The change was drastic, no one in the store including the staff could believe was happening. The customers feared the worse.
The problem had occurred less than a day ago. And it would end with policemen coming through the store’s doors.
Arizona is a place known for its heat. Now imagine a heat wave sweeping through the state. This means that areas that were normally quite hot were saunas.
Andy Grenner was happy that he worked in a place with air conditioning. It also meant that hopefully, people would come inside to seek shelter from the heat and give him a tip while they were there. He needed the money for college.
A Lot Of People
With the heatwave in full swing, Andy lost count of the iced lattes and smoothies he had made for flustered customers.
Before his shift was even half-way over he could smell his sticky apron infused with a cocktail of coffee and berries.
It was hard keeping up with the customers’ demands and non-stop line of people.
But he immediately noticed an older man enter the room. He had a certain air about him that caused discomfort. He joined the line with a scowl on his face.
A Bad Smell
The people around him notably tried to avoid eye contact with the man and cover their noses, like the man was giving off a foul odor.
His clothing wasn’t clean, and it seemed that nor was his skin. Some customers even left the establishment when they saw and smelt the man.
But it wasn’t just the customers that seemed uncomfortable at the sight and smell of this man.
The manager was a 17-year-old girl that didn’t look ready to handle her first real problem. She gasped as the man got to the counter and they started the exchange.
Scared For Nothing
The man looked Andy straight in the eyes before grinning and say, “three iced mochas and one mango juice, please.”
Andy couldn’t believe the manager’s frightened expression. He knew it was ridiculous, his money may have been crumpled up, but it was still money at the end of the day.
The manager rushed the order into a bag and pushed it across the counter. Being obvious that she wanted him to leave as soon as he could.
“We’re really busy today and don’t have free seats. You’ll have to take these and go,” Andy couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He countered her statement with, “It’s fine. There are lots of seats. You’re more than welcome to stay, sir.”
The man flat-out ignored the manager and said “thanks, kid. I’ll be on my way. See you around.” He winked as he said it.
Andy tried insisting but the man just smiled and walked out the door. But Andy didn’t know that he would be back soon, with friends.
However, when the guy stepped through the doors that Wednesday afternoon, it was like an entirely different person had walked through the door.
The transformation was so stark that the assistant manager didn’t connect the dots – even as she took his order with a bright, welcoming smile. The guy stood in his police uniform with the rest of his cop friends. He looked right at Andy.
“Thanks for your help yesterday,” he said.
“We were dying doing renovations in that heat.” It all finally made sense – at least to Andy. The poor assistant manager, however, dug herself into an even deeper hole when she put together the exact same order he had made the previous day … and still not putting two and two together.
Helping A Friend
It turned out the group cops had banded together to help one of their own do some much-needed home repairs and yard work.
And in the hot Arizona sun, the dirt, drywall dust, and sweat made for a pretty potent combination that had offended many noses. Still, Andy was sure of one thing.
It didn’t matter if the guys were in uniform or in overalls.
A customer was still a customer, and everyone deserved to be treated with respect and kindness, especially in these current times of turmoil. But Andy noticed the guy had handed over far too much money for the order, and he tried to hand it back.
“Keep it, kid.” Andy couldn’t believe it.
It was a hundred-dollar tip! Even the assistant manager’s eyes turned wide, and she tried to explain that all tips were pooled. The officer answered, “Nope, this is just for him for being so kind. Why would I tip you when you kicked me out yesterday?” The penny finally dropped.
The girl turned red from head to toe, and Andy held back a laugh.
The officer added, “The drinks were great, so my buddies and I decided to make this a regular stop.” Andy shook his hand thanked him again put the large tip in his pocket with a huge smile.