Today’s Cup 109 was transacted at Starbucks, zip code 97303. I was greeted by (Cup 95) Mr. Cranberry Bliss Barista who shouted out a friendly hello while ringing up the additional $4.39 cup of kindness for the little Honda in my rear-view. As he handed over my soy latte he shouted out: “Hey, how are ya? [Snowman Cookie Barista] and I were so worried about you yesterday. You came by and looked like a Sad Little Panda.” I smiled. And laughed. And smiled again. I assured him I was doing well, but just finished up a really busy week. He then said: “You know, we just like to pay attention to our regulars…Want to make sure you’re doing all right.” I definitely smiled again. And then swallowed the lump in my throat.
As I drove off with a hot soy latte in hand, I felt a sense of thanks. I don’t really know the cute Snowman Cookie Barista or Mr. Cranberry Bliss, but they are definitely a part of my weekly routine. The fact I juggle a great deal of responsibility at work, and serve in a very public leadership role, means that my personal world is very private. My worried or sad expression is known only to few. Yesterday, these two sweet baristas caught a glimpse of that. A glimpse of my quiet and very personal space. My coffee time lends me that escape, and they were privy to that few minutes of space.
For the next several miles, I sipped my latte in the midst of that bittersweet moment: the mixed satisfaction over another day of Fully Caffeinated Generosity and Hope, and the kindness of the baristas. I swallowed those first few sips, fighting back a few tears and raised my paper cup to those two. I said thank you for allowing one Starbucks regular a space to show a little vulnerability, and offering a supportive dose of cheer. Here’s to all those baristas with heart, fully caffeinated and then some.
Tagged: Be Kind, Brightening Someone's Day, Buying Coffee for Strangers, Coffee, Cup of Kindness, Daily Events, Fully Caffeinated Generosity and Hope, Making a Difference, Random Acts of Kindness, Starbucks