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A Kindness, From Hawaii

Yesterday, I was in the middle of the usual pre-holiday madness, when a customer said something I hadn’t heard before. This is always refreshing, as I’ve been hearing the same comments daily for over twenty years. I won’t list all the usual culprits, but damn I wish I had a ten spot for every time I heard “Is this the calm before the storm?” and “You’re just waiting for me aren’t you?” My favorite before a holiday is “Are you open tomorrow?” Hahahahaha. We are always open people.

Customers are generally nice at holidays and feel for us. The lucky ones who have the day off are horrified that we poor souls have to work. “But it’s time and a half, right?” Yes, for this holiday it is. Still…we are here and you are on the other side of the counter gearing up for a celebration. Not that I care much for this particular holiday. It’s too noisy and creates too much trash and air pollution and I’m not exactly patriotic. (I won’t go into all the reasons why.)

Anyway, back to the customer who was different. It was busy of course, and close to my break time, and I guess it showed. I wasn’t grumpy, just looking worn out, and on automatic pilot, when a woman says, out of the blue, “If we were in Hawaii I’d buy you a drink.”

This perked me up and we briefly discussed cocktails and sandy beaches, wishing we were somewhere else. It was enough to lift me out of my ‘just get through the day mentality’ and I was thankful. But she went a step further. When, a few minutes later, our Starbucks barista informed that someone bought me a drink, I was smiling for real. (Not the phony professional smile.) On my break, I received a passion tea lemonade with a palm tree drawn on the cup, from Hawaii.

This made my day. My whole work week actually. So for those of you who have to work today (I will be there too.) I wish I could buy you all a fruity cocktail—preferably with alcohol in it.

Happy Fourth Everyone—yes, even those of you who get the day off.

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