Can I Get an Empty Cup, Please?

Can I Get an Empty Cup, Please?

2019, Nov 02    

We were driving for almost 3 hours when we stopped at gas station in the middle of the desert to take a short break. I went out to get some coffee. The paper cup was really hot. So without thinking twice I asked him if I can get an empty cup. My plan was to put the first one into the second one so I don’t get burned.

The guy smiled, pulled up a cardboard sleeve from under the counter and gave it to me.

I wanted a cup, but what I really needed was a cup sleeve.

This guy in the middle fo the desert really knew his domain, his customers and their needs.

I recently helped my colleagues automate a task which would have taken a few days to complete manually. It took me about an hour. They got the task assigned without questioning why they needed to do it, and I jumped in without questioning and understanding as well. Turns out, they were asked for a paper cup and I helped them mass manufacture paper cups. Neither was actually needed.

How often do we give our colleagues, customers, friends and family members empty cups? It’s time to learn from the guy at the gas station - try to understand what they really need and give it to them.

Photo by Artūrs Ķipsts on Unsplash