Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

What Lies Beneath

on 26 June 2010

Last night at work I went to my sarcastic place.

I’m not proud of that fact. While a sarcastic me is a funny me, and my coworkers appreciate the laughs, it doesn’t leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. However, last night I found myself pushed to the edge of my reserves, and I had two choices:

1. Be as silly, goofy, funny, and witty as I could muster at short notice, or

2. Burst into tears.

I think I speak for all when I say that humour-ish statements were preferable to tears. Besides, I had already been crying earlier in the night. Now, allow me to explain. In the almost two years I’ve worked at Starbucks, I’ve only been brought to the point of tears three times (this is a pretty good record):

1. By a former coworker who would be awful mean to me when we were working alone, but sweet and wonderful if any other coworker was around. *rolls eyes* It got reeeaaallllyyy old.

2. By a customer’s story of the death of their parent. Sad, sad, sweet story.

3. Tonight. Enough said.

Now, I’m a Christian. For some of you, I’m sure you involuntarily shuddered at that statement. Christians often have a stigma attached to them: aloof, condescending, self-righteous, holier-than-thou. I hope that I am not like that. I strive to not be like that.

However, the people that came in tonight were, sadly, acting like that. The thing is, I have a history with these people outside of the store. I’m not just some random barista, they aren’t just some random fellow Christian people. We know each other. I do my best to treat them well; I call them by name, ask about their lives, and am just generally friendly to them. Friendly, even though I know what the outcome is going to be, how they are going to treat me. Not that they are horrible, but they aren’t exactly nice either. Last night it was too much for some reason. It hurt. I ended up in the back room trying to wipe away traces of tears.

Would someone remind me why I wear mascara to work?

So, like I said before, I went to my sarcastic place. I really, really hate that about myself. I hate that their poor behaviour impacted me so much that I felt the need to alter my behaviour. That’s not good, healthy, or right.

Earlier yesterday we held our first meeting for a 40 minute Kay Arthur Bible Study. The topic is “Living Like You Belong to God“, and the key idea of the study is that of “holiness.” My favourite university Bible teacher describes holiness as “being set aside for special use.” It’s not that there’s anything inherently different about something holy from something that isn’t; rather, it’s mainly how this thing is used.

These people tonight decided to not act holy. That’s fine; it’s their decision to make.

I, however, don’t think that I ultimately responded in a holy manner. Not that I was mean to them or anything like that, but I allowed my hurt at their behaviour to turn into biting humour later on.


No one is perfect, right?

So, that’s one of my goals for the summer. I’m going to take what I learn in that study and work on not letting other’s behaviour influence mine. By the end of the summer, I hope to be able to just shrug off customer issues and keep on keeping on. I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes! As my new manager says, “It is what it is.”

Until then, let me leave you with this thought: 6 months until Christmas!

Yeah, coworkers and customers weren’t overly thrilled with this news either. Peace; out….

7 responses to “What Lies Beneath

  1. mum says:

    Just have to comment:
    1. I love you
    2. I’m proud of you
    3. They treat everybody like that
    4. I’m really proud of you
    5. I love you tooooo much
    Just remind your co-workers not to judge Jesus by His followers. Sheeeesh!

  2. culledthoughts says:

    I wish I had known you were having a bad night. I wouldn’t have been so polite sitting outside with people. I was getting irked that people kept sitting down. Next time I won’t be so nice!

    I hope today is going better for you. On the up side, we’re one day closer to my devious plan of action!

  3. klarusu says:

    I came to a similar realisation about how other people’s bad behaviour brought out the worst in me and made me feel twice as crappy – once for their treatment of me and again for my lowest common denominator response. I’ve tried, from then on in, to be the bigger person & not lose sleep over the fact that sometimes ‘they’ get to think they’ve ‘won’. Can’t say I’m perfect, but you know what, it has been liberating to forget about external things & just to be the person I know I really am. I don’t call it ‘holiness’ because I’m not a religious person nor a ‘believer’ but whatever it’s called, the less you let others change you, the truer you are to the person you want to be, the greater the well of inner calm you’ll find and the happier you’ll be, I’m sure.

    If that fails, being English I can say, don’t let the silly sods get you down.

    (If baristas ‘decaf’ people, I’m going to make extra efforts to be nice to them!)

    • I absolutely agree with your comments. What really bothered me more than their behaviour (and that did really bother me) was my response to it. I cannot change the way they act, but I can change the way I respond. Once that ability to control reaction is in place, I do believe that the “well of inner calm”, as you put it, will then be within reach. That’s a great phrase- well of inner calm. It needs to go on a plaque! (So does the ‘silly sod’ comment!)

      Oh, and certain baristas do decaf. I usually only do it when parents are being silly (like getting their little kid a drink with 3 caffeinated espresso shots in it!). Others do it based on customer behaviour…just sayin’. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! –MissW

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: