Lactic Intolerance


First he said “I’d like three shots of espresso on top of half a grande cup of water.”

I said, “Would you like me to steam some milk for the extra room?” After all, a half cup of coffee *usually* means the person wants to fill the empty space with something else.

He snarled, “What the F*&( are you talking about?”

I replied, “Would you like me to put some milk in the cup for you?”

“I said I’d like three shots of espresso on top of half a grande cup of hot water!” He stomped off to the bathroom. I made his drink.

Thirty seconds later, he was done in the bathroom. I called out his drink. He glared at me, snatched it up and stomped out of the store. Yes. He stomped. Not exaggerating.

I took a breath in the back of the store, quickly texted my frustration to a friend, and then regained my equilibrium. Nobody is going to dampen the good mood of my store, dammit!

Milk makes some people so angry! I bet he was beaten as a child by enormous thuggish mammary glands wearing dark glasses and trench coats.

Yes, I take this kind of thing personally. People come to my store to enjoy themselves, to enjoy a drink, and enjoy their friends. Equally, they visit to be treated well, and I am the crux of this petite universe.

Pardon my French here… I gotta say… Gawd I hate assholes.

Not sphincters. Those are actually quite useful. I’m speaking figuratively. I’m speaking of the jerks who ruin our day by a carefully chosen snarl, or glare, or inappropriate sentence. Who make you, and those, around you, feel smaller than you were before the encounter.

I’m allowed to speak to this topic, because I, myself, have been one of these people.  Snarling, throwing off someone else’s otherwise-perfect day, injects you with a sense of empowerment, of strength.  Being mean lends a savage glee. It’s horrible, and callous, and if I’ve ever done this to (or near) you, I apologize wholeheartedly.

I am, and I did. There. Now don't we all feel better?
I am, and I did. There. Now don’t we all feel better?

I think people are like this when they need something more than coffee. They feel powerless and use a power-emotion (I just coined that term. Deal with it…) to change the mood of others around them.

The trouble is, the mood spins out like a malignant web, from one person to the next encounter, and the next… suddenly the whole world is in a bad mood because one jerk felt powerless.

It becomes a habit and it’s a tough one to beat back. I’ve tried hard for years to not let my moods govern me. I try to make my work interactions be one of the most amazing things about an already-amazing store. If I had just one daily prayer (I don’t, but if I did…) it would be to make the lives of the ones around me better, even if just for a moment. I don’t know if I’m succeeding. I’ll let my customers be the judge of this.

OK. Rant over. Tomorrow’s my day off. See you all, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, right?

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