Thursday, August 15, 2013


I stopped at McDonalds this morning.  As I waited to order, I watched as the clerk filled the order of a man standing next to me.  She sat his large coffee on his tray and then turned to start the next task.  He stopped her, saying, "When you put the lid on my coffee, did you cover it with your hand?"  He was concerned that she had touched the portion of the lid where he would be drinking.

"Honestly, sir, I don't remember.   Would you like me to replace the lid?"

He nodded assent, and she took his coffee, removed the lid and replaced it with another one, careful to only snap it into place by touching the edges.  She brought it back to the tray and apologized.  He said, "Whenever I see someone do that, I always say something."  His tone was self-righteous.

The clerk was embarrassed, and made to feel both incompetent and dirty.  When he walked off, she walked over to the sink and washed her hands.

I ask you...was it really important enough to the running of the day for that man to comment on how she had done her job?  He could have wiped off the lid.  He could have (unseen) tossed the lid and asked for another one.  Truthfully, he could have ignored the whole thing -- the hot coffee would have killed anything potentially harmful.  He really has no idea who else has touched the cup or the lid, how clean the pot was when the coffee was made, or even what nasty creatures are already living in his mouth.  For him, the value found in commenting and in having the lid replaced outweighed the hurt he inflicted on the clerk.  I imagine he didn't even consider the harmful consequences of what he was saying.

This post sounds judgmental; I'm feeling judgmental, and that is my confession.  I hope I am reminded that all of our actions have consequences, and part of loving each other is remembering that.



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