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Repentant Customer Surprises Barista With Gift (Photos)

| by Denise Recalde

A barista at Starbucks was truly surprised on March 21 when a customer returned to apologize for behaving poorly the day before.

Andrew Richardson, 20, was amazed to receive a handwritten card and a $50 bill from a customer he had served the day before. He hadn't even thought she was that rude to him. 

"On the 20th, this woman, Debbie, came through the drive through while I was working. She was extremely pleasant, and we had some friendly conversation while her drinks were being made," wrote Richardson, of Bishop, California, ABC News reports. "She had multiple drinks, and we didn't have drink carriers. I informed her and she was a touch frustrated like anyone would be."

He also refused to throw away her trash, which vexed her even more.

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"I cannot do this because it would be a California health code violation," he explained. "She then became a bit more frustrated, but nothing that I would perceive as rudeness. At worst, she was playfully sassy. I really didn't think too much of it."

The barista went on with his day and quickly forgot about the event. 

"It was not a big deal at all in my eyes," he said. "Being in customer service you can experience a lot of negativity and frustration. I try and counter it with positivity and patience. This was an extremely mild interaction compared to other incidents."

But Debbie felt she had acted out of line.

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"The next day, she came back. I happened to walk by the window when she was there," Richardson recalled. "She asked me if I was working the window yesterday. I said 'yes.' She then became extremely apologetic. She felt genuinely terrible about our interaction the day before. I was so heart warmed to even get a verbal apology. It doesn't happen much.”

The two engaged in a conversation for a while and Richardson said her in person "genuine apology" made his day, but what followed next surprised him.

"She then handed me the card, [and] I was even more grateful and uplifted," he said. "I thanked her for another minute and she left."

He opened the gift card only after she left the coffee store, reports Fox News.

"I returned to it later, opened it, and I was completely shocked," he said of the gift of money. 

"Without the money, this was one of the most beautiful and heartfelt things I have ever read. It absolutely made my day when I read it. The money was unnecessary. The card alone was the best part. I would have turned the money down had I opened it when she was there. It's hard to take things like that."

Richardson's immediate supervisor allowed him to accept the money.

"She handed it to him in a personal card so of course he was able to keep it," said Angie Harris. "I think it was great. It’s always good to see those customer connections. We’re really proud of him."

"Nothing like this has ever happened, it's unprecedented," said the happy barista. "This was easily one of the kindest things I've ever received. I'm very happy to know that there are still good, caring people in this world. I'm still smiling about it."

Sources: ABC News, Fox News / Photo credit: Andrew Richardson via ABC News

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