As I left my client in Cumbria earlier today, we were sharing our understanding of Stephen Covey’s ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ he had just started reading.
I explained that one of my favorite anecdotes from the book was when Covey misinterprets the actions of unruly children on the New York subway (I’ll not spoil it for you!).
As I approached one of the Costa Coffee hatches (there seem to be three or four at most of the service stations these days – hence the potential for Whitbread to float them off eventually, they’re everywhere!), I was anxious to get my coffee (medium skinny, extra hot to go) and be on my way – it’s a 5 hour journey for me, so I wasn’t keen to hang around.
Grumpily, I pondered on why there were 5 people ahead of me and only one person serving – and that was some complicated frappuchino thing that required as much crushed ice as the iceberg that sunk the Titanic might have provided.
In a huff I wandered off moaning (and considering Tweeting) that they could do with a bit of better staff planning.
To seemingly cut my nose off to spite my face, I had to cross the motorway via a bridge to get to the only other drinks provider at this services, to see two Costa employees returning with a portable wheelchair. It seems that someone had collapsed and they had been required to take them to the other side of the motorway to get expert assistance.
And there was me being grumpy. The irony and parallel with the Covey story were not lost on me and my wry smile.
Perceptions come up to bite you even when you least expect it, I reflected.