Coffee clemency

I had no less than five smile-worthy events occur today; and man, a few of them were awesome!  But I think this one was the “best”, so it’s the one I’m choosing to share.  Here we go:

Over my lunch hour, I went to the nearby coffee store for a beverage. (Medium decaf Americano in a large cup, extra hot water, a little room.  I’m annoying, I know.)   The barista made my drink incorrectly (she didn’t make it decaf; and I am *very* caffeine sensitive).  She apologized.  I wasn’t feeling great today anyway (I was tired from not sleeping well, and my throat was a little sore from this cold that I’m getting over, and honestly, I was just kind of annoyed for no good ‘reason’ today – I was just in a peevish mood); but I sucked it up, and didn’t make a big deal out of it.  I smiled at her (albeit weakly, but still, it was a smile), and said, “It’s okay”.  I then waited.  A few minutes later, I had the correct drink in hand.

I turned to the nearby condiment counter, and “doctored” up the beverage.  (For a medium drink, I add 3 Splenda packets, and a splash of cream.  {For a small beverage, I add 2 Splenda packets.})  Having successfully transformed the drink into a cup of goodness, I turned around 180 degrees, took a step – and ran right into a woman waiting for her beverage.

I had a lid on my drink (thank goodness!), but coffee still splashed out the little sipping hole – and directly on to her bag.  I inhaled sharply, then said in a very apologetic tone, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!  I’m so sorry!”  I turned back to the condiment counter, grabbed a handful of paper napkins, and began wiping the woman’s bag.  As I mopped up rogue coffee, I again repeated, “I am so sorry!  I am SO sorry!”

The woman looked at her bag, then looked at me, then smiled.  She said, “Oh hon, don’t worry about it.  This is life; we just wipe it off, clean it up, and move on.  It’s all good, girlfriend.”

And with that, she shook any remaining coffee off of her bag, picked up her beverage from the barista, gave me a wink, and walked out the door.

Wow.  Talk about putting some perspective into my crappy attitude.  I was deeply appreciative of her genuine compassion; her response completely snapped me out of my funk, and immediately turned me around.

I then smiled at every single person I saw the rest of the day.

Anonymous espresso emissary, thank you.



About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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16 Responses to Coffee clemency

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    Maybe it’ll turn my day around before it even starts, a charm to warn off crappy attitudes!
    P.S. Love her portrait 🙂


  2. Don’t you love it when that happens? (Not spilling coffee on someone of course, but having a bad mood disappear). It reminded me of the email the president of our university sent out yesterday. He told us Happy Valentine’s Day and he challenged us just to smile even if we were having a bad day. Of course, I smiled. And it definitely made me feel better 🙂


  3. Dodie says:

    Awesome- “wipe it off, clean it up, move on”- somebody should make a plaque of that or at least a refrigerator magnet! Good words to live by.


  4. Jonathan says:

    It always touches me when people show others such generosity of heart. It restores my faith in mankind. Thank you for sharing you story, it really did make my day & brought a tear to my eye:)


  5. The lady’s response of “wipe it off. Clean it up. Move on” made me feel a desire to reread your post. The second time, I read it out-loud to my company. They enjoyed it just as much as I did. This was a Smile Kiddo moment that I felt the need to pass on! Thanks for the smiles!!


  6. JaxieCat says:

    I so wish I could tap-tap-tap-tap on the like button!!! I had a day like that, I didn’t write about it as well as you did. Thanks for the story!


  7. JaxieCat says:

    This post was so delicious, I had to come back for seconds.


  8. rebekah says:

    I’m late here, as I’m new to this blog but what a wonderful story!!! Heart-warming.


    • Stef says:

      Rebekah, no worries at all; better ‘late’ than never! 🙂 I *still* remember this encounter quite vividly; and draw on it from time to time when I am feeling impatient or snippy. That lady gave me many gifts that day.


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