A barista was so sick of rude customers he found an ingenious way to make them more polite

via WDBJ7

If you've ever worked in customer service — especially as a server or barista — you know how rude people can be. Just because you're behind the counter or taking their order somehow makes you less of a human being.

It's often said that a great way to judge someone's character is how they treat their server. Some folks try to act superior by talking down to them while those who have empathy understand their jobs are stressful and treat them like real people.


Three years ago, Austin Simms, a barista at CUPS Coffee & Tea in Roanoke, Virginia, came up with a brilliant way to remind people to be polite by hitting them right where it hurts: their pocket book.

RELATED: A stranger's shaming note about lawn care went viral. Their neighbors weren't having it.

Simms put up a sign outside of the cafe that make it known that rude people will be charged more for their small coffee:

via WDBJ7

The shop's sandwich board reads:

"One small coffee" $5.00

"One small coffee, please" $3.00

"Hello, I'd like one small coffee please." $1.75

via WDBJ7

"I decided, because I need to solve all the injustices of the world, to start charging more for people who didn't take the time to say hello and connect and realize we're all people behind the counter," Austin told WDBJ7.

The sign went up on a Sunday, the next day, it appeared in a newspaper in England, and then went viral on Reddit.

The cafe's owner, Olivia Byrd said that the higher prices were definitely a joke, and no one has been forced to pay $5 for a small cup of coffee. But she added that the the sign did its job, and the customers are a lot less rude to the baristas.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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