Sunday, 19 February 2017

Don't Mess With Me

It was the worst cappuccino she'd ever tasted. Not one to bottle up her displeasure, she made sure she told them, as succinctly as her nature and current mood allowed her to. 

Gia Savvas was not one to take any bullshit. Ask anyone who knew her. They could entertain you for hours with stories that would leave you either chuckling at her audacity or cringe at her blatant rudeness. But the message, that screamed out loud and clear after any story, was if you need anything done, talk to Gia. She would guarantee that you got a positive outcome.

I always wondered if she ever thought of doing things differently. If she had tried a different approach, like calm and polite instead of obnoxious and with no care what so ever for the other person's feelings. I mean, wouldn't it be a better for your blood pressure to approach any conflict, with a level head and with all the facts? Surely,  you can get your get your point across without coming across as a bully and being inconsiderate to the other person!

Like today, all Gia wanted was a half-strength medium cappuccino. What she got, tasted like hot milk with no coffee flavour at all. That's exactly what she told the barista.

She marched right up to the girl, thrust the coffee over the counter and said, "I asked for half strength cappuccino, not hot milk. If I wanted hot milk, I would have asked for it. If it's that hard to fathom how to make a half-strength coffee, then you're not the person for this job. How hard is it to make a half-strength coffee?"

Taken aback, the poor girl just stood there in shock for a moment. Before she could utter a single word to defend herself, the cafe manager appeared. He nudged her to the side. Ready to take on the irate customer before things got even more heated. After all, a happy customer is good for business. Right?

The manager had no chance. Gia was on a roll. He got steamrolled big time as Gia gave it to him with both barrels. It was her ringing phone that calmed the situation somewhat. Her focus shifted as she answered the call, speaking to whoever was on the other side, with animated hand movements. 

Taking advantage the situation, the manager instructed the barista to make another cup but to add more than half a shot of coffee. While it was being made, he kept one eye on Gia. He looked like he was praying that the call kept her occupied till the coffee was ready.

If he was praying, he was in luck. Just as he placed the freshly brewed coffee on the counter in front of Gia, she hung up. She gave him a look while she reached out for the coffee cup. Her gaze remained on the now nervous looking manager as she took a tentative sip. Still keeping him anchored by her look, she took another sip, before curtly thanking him. 

As she walked away towards me, as one, the manager and barista let out the breath they were holding and moved on to serve others with a smile. Gia and her attitude were pushed to the side, as they continued to serve the waiting customers. And when they had a break, they would relive the moment and vilify her till they felt better.

It was these mannerisms that drew me to Gia or rather her ability to achieve an outcome. I needed a solution to a long-standing issue. No matter how many times or however many different approaches I used, to solve the problem I had, there never seemed to be a resolution. So, I had approached her and over coffee asked for her help. She asked a lot of questions, got the facts and the bare bones of the situation and then agreed to help me out.

Within two weeks my problem was solved. I was happy and Gia got to unleash her displeasure, so in a way, she was happy too until the next time she was crossed!

Copyright Tia J. Lee 2017
All Rights Reserved.

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