So this actually happened.
I’m a cafe surfer. I like the culture at most cafe’s for selfish reasons.
One being, I enjoy the crossfire of thoughts, flying through the battlefield of egos.
I’m always there inconspicuously, although the staff know me as a regular customer, I’m just a street walk in otherwise, in stealth mode.
They’re usually very confined spaces and it’s hard not to overhear fellow customers.
What I noticed is that people who busy themselves with something never have time for being arrogant.
The ones that busy themselves with serving others especially.
I went into a cafe yesterday and although I love their beans, the vibe was so filled with arrogance, you could walk out of the store and feel a strange calmness overcome you. Walk back in and the vibe was there again.
This wasn’t the first time I felt that way at their particular store.
They have another flagship store and I absolutely adore it and their staff, but this store, even though company owned, has some of the best beans in Australia and have been around for a while, was not on par.
From the minute I entered, the snares of waiters to the sideways look of the barista who was trying to be a revived version of Betty Crocker, maybe Betty Boo from head to toe, to be an image of something other than a barista, or perhaps she was the hipster barista, either way, her coffee making did not match her looks.
Funny enough, the store was not that busy at all compared to the other flagship store I usually visit.
I proceeded to order, tried to even compliment her on her look, because I hate the vibes of a person to be anything other than happy to make my food or coffee.
It didn’t seem to matter as she was too busy trying to matter…..visually.
Her coffee, despite the great beans was average, served to me in haste, dropped on my table like it was a weight of burden carried by the waiter, not a word from him either.
Usual culture at coffee houses, is the waiter explains the origin of the bean (speciality coffee roasters all do this) if you have a double ristretto or espresso with a single origin bean.
Doesn’t matter to me, I smiled said thank you but couldn’t get the ‘you’ out before the waiter was already racing back to the homeland to fetch my Persian ‘love cake’ and dump it on my table.
Followed by a dumped piccolo again, with no communication, no greeting, nothing.
Now I am not in the business of shaming places by calling out their names, so I won’t do it here either.
But I have experienced superior service from their other store which caused me to reflect. Why was the other store so inviting and warm, great coffee and vibes, whilst this one had all that negative energy?
There were a few factors I could think of.
The barista who usually sets the mood was foul faced, foul mooded and dry. She didn’t have any warmth about her, too stiff, too proud showing her dolled up appearance to actually worry about service and being warm with a customer ( I also buy their beans religiously for my own home consumption and their online service is outstanding).
She set the tone for the others who seemed to be answering to her, perhaps she was also the manager.
Staff were extremely bland faced and uninterested in doing anything other than walking back and forth with orders.
The store was not that busy for them to be so detached, which brings me to my next point. They were not that busy customer wise which made them busy with their own selves, displaying their ego’s instead. They had time to be arrogant.
Their other store was so busy, too busy catering to the ego’s of customers that they had no time to focus on their appearance, had no time for frivolities, their baristas humble, smiling even though constantly pressured in a high turn over environment.
Their waiters, greeting and understanding to the high demand, walking out to greet you, find you a place, sit you down and know you by name!
Their coffee was far superior too (same beans and machines), but I guess the layman looking barista actually refined his skills with his hands rather than his character play (yeah, she looked like a cosplay character) image.
Now, some of you may ask, but aren’t you manifesting your ego too Wes, aren’t you in reality expecting something for yourself that you’re actually accusing staff of doing, i.e. being arrogant, being expectant, holding yourself to higher ideals than just an average customer? And you would be correct to ask, who knows, I probably am.
But I’m the one who was smiling at them, complimenting them, thanking them, trying to be as civil and pleasant as possible to urge a vibe out of them so I can eat my food and drink my coffee pleasantly.
I’m paranoid like that. What you make with your hands or others hands, and the vibe you carry whilst making it, transfers to your body and in turn your persona.
Bitter mothers, have bitter kids, sick kids because there is no blessing and goodness in the food they make.
If you think food is inanimate and it is lifelessly just a breakdown of macro-nutrients and other elements, then you’re too far gone to know any better. You need to detox your body and mind and come back to a connectedness and understanding of the purpose of food.
So I care about how I receive food and drink.
As a business, you should also care about how you offer it to your customers, it will determine how they feel when they taste your food and in turn when they leave your premises and what vibe they take with them.
In the end, I couldn’t drink the coffee fast enough, and only ate half of the cake.
I had no time for people who had too much time.
I didn’t want to become arrogant like them, although I think by writing this, the damage is done, here I am prattling about having no time for arrogance and yet I have wasted fifteen minutes being arrogant.
You see what I mean? It’s a vicious cycle.
Have no time for arrogance, busy yourself with what is important to your day to day activities.