Today, I am mostly being slowed down by…


It’s a known fact that the average cup of coffee or tea can take 3-4 teaspoons of sugar before it becomes saturated (i.e. until it can become no more sweet, until no more sugar will dissolve in the liquid). So, I find myself in a coffee shop that wasn’t Starbucks today, and once again standing behind someone who has already added about 5 teaspoons of sugar, stirred it incessantly for what feels like a minute, and who then sips, tastes, thinks, sips again, tastes, thinks and… puts some more sugar in, before repeating the cycle over and again.

And again.

It’s not getting any sweeter!

All I want is a little milk for my coffee, please step to the side by about 1 foot and I can get some without breaking your incessant cycle.

It’s all any of these people lined up behind you want.

But no.






I just want some milk.

I’m like a semi-Oliver Twist: Please… can I have some milk.

Being British and generally polite, I wait – and mentally make a note of whether they acknowledge that they’ve slowed down mine and all these other people’s days. Not guilt, particularly, just whether they notice. Why? Well, when I’m being held up, unnecessarily resorting to observation stops me growing angry – the observation is good for me. It slows me down and lets me gain at least some value from the experience. I observe and assess this person – their motives, experience, values – they’ll be in a book some day.

Sweetening – Stirring – Sipping.

But enough for now… Please excuse me – I need to go and get another coffee…


2 thoughts on “Today, I am mostly being slowed down by…

  1. The general politeness is not a trait owned wholly by the British, as you know. Travel to parts of the Southern US and Midwest and you will be greeted with “how are today?” and “excuse me, can I slip by you and grab some cream?”
    Sadly, this is not the case in the Northeastern US. I too will look to those behind me in line to judge their level of anger over a rude patron. The difference is; I will use this group anger as validation to snap on the offender. I have and will point out the rudeness and demand they move along. Case point, a long flight my wife and I had just ended. As the plane started to un-board, with passengers standing in the aisle attempting shuffle their way off, one individual decided this was the time to remove his jacket from the overhead bin and ever-so-slowly put it on. In a mere 3 seconds I judged the level of anger from fellow passengers and chose an appropriate motivational comment. Yes, Dianne cringed as a spoke with a voice loud enough to be heard 20 rows ahead; “Come on, put your jacket on after you get off the plane”
    You are not the only one upset over the selfishness of some persons in line. The difference is; I’m from Connecticut.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s