I went to Dunkin’ (the coffee joint formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts) Saturday morning to get breakfast sandwiches for Anne and me. “Who cares!” I hear you cry. I actually don’t blame you for wondering. But this turned out to be a faith-affirming visit.
I pulled into a fairly long line at the drive-thru. Since it was Saturday morning, I couldn’t get myself worked up about spending a few minutes waiting. The ordering station for the drive-thru line happens to be at the back of the building, which faces west. The drive-thru line proceeds south. At the northwest corner of the building, by which I had to pass to get the ordering station, there happens to be a trash can.
It appeared some chuckleheads didn’t care that the can had gotten full. Or maybe they’d just been piggish enough to toss stuff out of their cars as they approached the ordering station. Either way, there was a bunch of shit spilling out of the can and lying on the sidewalk and the pavement leading up to the ordering station.
The line moved forward, putting a car at the ordering station, a pickup truck behind it, and me behind the pickup truck and two feet or so from the northwest corner of the building. As I continued waiting, a young man in a Dunkin’ uniform came out of the building with two empty trash bags. I stopped to let him take care of the trash from and around the can, including the stuff that had been thrown onto the pavement in front of me.
I took note of the fact that the young man was doing a job most of us would prefer not to do. I also took note of the fact that it was raining pretty heavily. As he was finishing, I rolled my car forward and my window down to say hello to the young man. As I pulled up, he waved at me and said, “Thank you for your patience, sir.” That kid was busting his ass in the pouring rain, and he thanked me!
I know from experience that Dunkin’ employees aren’t permitted to accept tips. But I’m going to make sure Santa pays a visit to that shop and leaves something for that young man.
I firmly believe there are much more people like that good young man — and many more amazing things happening — in the world than we suspect. I don’t, however, believe in New Year’s resolutions. But maybe we should all resolve to get out more and to experience those good people and those amazing things.
When we do, let’s make sure we thank them.