Patience and Intention Experiments – 2

Posted in Pulpit by Harsha on August 14, 2007

I had an interesting experience this past weekend.
At a Starbucks in a mall, I waited at the pick up counter. A young
girl, clearly overwhelmed by the order volume, was struggling
to keep up. She barely made eye contact or smiled at any of us (wasn’t that part of the Starbucks allure?). She churned out coffee after coffee and yelled out it’s name (and not of the person who ordered it). Most of what she made were not even real orders – she was making extra coffees by mistake. But she did manage to serve some real orders as well.

No one gave her a hard time, but they just had looks of anger. I stood extra
longer than all those folks, not a whimper out of me. All this time, I
was observing her – it was clear to me from the get-go that she
was tired (probably at ending her shift soon) and unable to cope with the order volume without help from her coworkers behind the counter.

She did not have a name tag. As a regular reader of this blog, you will
know that I *always* address someone serving me by name. So I used
"miss" as a replacement and lowered the tone in my voice.

5-7 minutes later (not that long actually) she walked up to the cashier
and had her fish out 2 free coffee coupons for me! Cynics and others
who have gotten their share of free coupons may snicker, but I
appreciate and reward good intention. I said "thank you miss, you are
very kind" and believe me, it made her day.

I wanted to go one step further, but must admit that it probably would
have been over the top. Also, I needed to get out of there quick since
my party was waiting to move on. I intended to buy her a cup of coffee
to thank her for the intention.

Intention is
shaping my approach to situations and people. Remember, she is doing her job to pay her bills just like me and you. And since my intention has been to empathize with people who serve me, it
seems to reward me as well.


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