Dunkin’ Donuts employee rescues a loyal customer who went missing

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Sometimes customer service goes beyond a smile. Sometimes it involves saving a life. That’s what two employees of a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise proved recently.

Megan Schriner, 18, and 27-year-old Danielle Hastings work at a Dunkin’ Donuts together in Lisbon, Ohio. This franchise, like any good small business, has its share of regular customers. One of them is 73-year-old Gary Phillips who came into the restaurant every day for donuts and coffee. As any good employee, both Schriner and Hastings got to know their loyal customer to always remember that he likes six (OK, it’s now down to five) extra pumps of vanilla beans in his Coolatta. That’s definitely good customer service. But the service recently got much, much better.

Last week Phillips didn’t show up as usual. Then he didn’t show up on his birthday–a day the employees already knew about and had planned to give him a cake (they also knew that his wife had passed away last summer). After a week went by Schriner and Hastings began to get worried. “We knew something was wrong,” Schriner told the Salem News. “We kept telling him, ‘Remember you’ve got to be here Thursday for your birthday.’ ”

Hastings, who knew where Phillips lived because she once bumped into him with her children when trick-or-treating, decided to get to the bottom of his mysterious disappearance. She visited his home but no one came to the door. When she went around to his bedroom window calling out his name, she heard him call out back to her. Phillips had fallen and couldn’t get up. He had been in that predicament for days.

She helped him to the hospital and Phillips is recovering and, will hopefully be back in his seat enjoying a delicious Coolatta sometime soon.

“That’s what taking the time to get to know your customers results in,” someone commented on the Salem News article. “Compassion, love and a caring soul.”

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