A Funny Thing Happened at the Airport- Things Turned Sour!

I was on my way back home to Florida from a business trip in the Midwest.  I love to have coffee at my favorite coffee shop fright inside the TSA checkpoint.  When I stepped up to the kiosk, I noticed it had all changed.  It had a similar look to the old place, but it had a new name.  There was a lady training a new person that day.  She explained to me that it was owned by the same person, but they were featuring different local coffee roasters and pasty places.  What a cool idea, I thought.  She even told me I could use my old coffee punch card to earn free drinks.

I had a cup of their Tanzanian coffee and it was fabulous.  I told the lady that and she almost smiled.  It wasn’t that she was unpleasant.  She just didn’t smile much.  The new trainee was doing a great job, by the way.  You could see she was watching the lady to learn how to do her tasks.

Then I went up to order a bottled water.  The trainee asked me how my coffee was.  I told her it was fabulous.  I then added that they might want to taste one of their toasted bagels, though.  I told her it crumbled as if it had been toasted twice.  You really couldn’t eat it.  The lady at the kiosk gave me a snarky look and turned away.  She was still standing there, but she turned completely away.  I went on to say I love bagels and that I was only trying to help them do well.  The trainee thanked me for the comment and looked at the lady, but the lady never looked back at me.  She suddenly became the “COFFEE NAZI”.


  • How do you treat your internal and external customers?
  • Do you have a negative reaction if THEY have a negative reaction to any products or services?
  • Do you have a Mystery Customer program in place to assess how they are doing? *
  • Do you realize that trainees are watching whoever is mentoring them and learning from that?
  • Do you have a SCSP (Strategic Customer Service Plan) in place? *

    *Both of these areas are something that we offer at iMPACT Training & Executive Coaching. Contact me for a free Introductory Session to give you a taste of what we do.

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The Executive Coaching Experience
by Daniel P. Chiodo
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