Considering my busy, panicked , stressful and ever-so-busy schedule, which I made so obvious in my previous post, I was rushing towards work today, my attention was heavily focussed on minimising the time of a journey which I’d taken a million times already and assessed, evaluated and practised the most efficient route of travel. In the midst of this stretching my brain to the limits of its introspective endurance for the shave of a few milliseconds, I suddenly heard a loud rumble! The growling steadily grew louder with each step and I realised it wasn’t an elusive dog trying to distract me – it was in fact my stomach!
For all the preparedness, commitment and efficiency that I vowed to practise, I had forgotten one key element – my hunger! To keep a happy me, my stomach must be fed ! My promenading came to a stop as my brain lost its speeding endeavour and my head gaped frantically from left to right in search for an energy boost – something to quench the pangs of hunger clawing away at my soul! Suddenly, out of nowhere, popped out an Italian eatery – the mere sight a happy carnival to my famished eyesight. Like the road runner I zoomed into the eatery and panted out my order of a Mocha and a ginormous falafel and a salad ciabatta, humous dribbling from the sides ( I’m trying to eat healthy – obviously. But the giant size of the sandwich? What size? Size is just a state of mind! Bah). As the sweet aroma of the coffee mingled with the heavenly grilled scent of the ciabatta filled the air, the cafe owner, on seeing my stress crumpled face, he took pity on me and asked me how my day was. The conversation that followed was quite unexpected and my punctuality went out of the window!
Cafe owner (CO) : “How is your day? You all right? ”
Me: “Sort of, going to work today…”
CO: “Work ? On a weekend?”
Me: *sighs heavily* “Yes, it was the same last weekend, I’ve been working 12 hour days the rest of the week too !”
CO: “Oh dear, you must be tired !”
Me: “Yeah, how is your day? Hopefully better than mine, I know you are working but… ”
CO : “It’s actually quite today, its crazy on weekends!!”
Me: “Yeah, I imagine it must be ! The queues here at lunch time are insane – I once brought a friend in this area for lunch and we ended up waiting for a whole hour !”
CO: * worried look* “Was it my shop?”
Me: “No, it was some place on the other side of the station !”
CO: * visibly relaxes* “Oh , good, because usually here we aim to serve our customers in no more than 5 minutes – my staff and I work diligently on that ! It’s important to take care of customers.”
Me: “Oh, that’s fantastic, you seem to have good staff, its difficult to find reliable people these days, one of my friend has a lot of trouble hiring people she can depend on for her shop!”
CO: ” Yes I agree, it has become difficult to find people reliable enough, not all hope is lost though, look at me. ” *grins* ” tell your friend that !”
Me: “Yes, I will, but I guess its important to treat your staff well too she says, otherwise no one stays!”
CO: “Well, your friend is very very true, its important to keep your staff happy, but don’t go overboard with it! You need to keep track of your business too – if you are paying more than you get, its clearly missing something! think don’t be blind.”
Me: ” Yes, especially in this lace, where you have so much competition, a cafe around every corner! ”
CO: ” Yes, you need to keep up. You need to keep your eyes and ears open, if something is not right with your business you need to correct it and if its not working out, be practical- stop it, go work for someone else – its pretty much the same.”
Me: ” You seem to have thought about things (and people) a lot! What’s your philosophy in life?”
CO: ” It’s quite simple, really. Treat your customers and your staff well – its important to treat people well in life, we live in a world of people, you cannot escape them.”
Me: ” That’s profound, thanks for the interesting talk and great coffee!”
I smiled as I walked my way towards the station, my thoughts going back to his philosophy of life – treat your customers and staff well. This can be applied to a lot of things in life, especially our relationships where our loved ones are our customers and staff at the same time – it’s important to treat them well but not to go overboard, its important to be practical in life – if something is not right, figure out what and try to fix it and if it cant be fixed, move on!
What an enlightening coffee today – who knew I’d learn something so profound? Oh damn, I’m 30 mins late * starts running*