Using rejection therapy to crush big business

My latest from the front line of rejection therapy? It’s coffee related. Again. Even my self-help life is very limited..

Anyway, on Monday I was in my local coffee shop and asked for a free coffee. Here’s what happened.

I went up to the till.

‘Do you want to pay?’ said lovely owner.

‘Not really,’ I said, with a smile. ‘Can I have it for free?’

Owner: ha ha!

Me: ‘No really, can I have it for free?’

Owner (smiling): ha ha!

Me: ‘So I CAN’T have it for free?’

Owner (still smiling but now it’s a sad, tired smile): It helps if you pay. We’re very quiet today..

We both look forlornly at the semi deserted premises – with three people hunched over their laptops with empty cups, not drinking or eating a thing.

Me: Is it the rain, do you think? Why is it so quiet?

Owner: I don’t know. Maybe. Things are hard, the rents are going up, we’re not sure how much longer we can stay open…

Me: Oh no!!

We then have a very depressing conversation about how Costa has driven up rents in the area and how it’s almost impossible for independents to compete. I end up feeling so worried for them I leave a £1 tip for my £1.60 coffee.  As I left I realised how skilfully he handled that conversation, he didn’t actually say no and I ended up paying almost double. Good for him! There’s hope his business yet!

But in the name of fairness I went across the road to said Costa and asked them for a free coffee.

Me: I had one of those cards with the stamps on to get a free coffee but I lost it, could I have a free coffee anyway?

Teenager behind the counter, perfectly pleasant: We don’t do those cards anymore so no, sorry.

Me: No worries.

Her: Would you like to buy a coffee?

Me: No, thanks.

I flounce out. Take that Big Business! I’m fighting for the man! Or against the man?! I never really understand those phrases…

But my point was made. Sort of. Not really.

Thing is, I’m now typing this, four days later, in a Costa… I feel too embarrassed to go back to my regular place. I’m an idiot.

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