Yesterday, my boss and I were trying to attend a meeting. I say trying because when we arrived at the main office, the person we hoped to corral was about to head into another meeting.
“Hey, how about I buy you a coffee?” my boss asked as we left.
My kind of consolation prize.
“Sure,” I said.
The spring sun shone. The golden-green pear trees lining Cota Street bloomed in glorious splendor. A skinny older man in sunglasses, high-waisted jeans and a safety orange sweatshirt hailed my companion.
“Hey, how’s it going?”
The stranger-to-me hurried over, pushing an ancient 10-speed in front of him. They exchanged greetings and chewed the fat together, man to man, for a few minutes.
“Hey, can you buy me a drip coffee?” the man asked. He put a cigarette to his lips. “Just black, no sweet stuff.”
“Sure, I can do that,” the boss said.
I learned that this guy – let’s call him Joe – has been “bugging” my boss for years. He hangs out at the construction projects and offers advice. He’s a groupie of sorts. He lives with his mom and she gives him money to gamble with at the local casino.
“Joe’s a character,” he told me, shaking his head, as we left the coffee shop. The grin on his face told me how much he loved him. The gift of a coffee told me, too.