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The Compassionate Barista

My indispensable Starbucks travel mug disappeared in transit between the Marriot Wardman Hotel in Woodley Park Washington and the Southwest gate at Reagan National.

Probably left in the rear hatch of the taxi when the driver took out my backpack with mug attached. Improbably when the TSA gang scrutinized the backpack for what seemed hours.

Anyway, the great looking white mug with handle made for this Parkie –who has little feel left in his hands– had seemingly vaporized.

Compared to the urgency of joining my wife in Tampa as Hurricane Irma approached Florida, the missing mug was a footnote to a very anxious travel day. (Last plane to Tampa that Friday.)

After Irma passed with no damage to our home, I began he Web search for a replacement mug. No luck.

Plenty of handsome Starbucks mugs, but none exactly like mine with a handle.

Plan B was to visit local Starbucks stores in Tampa seeking the mug. My wife and I split the list.

My first stop was the Starbucks on Bruce B Downs Boulevard across from the University of South Florida campus in northeast Tampa.

Bingo!

There it was on the shelf with other mugs. In black, not white.

No matter. I was soon to be back in the mug business.

I asked the barista in charge whether she might have it in white. No luck.

I told her my woeful story.

I went to my CX-9 to get my wallet. I handed my MasterCard to the barista for payment on the black mug.

No, she said. “It’s on us. You lost yours.”

Presumably, mine was an Irma story for her.

She disappeared into the back of the store before I could properly thank her (Her name I do not know.)

I left a Jackson in the tip jar and walked out with a Grande Pike’s Place.

Never had Starbucks coffee tasted better. Nor my loyalty to Starbucks been stronger.

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