Tea Cures Most Ills, Chemo Cures Others

, , , , | Right | July 15, 2020

It’s a dismal winter day and I’m working at a busy petrol station with an employee who is unfamiliar with the tills. An older female customer comes in, looking tired and irritable.

Customer: “Just to let you know, my car has broken down, and I just need to wait for the van to arrive.”

Me: “Okay, thank you.”

I notice that the customer seems reluctant to go back to her vehicle, and sure enough, she asks if there’s anywhere she can wait inside. Company policy strictly states that I can’t let her in the back, and she insists she’s okay waiting in her car. My colleague checks on her, and she reports back that the woman is fine.

Near the end of our shift, the woman returns to look at the coffee machine.

Customer: “Does your machine serve tea?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the coffee machine is out of service right now.”

Since we’re quiet, and it is cold, I figure I should offer her something.

Me: “I can put the kettle on! We have some tea in the back. I don’t mind; it’ll only take a minute.”

Customer: “Only if it’s no trouble; I can always just wait in the car.”

Me: “It’ll be fine; just a moment. Would you like me to bring you out a seat so you don’t have to wait outside?”

Customer: “No, thank you; the tea will be just fine.”

I continued my normal duties as I waited for the kettle to boil, and then I brewed the tea and allowed her to add her own milk. Once our shift was finished, we waited near her car until the recovery vehicle arrived.

I didn’t think much more about it other than hoping she got home okay, and then I got the news through management that the customer was so grateful for our help that she sent a beautiful thank-you card to the store! It turned out she had been going through chemotherapy and was having a rough day, but the fact that we made her tea and made sure she was never unattended cheered her up a bit.

Just over a year later, I saw the woman again and did not recognise her; she was cancer-free and a very healthy and vibrant customer! And she was still thanking me! I was just so happy that she made such a brilliant recovery.

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