But an accommodation - a partnership of equals - cannot be built through a process of humiliation.
- Gerry Adams
The eMotion cafe has been busier than ever lately. My apologies to anyone who still frequents - whose names I haven't forgotten - and who still looks forward to sharing some idle dialogue while sipping on one of our favorite addictions.
As some of you know, the topic of discussion this week has been Allie and her visit to the eMotion Cafe on Monday of this week.
Allie is one of our regulars in the eMotion Cafe, since the eMotion Cafe first opened almost a decade ago. We talk briefly most every day, usually catching up on family events, her efforts to return to school, or her newest career. I try to give her the attention she demands, but it's not always easy when I'm so busy trying to keep the Cafe running smoothly.
So, things were kinda drowsy on Monday, as they are sometimes in Life. Sometimes, in the eMotion Cafe, Things go so according to Plan that the rhythm of Life in the Cafe sometimes lulls me into a Dream, and my focus slumbers.
But, then, around 5pm, Allie wandered into the Cafe, half drunk from a day of Being Angry.
It seems, Allie didn't like the way I'd arranged the new couches in the sitting area. She wandered in, ordered her Sugar Free Vanilla / Sugar Free Hazelnut / Sugar Free Chocolate Skinny Latte and made it a point to tell me that she wasn't happy. Again. She said that the new seating arrangement wasn't comfortable anymore and that she was going to try out the new Corporate Coffee Cafe because it was rumored to be far more compatible with her preferences.
Ok, so, Allie is one of my favorite regulars, usually. In fact, it was her idea to rearrange the furniture in the first place. Since she's in almost daily, she told me last week that the place needed "some changes." She said the couch would look good against the back wall and that the chairs should be grouped together. I bounced it off some others and they said it was worth a shot and so It Was. It seemed like it was a good idea, and it seemed it'd make my customer happy.
So, she wanders in today and (instead of being happy about how accomodating I've been), she just lights into me about how it doesn't feel like "home" to her anymore.
At first, I was able to keep things semi-calm in the eMotion Cafe. Then, she starts getting louder and louder (and angrier and angrier). She starts ranting about how much better the coffee shop in her hometown is. Then she starts crying.
Oh, damn. I'm a sucker for women that cry.
Finally, she takes a few breaths and is quiet. Then, she wipes her nose with a tissue I'd offered, sniffles, and says that she demands an apology for changing the whole setup because it wasn't "customer friendly".
So, right there in front of all my customers, I said "I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you're not happy with the new arrangement." After all, Apologies are free to give and, sometimes, People just need an Apology from Someone to move on with their day.
So, I said I was sorry and she paid for her Latte. As I handed her credit card back to her, I noticed her full and last name for the first time: Allie B Humiliation.
Now, I just can't figure out if the couches really are better along the back wall or near the fireplace - where they were - and how much longer Allie will be part of the eMotion Cafe.