The big coffee chain here, an obvious imitation of Starbuck’s, is called Coffee House, but I used to mis-read the name. In Russian it’s Кофе Хаус, which is only one letter off from Кофе Хаос (Chaos) so I thought it was the latter (House isn’t even a Russian word, one other reason I mis-read it.) Although I love to go there to work alone when I have a big stretch of time to fill, they earned their former name back from me the other day.
I bring this up because I left this interchange wondering how a spiritual person should have handled it. Help me think this through. I showed the waitress a coupon I had for buy one get on free coffee. I asked if I could get that deal, and she said yes. She then proposed a new mocha thing they were offering, so I said sure. When I went to get my second cup, the manager refused, saying it was not one of the coffees in the offer.
“Couldn’t the waitress have pointed that out?” I asked.
“That wasn’t her job.”
“And whose was it?”
“I asked for the deal. Your job is to give me what I ask for.”
“Look on the coupon. It says ‘See manager for details.'”
“You’re joking, right?”
“Then how can you make this right for me?”
We went back and forth a bit, with me offering a mini course in the principles of a market economy that is customer oriented. She finally offered me an espresso, but I don’t drink those. A cappuccino or regular coffee was out of the question.
Of course being mean is not under consideration here. Russians rebuke and correct each other and put each other in their place with abandon. Was I peeved? You bet. You see enough stupidity around here to last an American a lifetime. But I hope I didn’t show it.
Forgetting about it seems too simplistic. I can hear all the American Christians saying, “turn the other cheek; overlook a sin,” etc. What I wanted was to help a fellow human how to think about how to treat a fellow human, but with respect and patience, unlike the norm here.
But if felt yucky anyway.