Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Starbucks Story


"Can I have a Starbucks coffee, please?"

I glared disapprovingly at him. "What? Are you mad?"

It was a lazy Thursday afternoon after lunch. We were walking back to office when he suddenly got this idea from goodness-knows-where.

"Well..." he gazed longingly at the glass entrance. "I was thinking that it's been a while since I had a Starbucks."

I marched in, took a good look at the price list and almost fainted.

"Fourteen bucks! Do you have any idea how much that is?!"

"Yeah...that's pretty expensive I guess."

"If you're really feeling thirsty, can't you get something cheaper instead? It's just liquid anyway. Maybe a soft drink from 7-11."

"Or we could, you know," I made the sarcasm in my voice apparent. "Walk up a flight of stairs to the office and drink some water FOR FREE."

He looked down. Trying to hide his disappointment. Badly.

"Okay."

"Argh," I slapped my forehead. "You're making me feel bad on purpose. I know you are."

"All I'm saying is that... I deserve a treat after having worked so hard lately."

"Worked hard? Excuse me? Did I miss something here? Didn't you leave office early yesterday?"

"Says who! I left at seven-thirty. And that was because I had somewhere to go."

"Excuses. You usually work much later than that."

"And I don't want that. Is it wrong to not work like mad for once?"

I kept silent and took a good look at him. There he stood before me, barely 24 of age, a proud young man with his own hidden frailties and insecurities. He had no problems giving his best, but lately I could tell it was eating into him. Cracks were beginning to show on his glossy surface.

Perhaps I had been pushing him too hard. Expecting him to always do the right thing. Know the right words. Carry out the right tasks. Go that one extra mile, exceed that one expectation.

He was only human, after all. As highly as I thought of him sometimes, he couldn't be perfect. He shouldn't.

"All right," I said to him. "We'll get your cup of coffee. My treat."

"Thanks!"

A strange feeling of lightness came over me as I handed the fourteen bucks for a chilled Java Chip with whipped cream on top. It made me happy to see him happy for once.

Taking the stairs back to office, cup in hand, I couldn't help smiling to myself.

Have you given yourself a treat lately?

3 comments:

Bea said...

hmm...good idea....haven't had starbucks in a long while =P

mOkKiEs said...

haha...this sounds like some starbucks advertorial. no ppl, i DID NOT receive any endorsement fees from starbucks... though it would be lovely to get a free lifetime supply of starbucks...mmm...

Chuah Siew Lin™ said...

Hot chocolate D: