I served a man yesterday who I have served before. He sits alone, listening to his music on headphones, and is very curt, very direct.
“Burger, cheese, bacon, fries, ketchup.”
Everything we said to each other in the first hour he was there could have been conveyed in a Tweet.
As he was finishing his burger, I asked him if everything was okay.
“I don’t know.”
He wasn’t talking about the burger and I just smiled and let him be. When I cleared his plate, he pulled out his wallet.
I told him we don’t accept debit but we take credit cards and cash. He pulled out a credit card.
“How about I use this card and I will give you $5 extra on the tip if you give me $5 cash. I am going to have an ice cream.”
Simple. That’s what he was going to do. Have an ice cream.
I was going to tell him that we don’t do that. I was going to tell him we have an ATM inside. I was going to tell him that it’s been a rough week and if I get swindled out of even $5 from a man at the job I am leaving to begin a new life right before I go meet my new roommate who I pray isn’t deranged… If I get swindled, it will really suck.
Instead I said yes.
I took his card, ran it through and returned it with a pen and a crisp $5 bill.
“I hope the ice cream makes you feel better.” says I.
“I love ice cream.” says he.
He didn’t swindle me and I watched him as he walked away from the ice cream truck, listening to his music walking swiftly down the road.
He also loves ketchup. Used 3/4 of a bottle.