Earth Day at Starbucks

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                               April 22, 2012

 

Bobby showed up at Starbucks ready for some early morning caffeine. At 7:30 on a Sunday morning he expected to have a few early morning church attenders to contend with, but when he walked in the store he was pleasantly relieved to see only one man, a little weathered from life, standing at the counter.

“Morning, Bobby!” It was the usual greeting from Judy, the seasoned Starbucks employee who had served about as much coffee over the years as McDonald’s had hamburgers.

“Good morning, Judy!”

The senior citizen thanked Judy as she handed him his tumbler of coffee. Judy’s face broke into a smile that Bobby could tell touched her to soul depth.

On the chalkboard behind the counter Bobby noticed the words written: “Get that warm feeling from doing good and from free coffee or tea. Celebrate the earth and save a paper cup. Bring in a tumbler on Sunday, April 22, and we’ll fill it with hot or iced brewed coffe or tea, our treat.”

“Oh, man! I didn’t know it was Earth Day! I would have brought my coffee mug!”

“That’s too bad,” Judy sympathized with him.

“Just been too busy to notice, Judy! Too busy with stuff to notice life around me.”

“Hopefully things will be calmer for you today, Bobby! It’s Sunday! What do they say about it…being a day of rest, or something like that?”

“Doesn’t look like you’re resting much today, Judy.”

“Someone’s got to mind the store.”

“Well…their customer will take a coffee…dark roast. I’ll be back in a moment.”

Bobby had to hit the men’s room quickly, so he headed to the back of the store. Life had been busy for him. It seemed that anytime there was an open day on his calendar something had happened to bring the openness to a screeching halt. If it wasn’t one thing it was another. The last time his schedule was open all day long he came down with the flu the night before. Life wasn’t fair! Life was often brutal!

Bobby came back from the restroom and pulled out his wallet to pay for his paper cup of coffee on free coffee Earth Day. Judy intercepted his reach.

“It’s free, Bobby!”

“What do you mean, Judy? I don’t have a tumbler with me.”

“I know, but the gentleman who was in front of you paid for yours already.”

Bobby took on a surprised look. “What?”

“He paid for it.”

“Who is he? Why would he do that? He even had the common sense he bring his own tumbler today and get his coffee free.”

“I don’t know who he was, but he did.”

“What did he say?”

“He just said to tell you to have a great day, and he hoped that you would notice life going on around you today.”

“Why would a guy who didn’t need to pay for anything, pay for my everything?”

“I don’t know, Bobby, but I hope he comes back again. He made me feel like the customer instead of the employee.”

“Maybe today will be different for us, Judy!”

“It could be…it very well could be.”

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