Thursday, June 09, 2005

On Me

Bunn Coffee Maker
Originally uploaded by Marinade Dave.
Back in the late seventies, early eighties, I owned a restaurant in New Jersey. I closed at 10 pm during the week, and would pretty much be there for another half hour or so cleaning up. I usually kept the doors unlocked until ready to walk out for the night, but I turned the outside sign off at 10. Once in a while, a wayward soul would come in and ask if we were still open and did we have any coffee left? After a while, the coffee gets pretty nasty and I would throw it out if I had made it hours earlier. Some nights, coffee's just not a big seller, especially during the summer months. Of course, late at night, when I'm closed anyway, I'm not about to make a fresh pot for that one customer who may or may not show up for a cup. Instead, I would run a pot of water through the Bunn-o-matic to get it hot and put it on the burner, just in case. If and when that person asked for a cup, I would say, well, we're really closed, but I have some instant I can make for you (unless the coffee that was left was still fresh enough.) Great! I'd make them a cup and say, no charge, my pleasure. Besides, the register's already locked up for the night. Of course, the coffee didn't cost all that much, but the individual half & half and sugar containers did, plus the to go cup. Oh well, I was always glad to help, and I never lost a customer for doing it. Don't know if I really made any new ones, either. They may have been truck drivers passing through who I might not ever see again, but it didn't matter. If they needed coffee that time of night, there must have been some reason for it and I was only happy to oblige.

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