A Little Story About A Coffee Shop

clip_image071When we first moved to our current location about 6 years ago, I was thrilled to find a Caribou Coffee right next door. While I’ll admit that I wished it were a Starbucks, I was still excited to know that I would be able to get my daily espresso fix from a convenient location.

And I have, for six years, it’s been great, besides being convenient, the service has been fantastic, the place has been run like a well-oiled machine. I  even made a few new friends from my regular visits, I’ve gotten to know a few of the girls who work there and when I walked in the door they had started my drink before I even placed my order. You can’t beat service like that!

But… you can ruin it.

Recently the service has changed for the worse, the shop is no longer a run like a well oiled machine. Something had changed.  For the most part, the employees were the same, young college girls and boys. The coffee was the same, it tasted the same way. The building was the same, although I would say that the shop is not as clean as it used to be.

One day, I asked one of the girls who I usually chat with, “What’s up? Why does this place seem different?”

“We have a new manager, they transferred Kelsey to Riverdale” she replied , then she gleefully added, “we’re all so happy, she was such a witch.” Wicked_witch

The light bulb went on; I was beginning to see the light. The manager had changed.

While the employees were happy because Miss Kelsey ran a tight ship, she inspected what she expected. She held her team to certain standards, even though she knew the “wouldn’t like her” she held her ground. I related to her, so when we chatted we had many conversations about management, as we occasionally shared a sob story or two about how hard it is to manage people and run a success office or business. While the employees may not have liked her, I thought she had great systems and you now how some clock punchers are, they tend to view being held accountable as “being a witch”.

This young gal went on to tell me “how nice” the new manager was, how she wasn’t “all about the work” like Kelsey was.  My curiosity grew so I replied “But Kelsey always seemed to do such fun activities with you ladies, remember when she had that remember the customer’s name and win a prize contest?”

The young lady looked at me with a puzzled face “yes, but she always was on us about doing things a certaincoffee-beans-4 way, and she followed up with us to make sure that we did, I didn’t like that, the new gal lets us do things how we want.”

I wanted to tell this time trading employee about a conversation that I had with one of our patients about the decline in service at their shop but I realized that I would just be wasting my breath, so I took my coffee and I left. I went to Target the next day and bought myself some Starbucks coffee to use in our office Keurig.

To those of you in a leadership role, I hope you can see my point. To those of you who are employees, I hope you can see it, just the same.

With your success in mind,



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