Today I had to pop into London to sort out an issue I had with a camera I had recently purchased. Whilst waiting for the shop to open I decided to pop into Pret A Manger in Carnaby Street for a quick bite to eat and a coffee. Once the food selection had been made, unusually quick for me it has to be said, there was a small queue to join. Entertainment of sorts was provided by the middle age couple in front of me having some serious words with each other, whilst trying to keep very quiet and be very British about their minor tiff.
I had chosen a bacon, cheese and chicken toastie and was waiting for my turn to be called to order the ubiquitous large latte, thinking with some small measure of middle class guilt that perhaps I should have tried to find an independent coffee house. You know the type we all dream of where the staff know your name and have your particular brand of caffeine fix ready before the words “large double mocha choc-ca latte Americano please” issues forth from your parched lips. I mean who really wants to go into one of these soleless corporate chains stores if you really had the choice. Well after today and the events that transpired I will happily choose Pret whenever I need my next caffeine fix.
The queue started moving and very shorty I was called over by a smartly dressed chap, who to me looked like the manager,
“welcome sir, what can I do for you today” he asked, ‘errm well just this sandwich and a large latte to drink in please”, I replied.
The next words to come from my mid-morning purveyor of chicken based snack and caffeine beverage really took me by surprise, put a huge smile on my face and well just gave me a happy feeling for the rest of the day.
“I tell you what sir, please have the coffee free with my compliments, I just love your shirt (I was wearing my particular favorite, the pink floral number) and on this rainy dull day you have brightened up the place”.
Of course I gratefully accepted and didn’t stop smiling for a long time after. So the lesson of the tale for me today is, don’t judge the book by its cover etc etc, there are lovely nice kind people all over the place. Oh yes and don’t get rid of the flowery shirts.
So my heartfelt thanks to the chap serving me in Pret A Manger in Carnaby Street, not only for the free coffee and delicious toastie but also for making me smile the whole day. Oh and not forgetting of course letting me take his picture.