days and beverages are made, and to believe that we, not the counter people, should have the last word, especially when we're spending many dollars on drinks and endless energy on life. Yet, getting what we want from our days and our beverages doesn't entitle us to treat the counter people in our lives as incompetent. It doesn't give us the right to upend someone else's day in order to fix our own.

I imagine that the iced tea maker moved on quickly--she probably deals with similar situations daily. But what I witnessed reminded me that both iced tea and life can be a lot more refreshing when approached with a smile and a "thank you" than when taken with a huff and an attitude. And when you're investing that much, in your beverage and in your life, shouldn't you make sure your experience is a satisfying one?

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