To call this past Friday memorable would be an understatement.
Since one of my nephews was getting married in the afternoon, my wife and I took the whole day off. As a rare treat she booked hour-long massages for both of us in the morning.
We ran a quick errand, then went to McDonald’s to relax before our appointments. I ordered a large coffee for my wife, and a medium mango smoothie for me.
There was a fair bit of activity on both sides of the counter, and the staff seemed flustered. To my left, one agitated customer was yelling at the clerk to cancel his entire order, take everything back off his tray, and start over again.
Dude, relax. It’s breakfast, not life-or-death.
Everyone behind the counter seemed lost and on edge. It was not the calm, smooth, efficient service I had come to expect from McDonald’s.
Other customers came and went as they brought my wife’s coffee and I waited for my smoothie. And waited. And waited.
After a few minutes of working on the smoothie machine, inserting a new bag of mango goop, pouring in more ice, and fiddling with some dials, they let me know that they couldn’t get the mango to work.
I shrugged, smiled and changed my order to blueberry pomegranate. To apologize for the delay, they refunded the money I had paid for the medium mango smoothie, and gave me a free large blueberry smoothie.
And an apple pie.
I bet the guy who was yelling at the clerk beside me didn’t get that kind of response.
Now, I’m not mentioning this to boast about my stellar character and outstanding people skills. Heck, I wasn’t in a hurry. I had a couple of hours to kill before my massage. I didn’t care if they took three or four minutes to give me my order. I like blueberry just as much as mango.
I have no idea what was going on in buddy’s life that caused him to snap at the staff. I hope and pray that his day got better after that. I probably wouldn’t have been very serene either, if I were in his shoes.
But I learned that when “bad” things happen, how we approach them can decide whether they turn ugly, or back to good.
I’m going to file that away, and hopefully remember that next time I’m feeling flustered and ready to snap.
In the meantime, anybody want an apple pie?