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Chris LoCurto

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September 21, 2011

Don’t Let Someone Ruin Your Already-Bad Day

September 21, 2011 | By | 24 Comments">24 Comments

I get the privilege of traveling around the country with the amazing Momentum team, speaking to pastors about the journey toward financial maturity for the body of Christ.

Recently, we journeyed to the college town of Columbia, Missouri. We had churches from around the country that came to find a better way of handling all of their finances. And as with every event, there’s an early morning Starbucks run to kick-start the road-weary team of roughly 10 people.

This particular morning, we stopped at a Starbucks that was essentially on the University of Missouri campus. As our group entered, I noticed that the staff was made up of college kids who looked like they had experienced a long weekend—and hadn’t had their coffee yet, either. That’s understandable for kids away for the first time in their lives living the college dream. It’s still unacceptable, though, from the stand point of customer service, but that’s a post for another day.

The cashier took the names with each order, and the barista began to call them out as he finished each drink. He called out Ken’s name and our team jokingly said, “Keeeeeeeeen!” He then called my name and the team said, “Chriiiiiiiiiiis!” By the time we did it with the third person, he stopped calling off the names.

It took a couple of orders for us to realize what had happened. As we were sitting there, we definitely noticed he decided to change his process. What a bummer. Not for us. It actually didn’t bother us at all. But you could see that he didn’t want to participate in our early morning joy.

The truth is: it was more of a way for us to get ramped up for an event that would take place in a little over an hour and go for two days solid. For him, somehow, he was allowing it to steal what little joy he had that morning. What a terrible way to start off his Monday.

You’ve heard it said a million different ways that happiness is a decision. Perhaps, we were annoying to a very tired college student on Monday morning. But trying to rob us of our joy by not calling out the names wasn’t going to make his day any better. And it actually didn’t take away from what we were doing at all. We stayed happy and launched an amazing event.

If you’re starting this day off and things aren’t going your way, do yourself a favor and SNAP OUT OF IT!!! Make a decision right now to have the best day you’ve had in a long time. Or, stay the way you are and be miserable. You decide.

Question: How do you deal with having a bad day?

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  • Shawn

    Might we consider that your behavior, while certainly acceptable and cheerful in your own circle, was interpreted as loud, obnoxious, or otherwise unwelcome by this sole barista? Thus, the perspective to consider isn’t his lack of participation in your morning joy, but rather the perceived interruption of his joy (peace?) by your behavior. And his reaction seemed to be benign enough – stop the response by removing the stimulus. Thus, it’s less about robbing you of your joy and more about preserving his own.

    While I understand the spirit of your post, and agree with the idea that you present, I can sympathize with a person who might prefer quiet, introverted joy to your energized, extroverted joy. Perhaps you didn’t mention it, but the barista’s behavior didn’t seem to be out of line – it just didn’t seem to jive with yours.

    Thanks for your post – it is inspiring as always. I always like to hear your thoughts, and I especially identify with your topics of dealing with negative people. I just wanted to air my thoughts on this particular subject.

    p.s. if I were the barista, I’d have called our your names enthusiastically and had a lot of fun with it. :)

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      HAHAHAHA!!!! Fun perspective Shawn!

  • http://lgthaxton.wordpress.com Louise Thaxton

    I read earlier that a “bad day” is relative. That is so true. It is all relative. I have had some really bad days in my life. When death, cancer, divorce or attempted suicide happens in your family – that is a BAD DAY. Only by the GRACE of GOD have I survived some of my BAD DAYS.

    So….when I don’t get enough sleep, or a client complains, or a team member whines – that’s not a bad day! That’s one event that lasts a few minutes – the course of a 24 hour day. It really is just an OPPORTUNITY! An opportunity to show our family, our team, our world, that we are not controlled by our circumstances …..but we are controlled by the Spirit of God. It doesn’t mean that we do not get sad, mad, depressed…..but we do not allow those emotions to control us.

    Recently one of my daughters was “complaining” of her “bad day” with her two small children, one was sick and the other one hyper. I reminded her of someone in our community – a young woman suffering not only with cancer herself – but her 12 year son has a brain tumor and after several years of treatment – which has not worked – now only has a few months to live.

