• Bob Brooks

Show a Little Grace - You Might Need It at Starbucks

I often start out my day at Starbucks where I get ready for the day and write. Today, before I sat down to start my day, I started out at the counter ordering my coffee for the morning. I noticed the avalanche of coffee cups. It was going to happen. The coffee Apocalypse. The doom to fail business model of Starbucks where you can text your mobile order ahead and just swing in and pick up your coffee. Think about it for a moment why this is such a bad idea. You have maybe 4 people who are handling the flow of traffic for customers who come in off of the street. Everyone is in a hurry. Then you have all of these people who (because they were promised by Starbucks) think that they are going to waltz in and pick up their mobile order. What could go wrong?

First, among the mobile people are the Type A people who this type of service attracts. The problematic ones are the entitled Type A (who I don't know any personally) who demand a perfect experience in an imperfect environment. Well, the line of mobile orders was getting long. There were people who went step by step and pre-ordered their coffee and yet finding themselves waiting in line. As the line began to grow for mobile orders, it was like living in Hawaii and wondering when the volcano was going to erupt. Then it happened. A middle aged man with his sunglasses still attached to his face started berating the barista. He went at her like she was the original creator (you know the person who is sitting in a big office sipping their coffee in peace in Seattle) of the idea and it was all her fault. As she tried to apologize (which I thought was gracious) and settle the man down, he declared this is not my problem and demanded she drop what she was doing and get his coffee and the person waiting beside him because they had been waiting for 20 minutes. I couldn't help but think of those in third world countries who spend half the day walking just to get clean water - I digress.

As I watched this go down, I prayed for the lady behind the counter and thought to myself, we just need a little Grace. This came to mind and seemed more important than the riveting article I was writing on Hotel Identity Theft (which I will publish Monday).

Consider this with me for a moment.

Life does not guarantee you a perfect Starbucks experience. You are going to interpret from time to time that life is not going your way (which by the way is an interpretation). How you react when Plan A doesn't work is a small important moment that shows what is inside. Will you show Grace and make the most of your inconvenience? After all this is a first world problem - your coffee was not ready - or are you going to spew angry attitude and more than likely create a memorable negative moment for someone that they might reflect on the rest of their day?

Ok, for those who know me, know I have been known to show that entitled self before. Ask my incredible wife who puts up with me. For someone, who has a tendency to react when things don't go their way, I have some advice for you that I have for myself. Show Grace, after all, God shows Grace for the stupid things we do. When things don't go your way, focus on Grace. It is an incredible answer to a first world problem and the greatest gift you can give to another.