My second year of college, my friend and I carpooled together just about every day. Our classes got out at the same time, so she would ride with me and we would usually meet her father somewhere in town for lunch. One of our favorite places to go back then was Wendy’s. And at the particular Wendy’s we went to, there was one particular cashier that you couldn’t help but love. She was an older black lady with short gray hair. She was short in stature, but had a rather large personality. It didn’t take me long to realize that most people, at least her regular customers, called her by her first name, and she seemed to know most of theirs, as well. My friend always went to Wendy’s because she liked the food, but Miss Stacie quickly became my reason.
We hadn’t been going there long when I began to notice that Miss Stacie had memorized my order. I am a rather boring person who tends to order the same thing every time, so it didn’t take her long to start greeting me with, “You want your nuggets and a potato”? But a year later, I transferred to a different school and I wasn’t able to go to Miss Stacie’s Wendy’s near as often. However, the next time I went in about six months later, I discovered that it didn’t matter how long it had been since the last time I was there. Miss Stacie still remembered anyway. When I walked through that door and up to her counter, she said, “Where you been? You want your nuggets and a potato…and…sweet tea”? And to this day, she still remembers, no matter how long it’s been.
One time, while I was eating my lunch, a customer walked in that Miss Stacie had not seen in years. The second she saw him, she began to scream as though the building were on fire and then proceeded to jump up and down as though she herself were on fire. She then flung open the door, run around the corner, and gave him the kind of hug you might give someone if you knew that that was going to be their last day on planet earth. She then just kept repeating, “I can’t believe it’s you. I can’t believe it’s you. I can’t believe it’s you. I haven’t seen you in years. I can’t believe it’s you.” When is the last time a cashier has greeted you that way?
It’s been nearly a year since I’ve seen Miss Stacie, and I hope to be able to make it back sometime soon. Miss Stacie is the kind of person that makes the world go ‘round. She takes pride in what she does, and it isn’t hard to notice. But most of all she finds joy in putting a smile on customers’ faces. She seems to forget that she’s a cashier in a popular fast-food restaurant chain, and it’s almost like you’re a guest in her own kitchen. If only more people took on her attitude, this world would be a much better place.