As I stood in Pete’s waiting for my tea order, I noticed how few people were there that morning. In fact, I was first (and only) in line. Then a man walked in with a baby in the stroller and ordered a drink. Moments later, the barista made eye contact with me and assured me my drink would be ready in just a minute.
So when he placed a drink cup on the pick-up counter shortly after his statement, I naturally took the cup and turned to go. I stopped, however, when I sipped the drink and was greeted by a bitter swallow of yuck. Coffee! I ordered tea!
That’s right, I ordered tea. When I informed the barista he’d made a mistake, he informed me I was drinking someone else’s coffee. As the only other customer at that moment was the man with the baby, there was no doubt who the coffee belonged to. When my gaze reached his (or rather my look of horror!), he simply stared at me, looking a little dumbfounded, but not upset.
Embarrassed and wanting nothing more than to slink out of the establishment, I stepped to the side and waited for my order to come up so I could in fact run like hell.
Unfortunately, while I returned to waiting for my tea, I chose to open my mouth (mistake number one) and make nervous conversation with the other barista about my error. Never ever speak when you are nervous and feeling slightly abashed and humiliated. Trust me.
When I rattled on about what a dumb move I’d made, she smiled and reassured me it was a common error and not a problem (in spite of Mr. Grumpy Barista’s facial expression). So, to thank her for her kindness, I proceeded to insert my foot in my mouth at her expense.
“I’m really a blonde” I said, with a self-deprecating giggle, smiling innocently at the… You guessed it. The blonde barista whom I was speaking with. Mistake number two.
Could I curl up in a corner and pretend none of this ever happened? Or better yet, disappear?
Finally, after what felt like at least 30 minutes, I got my tea and walked out as fast as I could without actually running.
Is there a point to this story? Not really; except to caution against speaking (at all!) when you’ve already cast yourself as the least-sharpest-tool in the shed once. Why go for two?