My Own Christmas Holiday Moment…

So I’ll tell you how it all happened. This morning started with frozen water in my chickens’ feeder. I’m in a hurry (always), so I punch through the ice with my tippy fingers so Goldy and pals can have a drink and then hurry out to the car. My fingers are cold and hurt. The workday starts at the Applegate Zoo. We’re working in the deer pen today, a beautiful crisp, clear – and frigid – day. The new baby fawn is a dark chocolate color and in good health. But what with one thing and another I am running late. And my fingers are still very cold. So I suggest to my assistant, Tim, that we stop at the local Starbucks for a hot chocolate. What I’m late for back at the Clinic is mostly elective surgeries, so at worse I work through my lunch hour – no pets health is adversely affected. And I’m going to be chastised for being late regardless of whether I’m 15 minutes late or 25 minutes late. AND I’m very cold – did I mention that?

So I track down the local Starbucks. Find a parking spot RIGHT IN FRONT of the store! Lucky! Uhh-oh – no money. But handily I have Tim with me, and I beg for a loan (my treat, of course!).  Tim kindly agrees to cover me and in we go. Where I have to explain to the over-worked young man behind the counter that I don’t drink coffee (or frequent Starbucks) but I need something hot to warm up and do they have a hot chocolate with a hint of coffee flavor – decaf! – please? He authoritatively recommends and orders something for me, continuing on to explain and detail some drivel about taking a customer satisfaction survey after our order, with a bonus (!) coupon for some future visit. It involves computers. Fat chance. I’m not returning any time soon.

Tim places his order. That will be eight dollars and thirty cents. Tim hands over his card. Which doesn’t work. Twice. Uhh-oh. I mumble something about credit card payment over the phone? (I can call the Clinic, have someone go through my purse, call them back with my card number…). Nah, they’ve heard that scam before. I duck my head down and start to step out of line. But the nice young man behind the counter waves us down the aisle to pick up our order. What? He tells us the drinks are on him. WHAAAAT?

I assure him we will return to pay – he assures me that’s not necessary.

Our warm drinks, handmade (!) are delivered into our waiting hands. My fingers are instantly grateful. Ahhhh, warmth! With profuse thank-you’s, we slink out (thief!)… casually exiting the store to walk over to our, uh… Jag… and drive off.

Back at work, I fish a $20 bill out of my purse. This guy was extraordinary! I send Tim right back with the money and I jump into work. Tim returns. Apparently when he walked into the store to give our offering, the young man tried to refuse it. Tim insisted that he accept, saying he couldn’t return to work otherwise. He handed over the bill – and as he turned to leave, ran smack into a display shelf, knocking it over and sending a hundred items flying (Non-breakable! Luckily!). The portable shelf disintegrated into bits of pegs and plastic. Tim began to try to gather everything up. They asked him to please leave. Apparently we’d done enough for one day.

Thank you, Adrian of Starbucks! I was going to try to find that customer satisfaction form… but that requires a receipt… which you don’t get when you don’t pay for your drink. Instead, may I wish you a Merry Christmas! From my warmed fingers to your warm heart!

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