Campus Dining at Stony Brook is an incredible thing. It somehow manages to find a balance between repetitiveness and chaos. The menu items never change, but the quality of the food varies from day to day and from person to person.
Now this isn’t meant to generalize and say that the employees of our dining establishments do their job poorly. Things happen, people make mistakes and if I have a bad experience, the people serving me are rarely the reason why.
But this past month, something changed. The one constant in my daily routine, the pick-me-up that I could always count on, went missing. Pure Leaf Peach Tea, my favorite drink available to buy here, disappeared without a trace. This left me in a predicament which was, as the bottle says, “not
I don’t drink soda; growing up my parents never bought it for my sister and I, so I never developed a taste for it. I drink water, coffee and iced tea. Of the available iced teas on campus, Brisk and Pure Leaf, I only like Pure Leaf. Of the flavors offered, I only like peach and raspberry. Call me picky, but I think the peach flavor is the only one that doesn’t taste wholly artificial and overly sweetened. I buy it a lot.
When my favorite beverage was suddenly out of reach, I was a bit flustered. My meals were less enjoyable, and my trips to the West Side Grab and Go were filled with nervous angst. I had a similar feeling while the opening credits of “The Force Awakens” were rolling, unsure if I was about to be extremely happy or sullen and disappointed.
This went on for about a week, before an employee noticed me scouting out the restock and asked me if I was looking for anything. Spoiler alert: I was, and it wasn’t there. This man, Bill, who I never would have bothered about this, told me that he was sorry to hear about my predicament and that he would do everything he could to get me what I wanted. He did so in an unbelievable example of customer care: he offered me his personal cell phone number and said that he would call me if they stocked the tea I liked again. Later that week, he approached me and handed me a bottle of peach-flavored Honest Tea, which was quite good. He had purchased it while grocery shopping. Bill deserves a promotion.
After another week and a half, I began to lose hope. I looked online to see if Pure Leaf was affordable to order, only to find that for some obscene reason it costs $86 for one dozen of peach teas on Amazon. But then one night, my friends and I went to West and looked upon the once-barren shelves to find them stocked with my flavor! I bought all ten before I told my friends they were there. I let them have only two.
It was a long, not-so-hard-fought journey of thirst, but I finally have my tea once again. Since its return, a little bit of balance has been restored to my routine, even if it is just for these last few weeks before summer and I’m thankful for that.
I raise my glass to whomever is responsible for getting the tea stocked again… or at least I would if I wasn’t drinking it right from the bottle.