Random acts of coffee

CoffeeYesterday I spoke in Tel Aviv at the national HR Magazine conference and today I’m flying to Las Vegas to visit Zappos (one of the world’s happiest workplaces).

Unfortunately my flight was cancelled leading to mob-like scenes at the check-in counter when all the passengers went there at once to get re-booked on other flights. The counter staff were honestly trying their best, but some people were yelling at them and interrupting them. One employee was visibly close to tears.

I was pretty tired and stressed myself. But at one point I asked myself what I could do to cheer the staff up, so I went over to the nearest airport café and bought coffees and cookies for them.

Then I went over to them and just said “Hey, I can see how hard you guys are working, so I brought you coffee and cookies.” It cheered up both the staff and some of the people waiting in line.

I met one of the staff later in the day and she said that it had made her a little happier. She was also carrying the rest of the cookies, which she was bringing to share with some other co-workers.

It took me about 5 minutes, cost me 10 bucks and it even made me able to relax a lot more.

I’m going to do this again – the next time I find myself in a stressful situation, I’m going to see if I can’t do something nice for someone else to lighten the mood.

Have you ever done something similar? Tell me about it in a comment.

12 thoughts on “Random acts of coffee”

  1. Some years ago I was travelling with my siblings to our grandfather’s funeral. After eight hours of ‘we’ll be boarding in 30 minutes’, we spotted the pilots and cabin staff leave the airplane via a back staircase.

    Within minutes the check-in desk was surrounded by a couple hundred irate passengers

  2. Yes! I found this to be the perfect way to cheer up energy company employees when they’re working long days to bring the power back on after storms. Head over to their truck and deliver some hot coffee on a freezing day when all they’ve heard are complaints from residents. It cheers everyone up, and maybe they’ll start in your neighborhood next time.

  3. What a great story! Thanks for sharing and teaching us an alternative to stressful situations that most of us are destined to experience.

  4. Seriously, I do this all the time. Not necessarily buy people stuff, but show some extra kindness when people don’t expect anyone to be. And sometimes people react suspicious, but then it at least makes me feel better because I’ve tried. Even unexpected smiles or winks can make a world of difference!

  5. That was one of the best negativity busters ever. Just goes to show what good can be done with money.. I haven’t done anything exactly like that, though I will be ready when the situation presents itself. Makes you look at money differently to. Great post

  6. Beautiful story. Need more people like you! It’s amazing to actually take a step back and look at when you help others, go out of your way for others, how much it’s actually helping you. Give, give, give; somehow the get immediately follows.

    Great story, thanks for sharing!

  7. Cool! That’s a marvellous way to cheer people up! We often forget that those people are just working and I personally can’t stand people yelling. It was so nice of you!! We should never forget that we are family and that it’s just good to take life from a lighter prospective. I usually try to cheer workers or people that are helping me. It could be a girls that helps in the shop or the waitress that brings me the coffee. A smile, a thank you and a have a good day can help. showing interest and caring to another human being helps ours and their day.Nice job!

  8. ah, good story!! i love a good stress-buster. i remember being stressed as i drove through a tunnel regularly. looking around, i could see the angry, pressured, rushed faces in the cars around me, too. so one day i decided to be the change that i wanted to see happen…and i put on pachabel’s canon full blast on my cd player and blew bubbles out my window as we crept along in the constant traffic. it was worth it to see the grumpy faces melt into smiles or disbelief as the bubbles wafted past the commuters…

    i also enjoy giving toll-takers (where they still exist) a jelly bean or chocolate kiss with my toll money as i pass through. amazing what that does to a bored or angry person. i have also been known to pay for the person behind me, just for a kick.

  9. I was in a very slow queue in a crowded store at Christmas time. The people behind me started hounding the poor saleswoman about getting someone else to help behind the desk. The unhelpful comments were stressful even to me. I noticed that there were some luxious looking chocolate bars up near the cash register. When it was my turn, I asked the sales person if she could recommend one. I bought the chocolate and as she started to put it in my bag, I told her it was for her. She was smiling and speechless as I walked away. We both felt better.

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