• Cathy Melton

What Would You Do?



Once a week, I will treat myself to a well deserved time of solitude to write in my journal. I will either go to a local coffee shop or to the library. This morning, I decided to go to one of our local coffee shops. I was looking forward to sipping a cappuccino while enjoying a freshly baked pastry, relaxing in one of their comfortable couches as I leisurely write brilliant ideas in my journal. I always look forward to this day, as this is my time to escape the demands of reality.


As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed there were less cars than usual. Maybe it was a slow day, I thought. Still excited about my anticipated morning, I merrily grabbed my purse and work bag and headed to the front door. Once inside, I eagerly looked to see what pastry's were on hand to go with my coffee.


As I stepped up to the counter, I was abruptly greeted by an employee, "Our internet is down and we can only accept cash. I hope you have cash!", she said. My excitement turned instantly into a frantic search for cash, which I rarely carry. I found $5 in one of my side pockets, just enough for a large cappuccino. I didn't have enough for my greatly anticipated pastry, nor did I have enough for her tip. With an irritated disappointment, I ordered my coffee and found a table, as my comfortable couch was blocked by boxes from their morning delivery.


As I opened my journal, I became distracted as I watched the employee repeat her frantic words to incoming customers. There had to be 20 cashless customers while I was there, with each one walking away without a purchase. I became intrigued to what was happening and put my journal away so I could listen to what the employees were saying to each other.


"Our internet is always going down", one said. "I don't know what WE are supposed to do", declared the other. "I tried calling and left several messages", the frantic employee said. As they stood wringing their hands, I sat there amazed at how ill prepared the staff was and how none were empowered to come up with a solution.


As a business strategist, I pondered what I could do to help. Should I give them advice? I could have told them about calling their credit card service provider, as they could have used a hand held card reader or just phoned in the information. I had several ideas and suggestions, but ultimately, I decided against it.


I finished my coffee and headed over to the library where I found my solace in a secluded homework room. No coffee, no pastry, but plenty to write about in my journal.


My question to you is, what would you do?



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