How To Make A Customer For Life

, , , , , , | Right | February 14, 2021

I’m a broke university student.

I should be going to university on a scholarship because I come from a low-income family, but a last-minute £100-a-year pay rise for my mum pushes my family over the threshold for what defines “low-income” and I’m suddenly no longer eligible for £15,000 a year in scholarship money. This news comes after I’ve been accepted to university and signed the lease for my accommodation.

Despite my family not being labelled low-income anymore, I still won’t receive any financial support from my family as all the income goes toward taking care of my disabled brother and paying their own bills. It will be tight, but because I have savings from working, I decide to go to university anyway. After paying my rent and utilities, I have £10.20 a week for everything else including food, toiletries, and school supplies.

As I’m in a new city, I really want to make friends, which is difficult when most of the social activities are expensive, so I jump at the chance to do a relatively cheap coffee shop trip with my dorm.

I have £20 with me to get a cheap cup of tea and my food shopping for a few weeks and I head to the coffee shop. While paying, I pull out the note and a handful of change and realise I can pay without breaking into the note, so I put it back in my pocket. It isn’t until I’m at the supermarket that I realise the note is gone. I’m devastated as it’s the equivalent of two weeks of money gone, and I go home empty-handed.

As a last-ditch effort, I message the coffee shop’s Facebook page asking if they’ve seen it, saying I know it’s unlikely, but I want to try asking if it was handed in because money is tight. By some miracle, they reply saying they have it!

Cashier: “Here you go. That was lucky we found it!”

She hands me a shiny new note. Mine was crinkled and beaten up with repeated fold marks.

Me: “Oh… This isn’t mine; my note was an old worn one.”

Cashier: “No, no, it is yours. I’m certain it is. Don’t worry; just take it.”

At her insistence, I took it, and it wasn’t until later that I realised they were most likely trying to help out a struggling student with the coffee shop’s own money. A few months later, things got easier with a part-time job, and now I’ve graduated and have an okay grad job. I make sure to head in there regularly; I’m definitely a customer for life!

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