I work at Starbucks when I'm not writing. Bills to pay, medical insurance needed, you know the drill.
So Starbucks has a loyalty program (like most restaurants and retailers seem to have these days). The notion is that for every sixty or so dollars ($62.50, actually) you spend you get one free food or drink item. The cheapest freebie is around $2.00 dollars. the most expensive I've seen is $7.50.
Cool enough. When you have the Starbucks App it tells you exactly how many stars you have and how many freebies. When you just use the card it does not. So I tend, when I see someone using the card, to check and let them know. I mean you have MONTHS before they expire but they DO expire and I hate losing out on free stuff, so I do this.
Yesterday I ran across a lady who had 1,800 stars on her account. That means she literally has 14 free drink or food items.
She was pleasantly surprised and use two of those to handle both of her drinks. Still leaves her with 12 freebies. More power to her.
After the transaction is done, she pulls a new Starbucks card and asks me to put $15.00 on it. Sure, 'tis the season, after all. When we are done she tops and says. "Can you add $60.00 more?" Well, by God, somebody is getting a nice Christmas gift.
When the transaction is done for the second time she gives the card to me and asks that I buy customers drinks until the card runs out. Again, 'Tis the season. I'ver personally seen a run of 17 "pay it forwards,"at the drive-thru at Starbucks before, that's when someone buys the drink or drinks for the next person in line. Sometimes it's one person MOST times it one person, but the longest I've seen is 17.
I made sure to buy ONE drink for each person who was coming through. If a family came in and bought four drinks, the most expensive came off the gift card. That way it went around longer.
One gentleman who got a free drink came back and bought a $25.00 card and asked me to continue the trend.
It took me a while to blow through the two cards but I eventually did. Several people left with unexpected smiles.
That sort of thing is why I retain my faith in humanity (even if I don't have much faith in the current Republican party.) A small gesture of kindness that move on through others for over an hour.
Good people are out there. They just get hidden by all the bad news.