Coffee and Friendship

imageBreakfast is my favorite meal to eat out, but one I rarely have the opportunity to enjoy. I met with a friend for breakfast at a grocery store where they serve a buffet meal. We decided not to get the usual coffee that comes with the meal but instead go to the coffee bar nearby.

A customer standing there seemed to be waiting for the barista to make her drink. After several minutes the customer moved to the other end of the counter and after another minute or so wait the barista came and took her order and quickly got her drink (if you can call the thick green goop a drink).

Thinking it was our turn I stepped to the counter. No other customers were around. But then neither was the barista. She went back to the other side of the shop and resumed a task she was doing earlier. She also put a fresh pot of coffee out with seemingly no realization that we were waiting.

I gently called to her saying, “excuse me, could we get service?” She replied that she would be with us shortly.

After a couple more minutes we gave up on the idea of getting a specialty drink , instead filling our cups with the brews available to the public. As we finished she came to us and asked what we would like to order. I believe I was calm,but purposeful in saying, “We gave up waiting and just got regular coffee; I just need to pay you.” She apologized and rang up our order.

While paying I suggested that perhaps next time when she saw customer’s waiting she could look over and say, “I’ll be with you in just a minute.” or something to that affect. She replied she did that. To which I reminded her she did indeed, but only after I finally brought our presence to her attention.
Her reply startled me,”I didn’t think you’d mind waiting.”

As much as her reply startled me, it was the reply of my friend that startled me more. She asked me (in private) what was going on with me and why did I respond that way? She actually snickered that we were together catching up with one another, so did a few minutes really matter?

I took a breath and realized (as you have probably already discerned) that it wasn’t at all about a wait for coffee or service. It was about a situation at work that had me so flummoxed that it clouded my processing and reactions.

What a precious gift to have a friend so willing to speak the truth to me. She helped me bring the situation to the forefront, spoke some wise words to me and enabled me to gain perspective and enjoy not only a rich time of sharing with my friend, but also breakfast and a pretty good cup of hot coffee!

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