Maybe They Can’t Be

This post was written on my phone on March 23rd as I was sitting in my car waiting to go to the Landmark Forum after buying a coffee. It is funny to look back on because the weekend had already started to transform me before I set foot in the building.

I’ve often wondered why a cashier seems to be really nice to the mean person in front of me in line, the one who snaps “adequate” to her smiling “hi, how are you?” berates her for not letting them pay with VISA and barks “whatever” when they say “have a great day.”

My smiling “hi” seems to evoke the same sort of response from her as hers did of the mean person before me. Historically it has been a really challenge for me not to wear responsibility for her replies, but today at Starbucks the beautiful barista demonstrated that it had nothing ever to do with me.

Mean guy was beating off her legendary customer service. She kept it coming at him with happiness, unphased by what he was putting out in an effort to infect the world we share with his dark past. As he slugged away, seemingly more pissed that her spirit didn’t accept his *gift* I though “what is about to happen here doesn’t have anything to do with me.”

Me “hi! How are you?” with the pathologically happy smile that is becoming easier to start and harder to control lately.

Her “great! What can I get for you? How are you doing?” not reciprocating my smile but sharing the same smile she gave away to the mean guy.

This was not what buying coffee, groceries, clothes, etc… right after mean people usually is.

And it dawned on me. It is EXACTLY what is has always been like. It was never about me or them or mean guy personally. It’s about a baseline that is sometimes hard to muster, especially when someone is trying to paint you with their junk and their past.

The decaf coffee was delicious, as only it can be for someone who has just stopped smoking. The lesson was enjoyed more than the coffee!