Thursday, May 17, 2012

2 minutes

2 minutes...How much of a difference can 120 seconds make?

Until I reach my full funding goal, I have to continue to work at Starbucks. I started in 2007 and it has been a very interesting 5 years. One of the big points Starbucks pushes is "customer connection."  No matter what position you are working that day, you should have 2 minutes with each customer. In that 2 minutes you as the barista are asked to be friendly, enthusiastic and serving toward their needs. Now we all know there are moments when your patience is gone and it is very hard to but on the Starbucks smile, but when you put on the green apron, that is what you are to do. I never really thought about what those 2 minutes look like to the customer until this week.

Monday morning I was working my usual morning shift on the drive thru when I looked over and two of my co-workers had very shocked looks on their face. I asked what was going on and then someone said, "Glenn died." My heart sunk. All I remember is hearing the buzzer in my headset go off and I knew I was suppose to say something to the customer at the speaker box, but I couldn't remember what. Glenn and his wife Elaine are by far my favorite customers. (To all my regulars that may be reading this, you are all special, but they had a spark.) When I first started, Glenn and Elaine would come in together and get their drink. They always got the same drink, and to everyone at my store it is called "the Glenn." When they would walk in they would shine.  I always knew that God was the center of their life, just by watching them. As the years went on, Glenn would come in by himself and pick up a his order and then deliver it to Elaine at work. They loved each other with a love that goes beyond just a husband and a wife. They truly cared for each other with the love that comes straight from God's love to His children. Glenn and Elaine's life wasn't easy. They both lost their first spouse and maybe that is why they knew not to take one day forgranted. They were family to us. We knew when their children and grandchildren were in town and this past winter we all knew when their first great grand children were born twin girls. I remember telling Glen about my first trip to Africa and how I was so excited to get on the plane and go. His eyes lite up when I told him about working in an orphanage. Glenn told me that he went on a trip to Africa once and it changed the way he looked at others and life here in Michigan. I remember him warning me how much this trip was going to change me. When I came back from the two week trip, Glenn was always someone I could talk to about culture shock. He and Elaine were so excited to see me go to Africa for a longer term and sent me beautiful cards before I went encouraging me to surrender everything to God, so He could plan the trip. When I worked in another Starbucks after coming home, Glenn and Elaine still kept track of me.

Tuesday I had the opportunity to go and see Elaine. When the door opened, I saw my sister in Christ missing the love of her life. I saw the loneliness and the void. Elaine told me how much Glenn loved his coffee stops and how much he loved the staff. She encouraged me by saying how much he loved talking about Africa with me, because it helped him remember his trip.

This week I have been paying more attention to the 2 minutes I connect with a customer each day, but it goes beyond that. How are the 2 minutes you spend with your family in the morning? How are the 2 minutes you spend with the checkout employee at the store? How are the 2 minutes you spend with God on your drive to work each day? I never realized how important those two minutes were, until this week. After going to visitation tonight, it was clear how important they were to Glenn, because his children knew about his coffee stops.

Today Elaine walked into Starbucks without Glenn, but she wasn't alone. Because of all the 2 minutes we have spent with her, she is family and together we will journey through each day on earth until we get to see Glenn in heaven again.