Mondays are long days.
Not just because they’re Mondays, but because I run in the morning, work a full day at the store, then drive an hour to coach my college dance team and drive home. I pull into the driveway at midnight which is well past my old-geezer bedtime these days.
This Monday was particularly tiresome. I had to squeeze a meeting in between work and practice which robbed me of dinner time so after practice I stopped at the only place open at 11pm that was quick: Dunkin Donuts.
At the drive through window I scanned the menu.
DD Employee: Welcome to Dunkin Donuts! How can I help you?
Me: Hi, um, do you still have the Apple Orchard donut?
DD: *Super happily* Yes, we do!
Me: Oh good, I’ll take one of those. And do you have chocolate frosted with sprinkles?
(Dinner of champions, I know.)
DD: *Even more happily* Yes, we do!
Me: Great! Ok I’ll take those two, aaaand, do you have vanilla or chocolate cream donuts?
(I only asked because they were listed on the menu, I didn’t really expect them to have them.)
DD: *Sadly* No, I’m sorry we don’t.
Me: Ah well, that’s ok.
DD: Do you feel like a donut with filling? We do have a new apple-filled donuts!
Me: Oh, yes I’ve tried that one, it was good, but I think I’ll pass. I really miss the Oreo filled donuts, they were the best!
(Yes, this conversation is happening via drive through.)
DD: Would you like one of the regular ones? I can’t make a filled one, but I can make you one of the regular ones!
(Did she just offer to make me a donut? Employee of the year award)
Me: Oh, no that’s ok! Thank you though. I think I’ll just stick with those two. And can I get an Oreo Coolata?
(Again, dinner fit for a Queen right here.)
DD: Of course! Whipped Cream?
Me: Yes, please!
DD: Ok, drive on up!
I ease on the brake and trundle up to the window, reflecting on my day that had been long and unexpectedly emotional (another story, another blog post…). I stop at the window, roll down my window, and reach for my wallet. When I turned to look up at the drive through window, I am greeted by a glorious sight.
A smiling Dunkin Donuts employee handing me my Oreo Coolata that doesn’t just have whipped cream on top of it, it has whipped cream piled through the hole on the lid, teetering skyward, topped with sprinkled Oreo crumbs.
DD: I gave you extra whipped cream since we didn’t have any filled donuts and I knew you wanted one!
I am not kidding you, I almost burst into tears.
Call it PMS, call it the result of not just a long day, but a long month, call it stress or exhaustion or whatever, but at that moment, that was just about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I could think of nothing more I wanted than to lick up all that whipped cream.
I managed to control my joyful tears and thank this employee profusely for her kindness.
ME: Really, you just made my whole day, thank you so much!
Sometimes it seems like you’re carrying a really heavy pack on your shoulders. Worry, fear, stress…often times over things you can’t control or are already doing everything you can about…
Sometimes the hardest part of carrying this pack is realizing just how heavy the pack is, taking a moment to take stock of your life and what you have on your plate.
Sometimes what causes that realization is when you find yourself crying over extra whipped cream in your car at 11:30pm on a Monday night.
Thank you, Dunkin Donuts employee, for giving me exactly what I needed, not just extra whipped cream, but a little extra attention, a little extra care, and an encouraging smile when I needed it most!