As if this were a book, the aspect of coffee being a love language will unfold in "chapter type" format.
Chapter 2. Pay it Forward
One of the beautiful things about my job has been to be at the middle of people giving back to others "just because". I have had the advantage of knowing what most of my customers drink, so when a person comes in and wants to buy their friend a drink, I know how to charge them because I know what their friend drinks. I have been able to be in the center of those giving back quite often. It has made my day quite often to be able to play a part in this, to watch the recipient smile, knowing they were loved and thought of. I have loved being the secret keeper in it all and watching the joy of giving to others become contagious. One week, this happened every day. And no one knew it was happening, which made it even more fun. Here is a bit how it unfolded.
One day, Lance bought Lori a drink, unbeknownst to her.
When she came in, I told her her drink had been bought. She couldn't believe it, so she bought Greg's drink . (Again, here is where I say it helped I know everyone's drink).
Greg could not believe it, so he then bought a drink for the next person.
That next person ended up buying Lance a drink, unbeknownst to any of these customers that this was going on or that Lance had started this whole chain.
The next day, Melissa bought Katie a drink. When Katie learned of this, she really wanted to know who it was, but nonetheless, she grinned ear to ear because she was having a bad day, so that turned it around for her.
Leslie overheard all these stories and then decided she wanted to participate so she asked me to choose someone going through a hard time to buy one for. At times, I have been like the "bartender" they say, and get to know a lot about a lot of people. Thus, I could know a person going through a hard time. The recipient of Leslie's pay it forward drink nearly cried.
The next day, Jimmy was in line and waved me down from the back of the line to quietly say he wanted to pay for his coworkers drink at the counter. She was clueless, and to tell her her drink was taken care of baffled her.
Then there is Dan and Karen. They work closely together, and the 2 of them have become great friends to me. These two crack me up because they are always trying to beat the other one to the counter to buy coffee before the other arrives. "Has Dan been here yet?" Karen will say. Or same with Dan-"Karen will be mad, but I beat her so I'm buying her coffee..." And so on. This has been a game almost at times, to see who can beat who and pay for it all before the other arrives. This is one of many reasons Karen and Dan have grown dear to me.
Dee bought Danni a drink, only for Danni to be totally taken back by it because she, told me later, that she and Dee did not even get along well.
When I was at Starbucks, I worked near a military base and frequently a customer would buy a drink for the military person behind them in line. Many times, this nearly brought me to tears. I was reminded in those moments that it is the little things that count. And a cup of coffee can say thank you, I love you, I appreciate you, and much more.
Countless moments like this have occurred in my coffee days. I have loved being at the center of it and watching it unfold and making another person smile when they needed one the most. You see, coffee is a love language. Something as simple as a drink being bought makes another smile for the rest of the day. Many times, it changes that persons perspective, even. I know because I have seen it happen. They then take that moment and pay it forward.