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All I ever needed to know about life, I learned from working at Starbucks, part V August 6, 2008

Posted by Michelle, with dignity in kindess, starbucks.
Tags: , ,

I have two words for this week – patience and compassion.  

“Patience is a virtue.”  – Proverb

“Patience, n. a minor form of a dispair, disguised as a virtue” – Ambrose Bierce, American Writer

I think the summer heat has finally gotten to people, because patrons this week have been exceptionally rude!  And it hasn’t been just myself that’s noticed the rudeness, so I know I’m not being overly sensitive!  It just seems that people are so rushed that they can’t wait a minute for a handcrafted beverage.  Where do they have to go in such a hurry that 3 minutes of their time is too much to ask?  AND, by the way, if you order one of the new Vivanno Nourishing Blends, expect a 5 minute wait because it has to be blended 4x as long as a regular frappucino! So don’t get all bent out of shape when 4 other drinks go out before yours…

My patience has been tried because of the lack of patience in others.  Monday I was at my wits end with impatience, and found myself face to face with a woman who obviously had no where to be.  It took her (no exaggeration here) 5 minutes to order her frappucino and her scones, something that usually takes less than 30 seconds.  I stood there and waited for her, and waited for her, and waited for her.  She “hmmmmed” and “hahed” for awhile, asked if the banana cake had bananas in it, asked what was in the vanilla scones (uh, vanilla, ma’am), and finally made her selection.  There was a line of several people behind her, and she just didn’t seem to notice.  I was running out of patience, not because she was indecisive, but because I couldn’t do anything else because every time I tried to walk away, she would ask me another weird banana question.  

Later, a woman who we see every day in Starbucks told me that I was a greater woman than she for my patience.  I know that I have a lot of patience in me, and it is tried regularly at Starbucks.  I try to be patient with everyone, and I can only ask that others would do the same on the other side of our bar.  


“Compassion is the basis of all morality” – Arthur Schopenhauer, German Philosopher

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” Buddha

Also this week I have noticed the need for compassion.  If it’s just remaking a latte that someone meant to order decaf on accident, or giving a hug to a friend, life needs compassion.  Life happens over compassion, not coffee (silly Starbucks).  A coworker has had a relationship end in her life, and this person continually causes her pain.  She was late from her lunch break, and she knew that.  I don’t have to play mommy at work, we’re (mostly) adults.  But she was late because she had met this person for some dinner, subsequently he says something harsh enough to make her heart break again.  I know I could have given her the “don’t be late” lecture, but she was already so sad that I couldn’t do it.  I hope that a little bit of compassion went a long way for her.  And I hope she realizes that just because I let the lateness slide doesn’t mean it’ll happen again!  But, I would handle it with compassion.  I’ve also been blessed with compassionate coworkers that will band together and work for me for a week while I spent time with my family after my grandfather’s death.  I hope that an example of compassion found in me can span my coworkers and we can create a whole compassionate crew.  




1. dimwell - August 6, 2008

I totally read that as, “I hope that an example of compassion in me can spam my coworkers …”.

I almost LOL’d, then I realized that I also can’t read.

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