    She instantly “got over it”.

  • http://twitter.com/mahez007 Uma Maheswaran S (@mahez007)

    I believe that what I put into my mind during hour one of the day is critical.
    So, for the first 45-60 minutes of my days, I read a book that will help me get better or more prepared for my purpose. I think it is one of the best ways to start the day. This will give my subconscious a different start-message: “I am growing, learning and getting better.” Starting out the day with a mental breakfast which provides nourishment is the number one discipline anyone can use to stay confident and positive.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Wow. Good stuff!

  • http://twitter.com/ColetteMarx Colette Marx (@ColetteMarx)

    Some days, in order to snap out of it, I need a little bit of chocolate and a little bit of shopping…even if it’s just window shopping! This past year I’ve had to learn that I control my own destiny…which includes my attitude. I can get caught up in it all or try to find light in the situation, laugh it up and then move on. Hopefully it will mean fewer wrinkles in the long run! ;-)

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      hahaha…if chocolate and shopping equal less wrinkles, you have a new book on your hands!

    • http://www.cabinart.net Jana Botkin

      Chocolate as a cure to a bad attitude – way to speak truth, Colette!

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric Speir

    This is a great reminder for us Chris. I remind my students all the time that we can decide how we are going to act and respond in a situation. We can’t choose what happens to us but we can choose our response. A great leader will choose to respond positively!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      So true!

  • http://www.cabinart.net Jana Botkin

    When the decision is made that an entire day is bad, the decider becomes a crap magnet.
    Instead of deciding that a day is “bad”, recognize that a day can have both bad and good experiences within it.
    If the bad seem to be outweighing the good, it is time to stop and evaluate and pray. God can turn crap into fertilizer, so although that is a crude prayer, it is a valid request!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      BAH!!!!!! That’s awesome!!

  • Glen Lawrence

    Sounds like the Show Me state definitely needed someone to show them how to get excited about their day. Sorry my peeps didn’t represent better there. Go Mizzou!

  • Greg LeBre

    It’s too bad this young person didn’t ‘go with the flow’ and act as silly as your team was. He could have had so much fun with it. He could have yodeled your names like Tarzan, had the other workers chime in singing your names in a musical chord, imitated the guy on the price is right with a hearty ‘come on down” anything. You would have been blogging about a great experience rather than some bummed out kid. It would have even changed his outlook on the day.I once heard the job of the Physician is to entertain the patient long enough that the body heals itself. While that’s a bit extreme, I try to send my patients off with a smile. It changes their physiology and hopefully breaks the pattern of pain they’re in.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Wow! Fantastic point Greg!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/tbric Tom Brichacek (@tbric)

    Someday the college kid will learn! Being in customer service, you don’t get to have a bad day, even when you are having one.

    I’m glad the first person I interact with in the morning is my wife, second my 3 year old. She seems to be happy all the time!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      That’s how we should all start our day, right? With a happy three year old!! That’ll change the way you look at people the rest of the day.

      Sent from my iPhone

  • Kim Little

    When I have a bad day, or in some cases in my life, days, I tend to withdraw and become very quiet. I snap out of it, eventually, but it really bothers my coworkers because I’m not my usual self. But I would rather deal with it THAT way than spout off and say something I would have to apologize for later. There are goods and bads. :)

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Tell yourself to be happy! :-)

      • http://ginasmom.wordpress.com ginasmom

        I do that all the time (Tell myself to be happy), and if having a hard time, i force myself to think of funny moments in my life, the funny things my kids will sometimes say, and usually it’s enough to get me happy again. Smiling to myself also has a way of getting things moving in the right direction. I do this since i have learned (the hard way) walking around moping all day is not a very good use of my time or those around me, and i’m very conscious of the fact that we only have so much time around. Thanks

        • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

          Thinking of funny things the kids said…I like that!!!

  • http://joelfortner.wordpress.com Joel Fortner

    I was told or read somewhere that your first human encounter of the day can set the tone for your entire day. I put this to the test a few years ago and I’m a big believer to this day! Also, smile at people. It’s the little things, isn’t it?

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I’m glad he wasn’t the first person I saw. :-)