Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I'm standing in line at Starbucks and a woman gets in line behind me. She's wearing a low cut black top that barely covers her ample cleavage, black pants and shoes to match. Her hair, dark brown with eyes to match, is in what I would call a corporate style. She looks harried. She interrupts the man working behind the counter heating up a bagel for another customer who waits patiently at the front of the line.

"Excuse me," she begins, her voice sounding anxious, "I'm here about a lost wallet." At this point the woman holds up a card and some sort of letter. I recognize the logo on the business card - she's a Microsoftie.

The man looks over her material.

"Someone called me about my wallet. I lost it," she says.

The man smiles and says, "I'll check on it." He approaches the employee at the cash register, who partly overheard the conversation and begins to answer before he finishes his inquiry.

"It's in the safe. We'll have to set the timer."

The man returns to the woman and informs her of this and that "We have a timer on the safe. It'll take about ten minutes to open."

The woman's eyes get big and she's angry. "I don't have TIME for this. No one told me about this when I called."

Rather than telling the woman that her bitching wasn't going to open the safe any faster, rather than explaining to her that it was her fault that she left her wallet at the store, rather than explaining to her that proper manners should inform her that she should be grateful to get the wallet AND any of it's contents back, rather than reminding her that graciousness is a virtue and kindness is a gift we should give to everyone, the man chucked all of that aside, relied on his good nature, good training, his own manners and lack of completely knowing her situation and smiled and said, "I'll check with the manager" at the exact same time the employee at the cash register made the same suggestion to him.

The manager was running the espresso machine. He told his employee that the wallet was on a shelf in the office. The woman showed her business card and letter again, dancing with her feet as if she had to use the toilet. She bolted out the door and did not say "Thank you."

I'd have been happier if the wallet were in the safe.

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