By Bob Groeneveld/Langley Advance Times
It was just four dollars and eight cents with a hug.
But it was a moment that Tammy Stauffer-Jacobsen believes she’ll remember for the rest of her life.
Stauffer-Jacobsen’s father-in-law had died a short while before, on April 17 – his 89th birthday – and she was feeling down after a “big funeral and a long process.”
Her father-in-law, Norman Jacobsen, was well known and widely loved. He was a mayor and alderman of Maple Ridge in the 1970s and 1980s, and served as MLA for the Dewdney constituency from 1986-91, managing two provincial cabinet posts during that time.
Dealing with it all had been “just a rough couple of weeks,” and when she dropped in to the Brookswood McDonald’s to get a cup of coffee for her husband and an iced coffee for herself, her lack of composure began to show.
The coffee order was okay, but when she started to order her iced coffee, she lost her words.
“I just had difficulty getting the words out,” she said.
She found herself apologizing to the young man behind the counter for stumbling over her words, and explained that she’d lost father-in-law and was having a rough time.
Then came the moment that touched her deeply: “He just whipped out his bank card and put it in the machine to pay for the coffee. I said, ‘No, no, no!’ but he insisted.”
Then he came out from behind the counter and gave her a hug.
“And his hug was so genuine,” said Stauffer-Jacobsen. “It was just $4.08, but it was such a kind gesture. It was so sweet of him. It took all of about five minutes, and it made such a difference to me.”
Brookswood McDonald’s manager Brandon Phillips wasn’t surprised to hear about the impact his young employee, Scott Farynuk, had made.
“That’s very consistent with Scott,” Phillips told the Langley Advance Times. “He cares a lot about our customers. He knows them all when they come in, and they all like him.”
Stauffer-Jacobsen was so impressed that she felt she had to share her experience with her Brookswood Facebook group… and the response was overwhelming. She said she got more than 600 likes in a matter of hours.
Phillips said that many customers have been coming in to tell them about the Facebook post.
They’ve also been calling the McDonald’s head office to tell them about their exemplary employee in Brookswood.
“I hope that my three children grow up to be like that young man,” said Stauffer-Jacobsen. “I’d like to hug his parents and tell them what a great job they did raising him.”