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Out on the Limb

Daily Bread

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This morning I went to a coffeehouse that I don't normally frequent. I lugged along my new laptop, which I have named Master Po. Go ahead... ask me!

Daily Bread

The coffeehouse, which shall remain unnamed, used to have free wifi service. But no longer.
"What happened?" I asked Joan as she rang a buck 60 on the register.
"People were complaining about the limited number of electrical outlets," she said.
"That reminds me of the time I set out a bowl of jellybeans every morning for my co-workers," I mused.

Not just any jellybeans, either. They were those beans with oh so many addictive flavors begging to be eaten and savored and... Ummm, Where was I? Oh, yeah. One year during a holiday season, I set out a bowl of jellybeans for my co-workers and I just kept going for awhile. Every morning, out would come the treats in a tiny bowl for tiny beans. At first people were polite, and there were no problems. A few weeks into the experiment, I started getting requests for certain flavors; but I just continued putting out the usual mix. After a couple of months, I noticed that the bowl would get raided shortly after I retreated to my cubicle. People were grabbing their favorites (to save for lunchtime maybe) before somebody else got to 'em first! After that, I began skipping days here and there. I didn't skip too many days because I wanted the experiment, and their addiction to the beans, to continue. Working in a cubicle for a decade can do this to a person. I'm not proud of it, but... heh, that's how it was.

On days that I missed, some people who felt special would come and ask me if I had any jellybeans in my desk! In all fairness, I did get some donations once in awhile. The donations usually came from the less greedy and bold. The experiment ended when someone actually raided my desk drawer for the damn things.

So why did the coffeehouse electrical outlet shortage remind me of the jellybean experiment? Because...

...people are always looking at what the person next to them has. If Beanie Boy wants what Billy Bob has, then Beanie Boy will try to find a way to get same; and if he can't there is dissatisfaction which can lead to complaint, deception, or any number of negativities depending on the situation and the degree of Beanie Boy's affliction. It makes no difference if the object of attraction is a free service or item. It's a question of gratitude (or lack thereof). With both the jellybeans and electrical outlets, many people would rather think "Heh, why can't I have that, too" instead of "Oh, it's not available right now? OK, I'll come back later. Thank you for providing it".

We become what we think. Forget what the person next to you has. What do you have? Have you thanked your daily bread today?

And did you name your laptop? (just curious)
posted by Deb, 8:42 PM

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