I liked the simple, no overwrought explanation style that I used once before. Some stories can stand alone. This feels like one of those.
Part one: I get bored at work. If I think I can get away with it, I will often scribble things on orders. Sometimes I will crank out a quick smiley face complete with shades; my signature, if you will. I have been known to write, “from your fan club” or ranted on their container about how I tried valiantly to keep their food from misbehaving but it was having a case of the Mondays.
Customer names are no different. I have accused one person of being, “the slayer of evil and the doer of good”. Extra vowels get thrown in. In short, I try to inject a little personality into their day-to-day order without offending anyone.
Part two: There was a customer, let us call her Zelda, who lost her child, who we will call Franz, about a year ago. We are not talking an old person who watched their offspring grow to adulthood. I doubt that Franz was more than ten. I do not know the specifics because Zelda never told me story. It was one of those pieces of information that get shared around to encourage understanding.
A few months ago, probably around the holidays, I told her that I often thought of her and what she had gone through. I have not experienced that kid of loss myself, but I know plenty (too many) mothers that have. I hugged her, she thanked me, and it never really came up again.
Part three: Zelda came in yesterday. As I was writing down her order, she shared this information:
“You know, I never told you about the last time you wrote my drink. I was sitting in a meeting and somebody said, ‘What is that written on your cup?’ And it said, ‘Zelda the Mighty. Rawr!’”
I remembered writing it, but did not attribute any special meaning to it. Perhaps I had read a Thor comic that week. “Mighty” felt like the word to write that day. She is not a particularity warrior-esque figure. I had the pen, I had the order; I went for it. To prove my wacky nature, I wrote an even longer description on her cup yesterday.
I was just clocking off and she caught me over in the corner.
“You know, my son? My family always called him Franz the Mighty. So that name has a special meaning to me.”
I hugged her and we went about our days.