The saying ‘What goes around comes around’ showed itself to be true at Starbucks. Last week, I dropped into my regular Starbucks location for lunch and work on a file. As I’m sitting down, my attention is drawn to a young south Asian man. He seems drunk as he lowers his pants and lifts his shirt while repeating ‘stomach empty, hungry’.
It appeared that the Starbucks customers were getting disturbed and didn’t know how to deal with this man approaching them. I mentioned it to Starbucks staff who seemed to be taken aback and also weren’t sure how to handle the situation. To manage the situation before it escalated, I approached the man and asked, “How you doing?”.
The young man’s reply was the same line ‘stomach empty, hungry’. I straight out asked him, if he had been drinking, to which his reply was the same as before. I pulled out some money, looked at him in the eye and said ‘take this and buy yourself lunch across the parking lot. Make sure you take care of yourself.’ He was very grateful and kept thanking me. I repeated, ‘Just take care of yourself. Go. Go take care of yourself’. I had to repeat it a couple of times.
As he was leaving, I realized that I had seen that man around the neighbourhood before. In fact, a few years ago, I had given him some money to help me with some handy work on a property.
I had forgotten about the whole incident. Then, yesterday, I found myself at the same Starbucks. As I’m ordering my sandwich, the supervisor, Bonny comes over. Calling me by my first name she says, “I want to thank you for what you did last week. The manager was here and we saw the whole thing.”. At first I didn’t realize what she was talking about.
Then she reminded me about the incident. I wasn’t expecting her to say, “You handled that situation really well for us. Richard (the manager), didn’t think you should have to buy him lunch, so he wanted me to give you a free lunch and drink”. I may not be getting every word exact, but it is basically what she said and she went on to explain how it made a big difference to the other customers.
It left me speechless. Not only hadn’t I realized that anyone really noticed, but that it would affect anyone beyond the hungry young man. All I could say was “thank you, but you don’t have to pay for my lunch”. Bonny wouldn’t have it any other way and insisted that the lunch was on Starbucks.
That’s when I realized the extend to which Starbucks is wanting to build a community, an environment of support, in which customers can come and feel that Italian ‘piazza’ atmosphere. A place where you can feel free to talk about anything and build relationships with others that may rely on Starbucks for their morning jolt, snack, temporary office station, meeting point or just to get out of the home or office.
Over the last day, I’ve thought about all the friends and business acquaintances I’ve met at Starbucks. Some I’ve done business with, others I’ve exchanged wisdom. They’ve included aspiring authors, film producers, e-commerce entrepreneurs, students, teachers, crypto-currency traders, business owners, and many more that don’t come to mind right now.
It is up to you and I to build our community or communities and we need to be engaged and pro-active to make it happen.
One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that you can give a glass of water to two different people and the impact can be totally different between the two. Give a man in a river a glass of water and he wouldn’t appreciate it. However, give a man in the desert a glass of water and he will remember it for life. It may have saved his life.
The glass of water is an analogy for needs that those around us may have. That young man in the Starbucks had a need for lunch because he was hungry. To him it was the most important thing, something he needed to go on. To everyone else, perhaps it would have been unneeded calories.
For the Starbucks staff, my gesture was needed because they may not have been equipped to handle the situation without escalation and potentially bad publicity. For that they were greatly appreciated.
And for me… my glass of water was being recognized by name and acknowledged for making a difference to others. You see, I needed that this week, perhaps as much as that young man needed his lunch. We all have a tough time when we question the things we do and the value we add to others. Sometimes, getting acknowledge is our glass of water in the desert. Remember that today, look around you, and ask yourself who needs a glass of water!
That is the main reason why I’m sharing this with you. Another reason is that as important as this sort of thing is, the main street media will not likely mention it. At a time when our attention is being diverted to political mud-slinging, scandals, shootings and other discouraging activities, we need to see more of these unspoken acts.
I thank Bonny, Richard and the wonderful staff at the Kennedy Commons Starbucks (in Agincourt) for their service, support and importantly their glass of water in the desert.
