But there is such a thing as a free cup of coffee!
I certainly didn’t.
Having a had a bit of a bad coffee experience on my way to the tube which involved a bit of a machine explosion and delivery of a rank drink, I needed to top up my caffeine levels.
Being typically British I paid for the exploding coffee on the basis that I was supporting a local business and I know that their goods are generally tip top.
When I arrived at Paddington I headed to the closest coffee shop – which happened to be Pret – where I ordered my usual Flat White.
As I reached for my purse, the Barista said ‘it’s on the house’.
Being typically British (again), I replied ‘sorry?’.
After several times of the delightful young lady repeating that it was indeed ‘on the house’ I sat down in shock and joined my friend.
She was less surprised as she had heard of this happening in Pret before and explained that she believed this is something that staff are free to do in lieu of a loyalty card scheme.
We wasn’t sure of the exact story and I wasn’t able to find any further details on the website unfortunately but let’s just say I was made up.
It was almost as though it was meant to be. Not that the Barista would have any idea of the happenings of my morning but it felt like a bit of yin to my yang (or yang to my yin).
On the basis that there was no evidence of a milk froth avalanche on my person, I’m going for the yin-yang theory.
It was also a really good Flat White and it’s not often I say that so, thumbs up all round.
It did also get me thinking about how unaccustomed we are to being gifted unexpectedly as the consumer.
We automatically think that there is something wrong or some kind of mistake.
We are really not very good at not paying for things.
Maybe it’s the fear of the tap on the shoulder on the way out.
We can often be seen arguing with others about who will pay in a “I’ll get it”, No, I’ll get it” kind of way.
My daughter finds this whole practice very amusing.
The only exception to this rule is if you are with someone tight and on those occasions, you definitely ‘will get it’!
The law of averages says that you will probably get it the next time too.
Otherwise, there is that wonderfully British trait of saying ‘no thank you’ or ‘thank you’ too many times.
We even thank for thank you cards.
I was still mumbling my thanks for the coffee for several hours afterwards.
Isn’t it refreshing though.
An unexpected act of giving that really puts a spring in your step.
I am sure there will be others who have had their day made by this kind offering.
I thought it was a really nice touch and I wanted to share that.
It really made my beautifully sunny day sunnier.
These little gestures really make the customer experience memorable.
Perhaps my lovely readers have had a similar experience or heard of this happening. I would love to hear your stories.