Monday, November 19, 2012
Busting A Stereotype With Starbucks
I got home from Fort Lauderdale late this evening and wearily cruised through the near-empty airport on my way to baggage claim and ground transportation. When I walked outside to get the Preflight Parking shuttle over to where I had parked my car, I found that I was the only one on the van. I was thinking of giving the driver a Starbucks gift card, but first had to overcome a bit of stereotyping. Let me explain.
I'm as guilty as the next person of having the tendency to judge people far too quickly. In particular this evening, I was thinking about the kind of person who normally drives a parking shuttle. I figured that they're likely lesser educated and more likely to buy coffee at 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts than they are to walk into a Starbucks. To my surprise, however, the driver was listening to NPR, and more specifically, an interview that was being conducted with an economist - not the kind of thing I assume most drivers listen to. When he dropped me off, I asked him if he enjoys Starbucks coffee, and he enthusiastically said that he loves Starbucks, so I gave him a gift card. He was genuinely thankful, and reiterated how much he likes Starbucks.
Thinking about it afterwards, it was another reminder to me to simply offer kindness wherever I can, without too much pre-judgment. As I learned very early in the year, sometimes things go as I planned or expected, and sometimes they don't. I can learn things from both.