Thursday, January 29, 2009

Taking the Hit

Ever had something happen where, even if it was unintentional, it was your fault, and you had to fess up and accept the consequences?

I had something like that happen today, and honestly, it's been the first time in a long time where 1. it was completely my fault and 2. there was no getting out of it.

It all happened when I was closing up for work yesterday. I work at a coffee shop, and there's a list of things I always have to do before I can leave when I close. Most of it's cleaning: cleaning the espresso machine, wiping down the counters, cleaning up the grinders, etc. Normally I start the final process of cleaning about an hour to 45 min. before I actually walk out the door. Basically the context was this: I had cleaned up the entire espresso machine, which has several different parts which each have to be cleaned separately with special soap, and was about half way through my till count when a customer pulled up. I looked at my phone for the time. 10 'till close. Dang. I walked up to the window, unlocked it, and opened it to find that the guy in the car was one of our regulars who religiously comes through every day. Apparently he hadn't gotten the memo that today life revolved around me.

"Hey man! You missed it!" I said

"Missed what?" He replied, a little confused.

"I'm just closin' up. I got the espresso machine all clean, and I'm doin' the till count right now. Sorry man!"

"Oh ok...but hey it's still 10 'till"

"Yeah, but you know I need time to do the till count and get everything locked up and closed down."

"Oh. Ok. Well, see ya then."

"Yep see ya!"

Even as I write that I cringe at how much of an ass I was. Granted, I didn't mean to completely blow off a customer before we were even closed. I was just thinking about me. I had to leave, because I had homework, and I had stuff to do that didn't concern other people. Just me.

So I closed up, left, and finished off my night.

Fast forward to this morning at about 7:15. I get a text from my boss. "Hey Colin, I had a customer pull through this morning and said you didn't help him when it was still 10 minutes until closing time. Go ahead and give me a call later."

Ouch. Hand in the cookie jar.

I don't know if you know me that well, but even if you do I want to tell you all something about me. No matter how hard I try to cover it up, no matter how hard I try to make excuses to myself, if I do something wrong, and get called out for it, I feel REALLY bad. I don't just mean guilt. I mean, my heart sinks to my stomach, and I can't focus. I start thinking through everything that could happen, and how I wish I could time travel to slap myself in the face. I feel BAD.

I was going to postpone calling my boss to the latest possible time, but the sinking feeling wouldn't give. I decided the sooner the better. I'm not gonna lie, I even thought "this is gonna make a great blog piece." lol

So I called my boss. I explained my situation, and the context for what had occurred. He gave me a little shpeal about how it's one of his pet peeves and I really shouldn't have done that; the customer always comes first, and he doesn't care if it's 2:00 (the time we close) or 2:10; if a customer pulls through, you help them.

I stopped. I gulped. And I asked for his forgiveness. I was on the verge of tears.

This mere coffee incident brought forth in me such emotion that was completely unexpected! Almost crying, I said I was sorry that my heart had not at all been in the right place, and I asked my boss to forgive me. I think he was caught a little off guard, and even said "well thanks for fessing up."

This morning I did something that I think everyone should do at least once in their lives. I took the hit. I looked at what I had done square on in the face, and I accepted the consequences. It sounds like my boss wants to talk to me some more, and I'm sure there will be some fall out from my poor attitude. "You reap what you sow" comes to mind.

But I'm quite proud of myself. Not for what I did, heavens no. I'm ashamed of that. I'm proud for how I was able to take the hit, give God a quick prayer of thanks, and move on.

God doesn't simply change us. He gives us opportunities where we can choose whether or not we want to change and grow.



  1. Good Post and good lesson!

  2. Hate that feeling so much but when you fess up, you feel like your floating...

  3. Colin, I appreciate you sharing the hard things.

  4. Wow, cool! You did the right thing :) And I agree. That kind of guilt is one of the worst feelings in the world.