Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Experience Trumps a Training Manual

The cashier was also a barista who made my cold brew.
Just ahead of me a 12-year-old girl tried to pay for a purchase using a credit card.

The cashier peered at the proffered plastic. "What's the name on the card?" The girl looked and read the name.

"Is this yours?"It's my Mom's. Because she had not answered quickly, there was a chance she was lying.

"You can't use someone else's card." Holding the charge plate, the cashier pondered; I could tell that she was thinking about keeping it. Eventually she handed it back.

The girl huddled with two friends who were giggling. If forced to guess, I would have said she was probably telling the truth about the card being her mother's, though I doubt she was given carte blanche as to its use. They walked away.

The lady at Starbucks radiated the authority of someone twice her size. Perhaps she had been a teacher or an office manager, sticking to principles that no longer matter to most people. She taught these girls a lesson they won't soon forget.

Millions of strangers interact with each other every day, and not all interactions are handled well. If Starbucks had hired people with life experience and good judgment, they wouldn't have had to close more than 8,000 stores yesterday for antibias training.

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