Two men. Two men are booted out of Starbucks for loitering, and Starbucks is front page news for a month, manager is accused of being a racist bigot, and worse. The coffee shop shuts the door for a day of training to make sure everyone knows how to treat loiters who visit their store. Politically correct climate change matters.
But what happened at ACE China is a big secret. Do you even know what ACE China is?
I had to look it up. And I’m pretty current on news and events.
Two men. Two men having lunch at ACE China were shot through the window. Two police officers ambushed while having a quiet lunch at ACE China, by a man shooting at them from outside the restaurant.
My objective here is not to make a huge spectacle of ACE China, although I’m fairly certain that since they had nothing to do with the ambush, and local business has probably hit the floor, they could use a bit of promotion and encouragement. The thing is, nobody is after their manager for his “responsibility” in protecting the two police officers who were ambushed. And why not? Should they not have been safe to seat themselves near a window and eat their lunch?
At what point does the politically correct crap become just silliness?
Recently, Crista Huff wrote, “People make errors, and those errors do not represent the company, school, police department or church that they work for. Granted, some people are inept or very disturbed and need to be fired. But the rest of us literally make mistakes every single day, from forgetting to return a phone call to clicking "buy" instead of "sell" in a computerized transaction to misspelling the client's name. Then the mistake is brought to our attention, and we fix it.”
And I agree. What ever happened to just fixing the error? When did an error in judgement become a disaster of magnanimous proportions, so insurmountable that we need an attorney to jump in and file a legal action?
In the case of the two law officers having lunch, obviously there was criminal intent on the part of the shooter, and HE should be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law.
The location, ACE China, had no part in the death of these two officers apparently, so their name being mentioned in the reports shouldn’t destroy their business. Even if it is found that a manager, or employee called the killer to give him the location of the officers. It isn’t the business, it’s the fault of an individual.
The same is true with Starbucks.
You can bet your bottom dollar that two free cups of coffee, offered to those gentlemen would have been far cheaper than the legal action, a day of closure and politically correct behavior training, will be.
Over-reaction on the part of one, makes overwhelming error more likely.
Take a pause.
What would happen, if instead of over-reacting, the manager would have took a breath? Rethought the situation, and offered a couple of complimentary coffees to the men who weren’t buying coffee, while they waited? OR if, instead of not purchasing anything, if one of them would have purchased a coffee and asked for a cup of water for his friend? Perhaps the outcome might have been different?
Bathrooms really are for customer use only. It requires money and time to keep up a bathroom, so the courteous thing to do if you’re going into an establishment to use their bathroom is “Buy something!” It usually doesn’t cost much to purchase something… A cookie, a coffee, a bottle of water?
Even just an explanation?
“We’re meeting a friend here for coffee, would it be okay if we wait to order until he arrives?”
Do you think that might have settled the deal? Maybe eased the mind of the manager, and defused a situation, before it became a police battle. If the store policy really is “no purchase, no seat” then the two men could have been made aware of that. Would they have complied? I don’t know, but I would have.
Business Owners must offer grace, give margin, and provide redemption.
As the business owner, I’m often amazed at the number of customers who bypass a sales rep and complain about their services. More often than not correcting the problem means leaving a bit of cash in their pocket. Which can be painful at times. But the long range cost or benefit to the company may be worth that little bit of cash spent on the front side.
At the Starbucks, what about making it a point to offer a “sample cup” of the newest blend to those waiting for a friend. How much does a Dixie cup of coffee cost, when you dump half a pot down the sink every night? What exactly was the dollar value of closing ALL STARBUCKS for a day of training?
- Offer grace to the customer – I’m so sorry, what can I do to make this right? Recognize the error and offer to fix it, by whatever means you have to fix it. Give them a coupon card for discounted services, or a free service if possible. Give them something extra to make up for whatever wrong they experienced at the hands of the employee. Allow your employee to apologize, and make it right if possible.
- Give margin to both customer and employee – Let them have a moment to work through whatever the issue may be, and help if needed. Be the mediator, or the guide to solve the problem. Make both parties comfortable and offer solutions. Give them space to work through the issues.
- Provide redemption – invite the customer back, give the employee his responsibilities back, and put your business back on track. There’s a huge difference between holding someone accountable for their actions and taking them to task for a mistake. Remember to start by giving grace to each person involved. Allow mistakes to be fixed.
Be the solution. Encourage. Motivate. Inspire. Find ways to solve problems without costing the company money, and don’t fall for the popular story. Look for the simple solution.
It’s there. It’s waiting for someone to find it. And at the end of the day, the grace you give another will be given back to you.
For the police officers taken by ambush, there is no excuse. The shooter should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and any accomplices should also be taken down. Those police officers were having lunch, and had every reasonable right known to man to be safe sitting there by the window. God bless their dear families as they go through the years to come carrying the price of their service in a load of pain. They don’t deserve what has been given them, by a ruthless, heartless killer.
On the other hand, as a nation, we have to stop overreacting to EVERY single event, and attributing any wrong done to racism. The pain we’re causing each other, and ourselves by overreacting and misjudging every single event will kill our nation. It’s time to stop the politically correct crap, and start behaving like real people again. Offer grace for mistakes, allow margin for repairing mistakes, and provide redemption to those who make honest mistakes. It’s what our country is founded upon. Let’s do coffee!