Make Relationships, Not Transactions

I went through the drive through at Starbucks recently. Usually I order my coffee and get on my way, but this time I ended up having a brief conversation with the barista at the window. He was joking about how he stumbled over his words, and we talked about how in customer service sometimes you say the same phrase over and over again without thinking about it. “Welcome to Starbucks today!”

While our conversation wasn’t deep, it struck something in me. So often in life (and especially so due to the pandemic), I just want to get things done. Get my coffee. Buy groceries. Pump gas. Order food. Fix the bug. While doing my stuff, the people helping me almost become a means to an end. Their involvement is all about the transaction.

I noticed this working remotely, too.

At first, I wanted to get to know people, but after a while I was so focused on being productive that my chatter at work was solely about “getting things done”. I wasn’t building any relationship, just passing a transaction from one person to another.

Yet what makes us human and ultimately fulfilled in life is connection with one another. Connection cannot happen solely on a transactional level. It has to be free.

In my conversation with the barista, we were freely bantering for a minute while my drink was made. The transaction opened an opportunity to connect, ever shallow as it was. But I took it, and I found satisfaction in that moment.

Everyone wants to be noticed. If you find yourself stuck in transactions trying to power through your list, maybe try slowing down to take the opportunities transactions create to freely build deeper relationship.

Being productive is important, but the people involved in that process are even more so.


[Process] 64: Failing at Building a System - Justin’s OmniFocus experiment fails, which sends him on a thought exploration of failing to build an effective productivity system.

[YouTube] Supernotes: A First Look - Supernotes is a new contender in the note-taking/personal knowledge management app space. But does it stack up?


Computers as I used to love them — Key Takeaway: I’m going to try something weird and wonky. Instead of moving to Dropbox (which I have weird feelings about), I’m going to use iCloud Drive plus Syncthing to sync iCloud Drive to Linux!

That’s all for this week! Keep experimenting!

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