Working in the food and beverage industry can make one meet with various types of people. Customers come in all shapes and sizes. Sadly, not everyone will be courteous to servers. This is what Austin Simms had in mind to change when he began his little gimmick to teach people to be more polite and kind at the Cups Coffee and Tea in Roanoke, Virginia.
He placed a sign outside of the cafee that encouraged people to say the magic word, “please”. Aside from that, he also put a price tag for those who were rude and had a demanding attitude. The idea was to bring back common courtesy and manners in such simple situations.
“I decided, because I need to solve all the injustices of the world, to start charging more for people who didn’t take the time to say hello and connect and realize we’re all people behind the counter,” Austin said.
The sign showed that a small coffee costs $5. If the person smiled and just said “small coffee” to order, they would have to pay the full price of $5. But if they say “small coffee, please” then, the magic word will get them a small coffee for $3. Then finally, if they complete the sentence “Hello. One small coffee, please”, the customer will get their coffee for just $1.75.
Given that the post went viral, the new strategy certainly inspired some irritated people to reconsider their behavior. Simms’ pricing concept quickly gained international attention. This was most likely due to the fact that many people in the service industry all over the world were reminded of all the times they had to deal with rude customers.
The creativity and message behind the small gesture proved to be something that the world needed. Since there has been plenty of rudeness happening, Austin’s sign was a healthy reminder that we should do our best to make someone’s day better by being kind and realizing that they are going through things that we do not know.
The strategy soon caught mainstream media’s attention. This also meant that the message that Austin wanted to put out was also broadcasted to many places as well. People loved how brave the message was and how effective it was as well.
This strategy is a way to remind us that we should not just live for ourselves but for others as well. Everyone goes through challenges in their life and sometimes they just conceal it well so that people think they have no problem at all. What is important is that we treat each other kindly whether we’re ordering drinks or on the driveway.
Jesus teaches us the value of putting others ahead of us. The ultimate command is to love your neighbor. Our neighbors include everyone else aside from us. This includes our enemies, people on the subway, and people in restaurants. It shouldn’t be this hard to be courteous to others because we are all human beings and what the world needs more, especially during these trying times, is a little more kindness.