I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Checking My “Peppy” Privilege


What is “Peppy” Privilege? Well, I am known to most people in my life as being very peppy or cheery or whatever (this still leaves me shocked, I tell ya). I was going about my peppy-ness and working my fingers (and elbows) to the bone when this “kid” came into the cafe and started asking all of these questions about coffee and espresso and I actually ended up giving him a mini lesson on the anatomy of an espresso machine (I would do this for nearly any customer who asks, but it’s so rare that anyone does). I enjoyed it. We kept talking and now he’s my intern. What? I know!

So, he came in for his first intern day on Saturday and well, I was surprised at just how cynical or jaded I sound to someone who is still “filled to the brim with the optimism of youth.” (I’m quoting myself because when I said it he thought it was strange, I found it hilarious.) I digress…Oh yes, his optimism and can-do attitude sort of made me check my cheeriness privilege a few times that day. Where I am exhausted and feel wrung out regarding business and being my own boss, to this kid (he’s 19, not 12), things are always just about to pick up, blow up and succeed! When I would say anything remotely negative about the business, he always had a come back of positivity. And this made me wonder where my boundless optimism went? Have ya seen it?

When did this happen to me? When did I become such a curmudgeon? At every turn this kid had exactly the right thing to say (and never ran out). When a customer was extremely rude right before closing on Saturday and I was seething with rage and the desire to physically kick them out (I didn’t), he just shrugged it off, “There’s always another customer out there who will make this one seem tame.” What? I just…Wow! I mean, I can’t even…He just…But I…

It’s happened, hasn’t it? These past 19 months of being back in retail, even if it is on my own terms, it brought back my over ten previous years of burden and wear & tear and ultimately, the overall feeling of defeat. And I do feel worn out or beat up lately. I just hadn’t realized I’d become nearly completely bitter about it. Wow! I used to be the pro who could make the meanest and nastiest of customers wish they hadn’t messed with me. Not by meeting their rude behavior with more, no, I would kill them with kindness. Each and every one of them! Every single time! I was envied and inspiring at one time. But the stress of this business has finally gotten the better of me and hidden it away somewhere.

This “kid” in one day did more than I have in weeks. That plus he has like a million ideas for the business. He is the most driven dude I’ve met, maybe ever! Part of me wants to push this person out and away, in a “how dare he make me look bad” sort of way. But I know that is simple egoic bullshit and I refuse to listen to that shit. But he may just breathe new life into this little cafe of mine. Which I had just about given up on. I was just about ready to walk (or run) away. And now? Now I’m shopping online for fancy cake stands and pastry displays. I haven’t a cent to spend, but this sudden intern has made me believe it’s possible again.

There was a time where I was very depressed and near-suicidal for many years. It was in a way what I was known for. In a weird way I relished in my despair. I had my ups, but my downs? Oh man, my downs were a long and languid display of complete and utter sorrow and romantic sadness. I comforted myself in this state with things and music and people who would compliment such a state. I would listen to a song on repeat until I couldn’t hear it another moment or until the tears ran dry (the latter of which usually happened first). I know that I choose my attitude, my mood and even my temperament to a certain degree. I know that when I wake up each morning I can choose to moan and groan about it being Monday or I can choose to just get up and get right to business. That is what I chose today…

What did you choose today?

posted under inspiration
10 Comments to

“Checking My “Peppy” Privilege”

  1. On April 18th, 2011 at 10:12 am wriggles Says:

    Thanks for sharing, you’ve actually cheered me up.

    I keep starting the day feeling ok then somehow manage to go downhill some hours later. I suppose I’m trying to elongate that period before the down bit.

    I know, sounds almost like my body is making its own crack doesn’t it? 😉

  2. On April 18th, 2011 at 10:25 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I’m glad I’ve cheered you up! Cheered myself up a bit, too! ha! Hey, whatever works for you? Do it! Thanks.

  3. On April 18th, 2011 at 11:09 am Twistie Says:

    Well, writing that check for our federal taxes didn’t help my mood this morning, but I have still chosen to be fairly cheerful. As soon as I know the rain is over, I’m heading down to the grocery store for a couple small supplies, and I know the walk will do me good. I may ever cut a couple of the freesias running rampant in my yard at the moment and put them in a vase to brighten up the kitchen table.

    Later this week I intend to make my first ever attempt at puff pastry. I’m just figuring out what recipe to try.

    But sometimes you need someone to come in and help you find that optimism. Yay! for the kid helping you get your zest back!

  4. On April 18th, 2011 at 11:21 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Ouch! I know what that’s like! But yay for puff pastry and freesias and walks! <3

  5. On April 18th, 2011 at 10:54 pm Alexie Says:

    First off, don’t beat yourself up for not holding on to your sunny nature all the time. That IS the nature of growing up. We get older, we get wiser, we’ve seen it all before.

    Also, dealing with customers is relentless, tiring work. Even the most ‘people person’ people in the whole world find it stressful eventually. We’re not in complete control of our emotions at all, or we’d all choose to be happy and merry all the time. Sometimes what we need is external stimulation.

    It sounds to me like this kid is a gift from the gods – he’s bringing out the inspired, energetic side you obviously have (or he wouldn’t be able to bring it out) and he’s making you remember the best part of yourself. How fantastic is that?

  6. On April 19th, 2011 at 7:47 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I am honestly a bit afraid to fully believe in a big, well, anything at this point. I’m so tired all of the damned time from this endeavor that even considering the possibility of it being hugely successful leaves me feeling uneasy. That’s not my usual nature, but I do find that when I am stressed, I fall back into old thinking patters: negativity! I will stick to what I know and remain open to new things and ideas. This is how I learn and grow and hopefully, even if the cafe isn’t a success, I will have learned a great deal and have plenty to take away to my next big thing. Ha! Thanks.

  7. On April 19th, 2011 at 1:55 am cindy Says:

    Isn’t it interesting when someone pops up, seemingly out of nowhere, and spins you around a bit? Reading his reactions to you raised my hackles, because chipper responses like that usually make me feel that what I feel/think is being dismissed over and over (“wish the sun would shine” “but we really need the rain and oh just listen to that lovely sound it makes!”) but you’re right, I choose to be negative a lot of the time and although I think I would smack a Pollyanna intern around, possibly it’s not the worst thing in the world to have. I’m so glad you’re seeing your business in a new light, and glad you two found each other. I look forward to reading what happens. May they be wonderful things!

  8. On April 19th, 2011 at 7:50 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, it’s true. He just came out of nowhere. I never felt that he was dismissing my thoughts or opinions once. Had I even an inkling of that? Well, I wouldn’t have even written about it, he would have been gone. Ha! I seriously have no room in my life for people who carry such negativity around with them. That used to be me and so I feel like I can smell it a mile away. I know how it can spiral and bring many down with it. Ugh! None of that, thanks. But yes, he is just this bright little driven mass of energy. And who knows? Perhaps this is exactly what I needed all along. We’ll see. Thanks!

  9. On April 19th, 2011 at 11:19 am Psycho Sue Says:

    people come into our lives for a reason; and this kid is your angel. relish.

  10. On April 19th, 2011 at 11:53 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, thanks.

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment:

Subscribe to my feed