It's me. Hi. I'm the jerk, it's me. And you don't even know it.
The thing is, you're such an enigma inside of the Mister Bagel on Pleasant Street in Brunswick, Maine, that the deeper I get into this, customers (whether one-time or regulars) will without a doubt know exactly who you are.
Because this past weekend, I remembered you from the time back in December when I unfairly judged you. And honestly, I'm really sorry, because you didn't deserve that (again, not that you even knew, but still) and I couldn't have been more of a jackhole to judge.
Let me start from the time in December.
No shock, when I walked in with my friend Danielle during a day off, there was a pretty long line. Then again, anytime I go to Mister Bagel in Brunswick, there's always a line that extends to the door.
While we were standing side-by-side in line, I could hear you from behind the counter. Your laughing. Your loud, positive vibe and words to every single one of your customers. Your extreme friendliness and politeness to whomever you were waiting on.
And, naturally, like an absolute sucknugget, I lean over to my friend Danielle and quietly in her ear, nod my head toward you and say, "Look at this dude. So over the top nice and happy and smiling it's gross. Clearly just trying to get all the tips he can."
The best part is Danielle called me out on it and questioned the words coming out of my mouth and got your back.
Umm...no? I think he's just really nice.
But for whatever reason, I was deadset on you just being a fraud for tips. And I didn't realize why I felt that way until I went back to Mister Bagel this weekend and waited in the same long line, being super-exposed to your over-the-top niceness before reaching the counter.
When I first walked in, you were waiting on an older couple and it was the end of your transaction. It almost seemed like you knew them, even though I could take a guess that you didn't (maybe outside of them being regular customers) having known your personality from my December visit.
You told them you appreciated their kind words (which were in response to yours) and that you hoped they had a great day, enjoyed their meal, and had a great weekend. And this time around, I could tell it was genuine. You weren't just trying to get tips. You genuinely care about your customers.
I watched the same thing happen with the next two customers you waited on. And I felt a smile start forming on my face. Because what you are isn't a fraud, it's just a genuine, contagious care for people. But I didn't realize just how much until I stepped up to the counter and you were the one asking how I could be helped.
After striking out with a few bagel flavors while trying to order my half-dozen, you talked to me not like a customer, but one of your friends. Mentioning how that morning, in the middle of getting hammered with nonstop DoorDash orders, you picked up the phone to a customer request for 50 breakfast sandwiches. On top of the nonstop long line you had from the counter to the door like always.
Yet after all that -- the 50 breakfast sandwich order, the backorder of DoorDash requests, everything -- you still had a smile on your face. You still had that same over-the-top interaction/care with your customers. Every single one of them.
And as I paid you for my order and started walking out, I realized what my issue in December was. I was burnt out, annoyed, irritable, in not the greatest headspace, and more negative than I ever like to be. So, with that mindset, seeing someone as positive and friendly as you was almost angering.
But being the exact opposite of that mindset now, I could tell that back in December, the problem was me, not you. And I unfairly judged you back then and unfairly (privately) labeled you as a fraud for tips.
And I just wanted to apologize for that. You didn't know it happened, but you also didn't deserve it. Because the world could use more people like you.
So, thank you, red hair-dyed worker at Mister Bagel in Brunswick. Never stop being infectious with your kindness.
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