Serving Out Large Cups Of Patience

, , , , | Working | September 19, 2019

(It’s the first real, nice day of spring and I decide to treat myself on my lunch break by going to the drive-thru of a popular coffee chain. Everyone else in town has had the same idea as me, apparently, as the line is almost into the road. I am only about two minutes into an hour-long lunch, so I roll the windows down and get in line, deciding to enjoy the weather while I wait. After about fifteen minutes, I finally pull up to the order speaker.)

Barista: *sounding frazzled, even through the speaker* “Thank you for choosing [Coffee Shop]; I’ll be right with you.”

Me: “Absolutely, take your time! No rush.”

Barista: *now sounding relieved* “Thank you so much.”

(I settle back in and wait. And wait. Ten minutes pass before I hear a voice again, the same person.)

Barista: “Oh! My! God! I am so, so sorry for that wait! Thank you so much for your patience!”

Me: “No worries! You guys seem busy today; I don’t mind waiting.”

Barista: “Thank you so much. Ohm my gosh. My apologies again. What can I get started for you?”

(I order my drink — a medium specialty latte — and pull forward to the window with $10 in hand to pay. The barista opens the window and holds her hand up in a sort of “stop” gesture.)

Barista: “Please, don’t worry about the total. It’s on me today.”

Me: “What? Are you… Are you sure?”

(The drink I ordered is almost $10, and I’m worried the cost will come out of either the barista’s pocket or tips.)

Barista: “Absolutely. I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate your patience. It’s been an incredibly hectic day.”

Me: “Oh, my God, of course! I understand; it looked like Hell when I pulled in. If I wasn’t prepared to wait, I would have gone somewhere else.”

(The barista flashes me a huge, grateful smile and hands me a large-size cup. Before I can even say anything, the barista says:)

Barista: “Thank you again for understanding and your patience. This is just the least I can do to show you my appreciation. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day!”

(Before she closed the window, I launched myself up to toss the $10 into the tip jar just inside. She laughed and shouted, “Thank you!” as I drove off. It was easily the most delicious and satisfying latte I’ve ever had!)

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