Tag Archives: cafe gratitude

What’s Up With the Café Gratitude?

Gratitude Cafe

Just saw an interesting article in the SF Chronicle that pointed to this earlier article in the East Bay Express. It talks about the Café Gratitude that Mraz fans have heard so much about, and its strange, possibly cult-like work environment.

I’ll let you read it and decide for yourself whether it sounds healthy or not, but my vote is no. Healthy is giving people options and allowing them to make their own decisions. Telling them to do it your way or else they’re fired or demoted sounds like bullying, no matter how good your intentions are.

(Of course, this assumes “your way” is something other than the basics. The basics being things like washing your hands before touching food, or not grabbing your assistant’s ass, or not operating a forklift while drunk, or not lying on your taxes. Those ways are acceptable to enforce. It’s the give-up-your-own-beliefs-and-accept-ours-and-hey-hand-over-some-money-
too-while-you’re-at-it ways that I find a little suspect.)

Up, up, up and away,


Carpooling With Jason Mraz

Reasons I hate carpooling:

  • Some people are terrible drivers, but in order to save a few bucks on gas and help the environment, I put my lives in their hands four times a week.
  • Some people’s cars smell weird. (Air fresheners are not always our friends. Sometimes they just stink things up more.)
  • Some people smell weird.
  • Everyone has different ideas of what ideal commuting music is. Mine is not hip hop/techno mashups at 7 a.m.

Reasons to be grateful for carpooling:

  • I save a few bucks (probably $100 a month) on gas.
  • If someone else is driving, I can sit in back and read. At least until I start to feel queasy.
  • I get to hear about what other people in my company do, since most of my ‘poolers are people I never come across during my work day.
  • I enjoy the good carpooling karma.

My carpool people know about my…um,  mild fondness… for Jason Mraz. He seems to pop on the radio almost as soon as we get in the car each day, unless it’s Country Music Guy’s day to drive, and someone always has to say, “Hey, is this that guy?”

gratitude cardI still manage to have my private Mraz moments though, and I’ll share this one from a few weeks ago with you:

I was smooshed in the middle of the backseat of a mid-sized car whose backseat was not meant for three people – at least not three adult people. The weather was windy and wet and our car was slowly lurching through heavy traffic on the Bay Bridge going into San Francisco and I wasn’t feeling too great.

I was thinking about how much I hated my commute and was this job even worth all the time I spend in my car and maybe I should find something else, but what else? because there aren’t a lot of good writing gigs out there right now and maybe I should just quit and go traveling again, but is that the responsible thing to do and maybe I was just grouchy and needed to get some perspective once I had a little room to move and wasn’t squished between two people who were completely absorbed in their Blackberries.

Yeah, my mind works like that.

And then, I saw that there was a big van in front of our car. We weren’t moving, so I had some time to look at it. Across the back, someone had written, “What are you grateful for today?” And I had to smile, and maybe chuckle a little.  It was a good question. A Jason question.

gratitude tourWWJMBGF? What would Jason Mraz be grateful for? (If someone makes that into a bracelet I claim 5% of the profit.)

And I started to think about what I had to be grateful for, and it was a pretty good list. And as traffic started to move and our driver changed lanes to pass the van I saw that it belonged to Cafe Gratitude and I smiled even bigger.

I think it was about a week after that we got the announcement that the summer tour was going to be the Gratitude Cafe tour, and now we all have something to be grateful for.

Taste past the tip of your tongue,