Don’t apologize for being human.

Patience….patience….patience….I repeat to myself as I patiently wait for my coffee. I glance at the long line waiting behind me in the drive thru, I feel bad. Really bad. They all have places to be, and I feel as if I am holding them up. I notice through the window that the baristas are hustling with a smile. That’s huge – they’re running around short handed and it seems two of them are in training – but they’re smiling!

The barista hands me a venti frappuchino topped with a truck load of whipped cream. Ugh oh no. I ordered an iced latte with almond milk. I’m allergic to dairy. I profusely apologize and repeat what I ordered. She’s new. She feels bad. I tell her it’s okay not to worry about it, that I’m fine with what she handed me, but she turned around to remake my drink. She couldn’t stop apologizing. And with a smile I reassured her it was no big deal. I would have never had her make if it was a normal day but I’ve been up since four am and had no sleep. 

I watch her make it, hot with whipped cream. I don’t have the heart to tell her that I am allergic to dairy. That I ordered an iced latte. And that I don’t have time to wait for another drink. I have to pick A up from school in twenty minutes. I thank her as she hands me the hot latte with whipped cream and tells me it’s on the house. I thank her again. She was trying her best to keep the smile on and not seem flustered. Mega props to her for keeping it together amidst frustration and unfamiliarity. 

I’ve seen this same situation happen where the customer lost their minds at the new barista/cashier/bartender. And maybe they aren’t new, so what? Maybe they’re just having a really rough day. Maybe they had to put down their dog. Or they got some bad news. You don’t know what’s going on their life right now. Cut them some slack. Have some patience. 

People seem to forget that the person behind the cash register is a human being. A person with feelings and a heart and a mind that is filled with everything all at once. So be a human being and take the coffee, thank them, tip them, and encourage them. 

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