I wonder if Mick Jagger still thinks that “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”? Didn’t we all try to teach that concept to our children? I’m pretty sure that we’ve stopped teaching it, singing about it and even believing it somewhere during my lifetime. This morning as I wandered in, a bit later than usual (I’m on vacation), I ordered my usual for a Monday morning… a grande` drip. Well, there happened to be about three sips less in the pot than a true grande` size. It was fine by me, but not by the Starbucks barista code. She apologized profusely and if I could wait 3 minutes I could have a fresh one. If I couldn’t wait, they’d whip me up an Americano. Either way, my drink was “on the house”. Apparently, the code is “on demand” or it’s free.
Last night we enjoyed a great family meal out. My son ordered an enormous sandwich, hold the tomatoes. Well, they forgot to hold the tomatoes. It was no huge issue to him, but to our server and the manager it was at least a misdemeanor offense and the meal came free of charge, which was fairly significant at this place. Once again the code is “on demand” or it’s free.
So I’m wondering again on a Monday morning, what have we become? Are businesses so afraid of the high brow, high maintenance public that no measure of inconvenience or incompetence is to be accepted. We’re pursuing the “super race” of humanity, just not on a genetic scale. No grace is given and no trouble is tolerated. Are we on schedules strung so tightly that 3 minutes would destroy our life’s mission? If my schedule can be detained for 3 minutes for the sake of a fresh pot, then anyone’s can. I know that the customer is always right and poor service should probably not be rewarded, but neither should self centeredness and self importance. Sometimes I wonder how “The Greatest Generation” ever saved the world from Hitler. I’m sure that conditions in the foxholes were less than stellar and I know that mess hall service left something to be desired. How did they ever get by? “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try….sometimes you get what you need.” Isn’t that what Mick sang? People used to live that way. Sadly though, some of the most demanding I’ve met lately have been older individuals who have begun to sing another song…. “Have it Your Way”. Thanks a bunch Burger King. My way would have meant that you didn’t change your fries way back when, but lets not open that wound.
Anyway, it’s easy for me to sit around here in my comfy chair by the beach with my free coffee and be critical. Until I remember my Friday evening dining experience at another place that shall remain nameless. Not only was my fairly simple “hold the ….” Order not accomplished. It was never even acknowledged. To be honest, I don’t care to go back anytime in the foreseeable future. What does that say about me when I can’t always get what I want? Maybe it was worth it for them to give me the coffee for free.