#CBC #GLOBALNEWS #GLOBALNEWSTO #CITYTV #AM640 #CP24 #TORONTOSUN
Demand Street! Absolutely Gorgeous 4 Bedroom Backsplit on Child-Friendly Crescent With 3 Separate Entrances! Immaculate – Neutral Decor, Quality Finishes Throughout This Much Loved Family Home. Updated Kitchen and Bathrooms, Pot Lights, Crown Moulding. Second kitchen = Potential In-Law Suite. Large Pantry Is Pantry is Plumbed for Second Laundry. Top-Ranked Agincourt Collegiate Institute Footprint. Beautiful Back Deck and Gazebo. Mature Landscaping. Must Be Seen! Walk to TTC Midland Route (Minutes to Midland LRT Station) and Kennedy Routes (Takes You to Kennedy Subway Station), and Go Station (Agincourt Go Station). Havendale Park (with baseball field and playground is about 1 minute walk away. Donalda Park (Where Famous Agincout Flower Originated) with mature forest and majestic is weeping willows is a walk away. Tam O’Shanter Golf Course nearby.
Lot: Approximately 54 ft Wide
Open House Saturday, May 27, 2016 from 2-4 p.m. If you can, please call ahead of time to let me know you’re coming.
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Toronto real estate seems to have become a status symbol for the rich from especially China, but also India, the Middle East and the U.S.A. The first sign I saw of this is when the condominiums were being built on Yorkville Ave between Avenue Road and Bay Street. That block has been the heart of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for decades. Many celebrities and members of the jet-set were very family with the area and fell in love with Toronto. But, during the festival good accommodation becomes impossible to find, especially if you haven’t booked months in advance. So, it just makes sense for the celebrities to buy their own condo unit or home.
At one point, the developers realized that the international jet-set was becoming more interested in Toronto and that the inventory of appropriate high-end accommodation was not keeping up. So, the major hotels in and around Yorkville went through redevelopment. The Miklas family (real estate developers who have developed many properties in Toronto and Markham) who owned the old monastery property on the north side of Yorkville Avenue on west of Bay Street were part of that redevelopment. They took their horseshoe shaped property and built a two story residential condominium complex with units geared for the rich and starting at several million dollars. The project sold out.
That was a few years ago and it seemed to have become the in thing for Hollywood and New York celebrities to buy homes in Toronto, especially in the Yorkville area.
In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that parts of Toronto, especially, believe it or not, Agincourt has become a status symbol for mainland Chinese looking to invest in Toronto real estate. The buyers seem to be very much aware of the neighbourhood they are buying into, the schools, etc. However, they don’t seem to realize the value of properties and it seems that they are paying more than they have to to purchase a home in that neighbourhood. I was involved in a bidding war on one property whereby I was told we didn’t get the house because the highest offer was $100,000 more than the next highest offer. Overkill?
The think about status symbols is that the rich, who sometimes have more money that sense, don’t consider the value of the investment or the return on that investment. Their motivation is about being able to tell their family, friends and others that they own a home in Toronto. How do Torontonians compete with that?
This wooden, custom-built children’s clubhouse located in the sought after neighbourhood of Agincourt in Toronto is one of a kind. It was designed and built in an afternoon by the father of three children, who also happens to own a cabinetry manufacturing company in Toronto. Though his intention was to trim it and add a shingled room, his wife discouraged any changes as she liked the rustic character.
The clubhouse grabs your attention as you enter the yard. Children immediately run to it and find it a great play space for role playing and pretend parties.
Backyard Club Houses, Tree Houses, Sheds and other structures are great ways to improve your home lifestyle. Some of these structures, depending on their design and benefits can add some noticeable value to a property. A unique structure like this appeals to parents wanting to give their children something special.
Beyond the clubhouse itself, its character provides a reference point by which the rest of the yard can be laid out, decorated and landscaped.
If you’re interested in this type of clubhouse, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.