about half an hour into our visit we heard a customer exclaim "fuck!" and then run out the door. i asked one of the baristas what had happened. apparently this customer had been sitting next to another customer all morning, talking about computers and software. when he went to the bathroom, the customer he'd been talking to took that opportunity to steal his computer and run across the street to hop on the metro. apparently a woman told a barista, "hey, when that guy gets out of the bathroom, let him know the guy he was talking to took his computer."
don't ask me why she waited until the computer was already stolen to draw attention to it.
but seriously - this was a horrendous thing to happen. i really feel for the guy who had his computer stolen. and unfortunately this sort of thing happens all the time, though i've never heard of it going down in this manner where you've been talking and getting to know the thief ahead of time. i think that must have truly added insult to injury - when the person you ask to watch your stuff while you use the bathroom is the one who in fact steals it. and the guy whose computer was stolen was taking it very hard as the computer had all his work for the past year and a half on it. he was crushed, on the verge of tears, just lingering in the cafe because he didn't know what else to do.
but even with an incident that can make you lose faith in humanity, there are those people who are shining examples of goodness who come through. and that's what happened today. another customer, after talking with the man whose computer was stolen, decided that he would buy another laptop to replace the one that had been pilfered. people in coffee bean were amazed. the good samaritan told the customer, "i can tell being without a computer to do your work will hurt you more than it will hurt me to spend the money to replace it."
as a barista i've seen some amazing acts of kindness between customers. i'm not sure i will ever see one to top this, but the knowledge there are kindhearted and good people out there helps keep me from being jaded. i'm glad to have witnessed such selfless act.