Tilefortlauderdale

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Suzy Donut Knows

The look on Suzy Donut's disgruntled little face can only mean that Obnoxious Al, a.k.a. Donut Hole, had arrived. Nearly every day, the cranky little suited man struts into into Z Donuts with that darned Bluetooth phone thing in his ear and barking out orders via phone to his secretary, while trying to order donut holes for his staffers. In addition to the donut holes, he always gets himself an apple fritter, a chocolate glazed and a giant latte.

To make matters worse, he consistently addresses Suzy as "Hey, doll" or "sweetie," which makes her cringe. My name, she tells him sternly each day, is Suzy Donut. Much as she despises the little man, Suzy Donut always puts additional munchkins, especially the chocolate glazed ones, in the box for his poor office staffers. She gives Donut Hole the smallest stalest apple fritter she can dig up, because he's such a miserable little man.

Suzy Donut has keen observational skills and a very sharp memory. As such, she knows a lot of things about a lot of people. She knows, for instance, the best bosses to work for in the town. She can tell by the way they order their donuts. Some rush in and demand a dozen of "whatever ya got" and don't even bother to say please or thank you.

Bossman Bill, from the oil change place down on the corner, arrives like clockwork every morning and orders a strawberry sprinkle for Elroy, a jelly donut for Bobby and a cinnamon for Johnny, because those are their favorite donuts ... On Fridays he gets them the big box o' java too. His order never changes because his employers never leave. They like him. Bill's a very good boss.

Then there's Barry, a retiree who arrives every Saturday morning to pick up chocolate donuts and a vanilla latte for his wife Lou Ann. She could tell he was a good man. One Saturday Suzy finally got to meet the pampered Lou Ann ... You know, your husband really loves you, she told Lou Ann, who smiled and laughed and agreed. Suzy enjoys sharing her little insights when she feels like it's the right thing to do.

Another regular, Mr. Joe, has his clients meet him at Z Donuts, as if it were his own personal office. He has his papers spread out all around his laptop ... even has a picture of his kids in a frame. He buys each potential client a cup of coffee and a donut of their choice and then tries to get them to sign on the dotted line of a contract Suzy Donut knows no one in their right mind should sign. She always shoots his clients a look that says just that ... she raises her eyebrows and turns up that one side of her mouth and shakes her head back and forth. (For the full effect, do this while looking into a mirror) .... It works every time. The dishonest Mr. Joe can't understand why no one is falling for his dishonest sales pitches anymore.

Suzy's no barista. Don't call her that or she might slug ya. Not really, but she thinks the term is way too pretentious for a place like Z Donuts. She does take her job seriously. While sharing her insights is her favorite part, Suzy Donuts loves pouring coffee and hawking donuts, which she'll tell you are just as important as the coffee. She knows better than anyone that there's an art to ordering donuts. Some people do it with love and others try to rush through it as though they were filling up their car with gas.

Ordering donuts, she contends, is not something you rush through. It's something you think about long before you arrive in the donut shop, and even then you order the donuts slowly, thoughtfully and intuitively .... The experience cannot be clouded up with barking Donut Holes on cell phones, and anxiety and chaos. During the moment the final donut selections are made, nothing else should matter but that. Suzy Donut's got all the time in the world for that ....

Suzy Donut is in the ladies room at Dunkin Donuts at Southland Shopping Center on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale. She's hiding out in there because she had a few too many Donut Holes on cell phones to deal with this morning.

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