Bougie Becky and baristas both need kindness. Not one or the other. Both. I know, there’s a meme out there about how treating the person behind you in the coffee line isn’t doing good (see below). First of all, stop sending it to me and sharing it to me. I’ve seen it.
Secondly, I don’t agree with it. Not at all.
Here’s the thing, you don’t know Bougie Becky and the Barista or their situation. Sure Becky is in the line to get an $8 coffee but that doesn’t mean this is an everyday thing for her. I have gone through a coffee line more than once knowing that I really shouldn’t be spending money on it but I just needed a little boost to get me through my day. Becky could definitely be in the same boat. Also, the order I place at Starbucks is only $3 so quit assuming she’s rolling in for the most expensive item on the menu.
Maybe Becky was up all night with a sick child or an ailing parent, giving more than she ever thought possible to help others. She just needs a cup of freaking coffee to get through the day at her job. Becky could be heading to her shift at the hospital, nursing home, or elementary school for all you know. Becky could be giving away pieces of herself all day long with little appreciation in return. She may have a gift card she’s using, so now she’ll be able to treat herself twice. She may only stop for coffee a couple times per year, to treat herself to a simple pleasure. Becky may be going some stuff, you don’t know.
Becky doesn’t deserve to be left out of holiday kindness and cheer just because corporations and our government chooses to keep wages disgustingly low for many employees. I’m going to guess Becky is neither the CEO of a major corporation or a member of Congress. If she is, buy her some coffee and sit her down to talk it over with her.
Becky is a hard working woman just like you and me. She is up early to make sure her family is all set to head into their days. Becky may not work at Starbucks but there’s a really good chance she goes to a job where she is underpaid, unappreciated, and struggles to get through her work happily most days. When she leaves work unfulfilled and drained, its not time for Becky to go soak in her hot tub while cabana boys feed her bon-bons.
Becky has to oversee homework, make dinner, do dishes, drive kids to practices, run three errands, and pick the kids up so she can wrestle them into bed before 8 or 9 pm. Then there is laundry to fold, messes to tidy, and a marriage to give time to also. Once you add the madness of holiday cards, shopping, wrapping, cooking, and entertaining it is an insane amount of work.
Becky is tired. She is trying and doing her best every day. Some days, Becky loses faith in the world and feels alone in this crazy world. She feels like no one sees her. I am Becky, I know many Beckys, and I am sure you have been Becky before.
Of course you should tip your servers and be kind to the people behind the counters. Always. Does that honestly need to be addressed? Here we go: those folks are busting their rears to cover bills many of us are lucky enough not to stress about. They are college kids trying to earn book money. These folks are parents working nights to treat their kids to a happy Christmas or extracurricular they couldn’t afford otherwise. Absolutely, ALWAYS put some money in their cup.
All the people need kindness year round. Being kind to those serving you and those around you are not mutually exclusive acts. You can do both. Pay for someone’s coffee and tip for two. If someone pays for you, throw what you were going to pay in the jar.
Just be kind and spread kindness wherever you can. God bless Becky, the barista, you, and me.