It’s Nice To Be Missed
I CAN’T SPEAK FOR ANYONE ELSE – I have enough trouble just speaking for myself, but I am moved when a commercial venture actually cares about me.
Let me explain.
What with all the snow and sub-zero temperatures that have buffeted Terre Haute over the past few days I have been staying home a lot. I’m not good at staying indoors for days on end. Cabin Fever sets in on me after about twenty minutes. I would not be a good Carmelite monk, staying cloistered for years. I’ll leave that staying “at home” all the time to the monks and Charlie Manson. I need to get out and breathe some fresh air once in a while.
This weather kept me in for more than two days (grumble, grumble). On Sunday morning, with a freshly cleared driveway and a temperature in double digits, I made my break.
I didn’t have to be at church until about 10 o’clock. At about 7:45 AM I used the new remote starter gizmo to get the car warmed up; I grabbed my cheap novel, and headed off to St. Arbucks for a cuppa.
As you may have already noticed by reading previous postings – I go to St. Arbucks on an almost daily basis. I could probably legally vote from there. A man has gotta have his coffee! Isn’t that in the Magna Carta or something?
When I pulled into my usual Gimp Spot parking space I could feel the cloud lifting and sun shine on me. It felt sooooooo good. Walking through the front door and being greeted by the pungent aroma of the dark brew that makes me smile brought a tear to my eye.
What really made my day was how I was welcomed as I limped up to place my order. The young lady behind the counter said to me, “Where have you been? We’ve missed you. I hope everything is ok. Are you alright?” My doctor doesn’t ask me that many questions and he’s making more money from me than the barista.
How many places can a person go and have someone, other than a spouse or a parent, show such concern? OK – maybe in the ER, but they are likely to be sizing you up for an IV or a “slice ‘n dice” in the OR.
I assured the barista that my absence was weather related and not a healthcare issue. She did seem genuinely concerned so I felt obligated to put her mind at ease.
While I was conversing with the barista, her fellow “Goddess of the Grounds” had quietly prepared my usual order – Venti iced coffee with cream, but no sweeteners. I order that 99% of the time in the morning without regard to the weather outside. Inside the Chapel it is always temperate. I order this because; (a) I like it and (b) it is very difficult to take my morning meds with hot coffee. I suppose I could add a (c) because I can get a free refill on this item. These people know how to take care of me.
Whenever I am absent for a time my wife offers to write me a note explaining my absence. It is only partially a joke. Once when we were gone for several weeks, vacationing in Ireland, she actually did write such a note, and I did take it into the Chapel. They were touched by that and posted the note on the employee bulletin board.
If I were to vanish from their view suddenly, and without warning, I have no doubt that they would start asking people to donate money for a “Ransom John” fund, on the off chance that I had been kidnapped by Dunkin Donuts. You won’t see that level of customer care at Burger King or Pizza Hut!
I like my St. Arbucks. I have been in other Chapels around the country and even in Ireland, but the one just down the street is my favorite.
I’m a lucky man – with a serious coffee habit.