All You Have To Do Is Ask

“It isn’t a big deal, it isn’t a big deal.” I repeat to myself over and over again as I drive to Starbucks. It’s 7:30 pm and I’m not going to my regular location. If I didn’t want to go there again after this, I wouldn’t have to.

I was about to attempt The Coffee Challenge. The challenge itself is simple, ask for a 10% discount the next time you purchase a cup of coffee.

To minimize embarrassment I had a script in my head that I intended to follow:

Me: “Hello”
Them: “What would you like?”
Me: “I’ll get a grande medium roast.”
Them: “That’ll be $2.57.”
Me: “Can I get 10% off?”
Them: “Uh. Why?”
Me: “Oh. It’s just a silly assignment for a business course.”

I’m feeling good as I walk into the Starbucks. The barista standing at the till is a young Asian woman.

The what-if’s begin to cycle through my head as I approach the counter. “What if this is her first day? What if I embarrass her?” Just stick to the script I tell myself.

“Hello,” I try to sound as cheery as possible.

“What can I get for you?” she said.

“I’ll get a grande medium roast coffee please.”

She casually replies “Umm. We don’t have any right now… I can drip one for you?”

Oh crap. This isn’t how it’s supposed to go…

“What do you have ready right now?” I ask, trying to maintain my composure.

“Just the dark roast,” she said.

“Ok, I’ll get that then.”

“Do you want room for cream?”

“No thanks.”

“Ok. That’s $2.57”

“Could I get 10% off?”

Silence. She’s dumbfounded.

“Uh… Why?” she asks sounds puzzled.

“I’d just like 10% off.”

“Because we don’t have medium roast?”

Whoah! Yes! That’s a great reason I think to myself but before I can say it my mouth has already blurted out “It’s ok, I’m just doing this for a business assignment.”

What? No! That isn’t what I wanted to say at all! I feel like Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he agrees with the department store Santa Clause that he’d like a football for Christmas.

She’s giggling now, “well maybe if I had a reason.”

Dammit. I might have been able to pull this off. Instead of taking it any further I told her not to worry about it.

After paying I walk to the other side to the other counter to get my coffee and she brings it to the till. I begin to walk to the till. She begins walking to the counter. She comes back to the counter and hands me my coffee. “Thanks so much, have a nice evening” I tell her and head back to my car.

Despite the outcome I felt euphoric as I walked back to my car. I ventured outside my comfort zone and I felt alive as a result of it. My anxieties had melted away. I threw out the coffee when I got home, I didn’t need it.

The world is full of exciting and new opportunities. All you have to do is ask.

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