Two weekends ago I met with one of my best friends in Frankfurt. Besides our usual spots, we also went to a few bars, one of them being a new one I had never been to before.
Over the last two years I saw myself getting more into gin, always aiming to discover new brands and flavours.
That evening I ordered a Sipsmith tonic and when I ordered it, mentioned that I do like cucumbers. When I got my drink I noticed there was no cucumber, and I thought it might have been forgotten.
I didn’t show much appreciation for this drink (it might have not been the first drink that night). I then asked one of the other bartenders for a cucumber.
The moment the cucumber slid into my drink, I noticed the bartender at the other end of the bar, rolling his eyes. He was the one who made my drink. I mentioned the look to my friend (who also saw it) and continued our conversation. Somehow that look left me thinking. In a way I thought that look was a little rude and it also kept on bothering me. A few minutes later, I decided to ask why I got that look. Simple question, simple answer: The Gin I ordered was a floral gin and with those, you don’t use cucumber. I guess I know nothing, or rather very little about gin, and mixology.
What came after, was a huge realisation for me: I had been the worst client, or in this case, customer. The prototypical nightmare of designers, developers and everyone else who works with clients, I guess. I pulled a “Make my logo bigger” on a proud bar owner and “messed up” my drink. More importantly, I (unintentionally) disrespected his knowledge of the craft and “ruined” his creation.
I cannot count the many times clients have told me that a design needs more space here or there, that a red is too red, or that their logo for sure needs to be bigger, of course.
If needed, my drink would have come with a cucumber.
I apologised, briefly explained my epiphany moment, re-ordered the drink and paid close attention to how it tasted with and without the cucumber. Of course the man, who’s job it is to understand and make cocktails, was correct. I ignored the first drink and happily sipped away on the second thereafter.
A little later, the owner of the bar approached and handed me an enamel pin. We didn’t exchange too many words during that moment, since none were necessary. I very much appreciated his gesture and it makes me happy to know, that he honoured my appreciation for his craft.