The Joe I know

The last time I saw Lauren (my sister) and Joe (her husband) is when we were all in Hawaii for Christmas 2005.

Although Joe had been to Hawaii a couple times prior, he had yet to experience all things quintessentially local. A visit to Zippy's - restaurant and bakery extraordinary - was definitely in order.

Our lunch stop started out uneventfully enough. We ordered at the counter and found a small booth in which to sit and eat. Then, halfway through the meal Joe gets up, empty cup in hand, and leaves the table without a word. Moments later he returns with a full beverage and continues his meal.

I was confused. Very uncharacteristically of myself I had conserved my own drink because Zippy's didn't have a self-serve beverage fountain, nor did they offer free refills (yes, I'm that cheap.) Joe hadn't taken his wallet with him when he got up, so how did he end up with a full cup? Upon inquiry Joe explained he simply walked up to the girl at the counter and told her that he had paid for a cup of root beer, not a cup of ice. She promptly filled his cup and apologized for the inconvenience.

I've told that story more times than I can remember. I was so surprised by Joe's simple approach. While I would've sat at the table and whined (maybe only internally, maybe not) about the amount of ice displacing potential Diet Coke in my cup, Joe thought nothing of remedying the situation. How very logical, . . . and memorable - enough so that Courtney and I bought him an A&W t-shirt months later in commemoration of his stand-up performance.

And then again . . .

Earlier this week Joe and I made an emergency trip to Best Buy. He needed a new computer and had only a couple of hours before he boarded a plane for Arizona. The laptop that appealed to him was sold out, with only the display model available at an additional discount. It would come with no box and no manual. No big deal- all the computer info is available online and the box just ends up in the recycling bin. I would've been content to accept the situation as it was, but not Joe. Instead he turned it to his advantage by quickly asking the sales guy for a discount on a computer bag, since the laptop didn't come with a box. The sales guy obliged and Joe bought a laptop.

Once again Joe left me astounded and remembering that to get what you want, sometimes all you have to do is ask.

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