Don’t get me wrong, the Dunkin’ Donuts on Comm. Ave, conveniently located next to White Mountain, does not have the most efficient customer service. There are two registers, yet never in my two years of frequent visits have I ever actually seen two employees working the registers. Therefore, if you decide you desperately need a coffee and two-dozen munchkins at 11 AM on a Saturday, you will be forced to wait in a line that winds all the way back to the front window. Sometimes they forget to ring you up, and sometimes they will give you a completely different drink than you ordered. I have also learned that they do not understand what sweetened iced tea is, despite the fact that it is on the menu.
Despite all that should deter me from visiting the Dunkin’ Donuts on Comm. Ave, I continually find myself making trips across the street, usually more than twice a week. It’s not just because their coffee is considerably cheaper than Hillside, and doesn’t taste like a combination of lighter fluid and gasoline like the coffee they sell at the Chocolate Bar.
What the Dunks on Comm. Ave lacks in efficiency, it makes up for in character. While they don’t have the most organized customer service, they do have the most lovable team of employees I’ve ever come across. If you have ever gone to this particular Dunks and paid attention to who is serving you your coffee, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Here are a few people to keep your eye out for:
Clarence. Clarence is my personal favorite employee. He must be well over six feet tall and reminds me vaguely of Big Mike from The Blind Side. He once asked my friend if he put enough sugar in her coffee, but before she could answer said, “Never mind, you don’t need anymore sugar. You’re sweet enough.”
Another favorite is Fredya, who reminds me a little bit of my grandmother, but has more kick than the coffee that she makes. She’s a lot of energy for a small woman, and if the store is relatively empty, she’ll often take a moment to chat and laugh at all my bad jokes.
Last, but definitely not least, is Lenz. You may recognize him by the black knit hat underneath his Dunkin’ Donuts visor. He doesn’t say much to me when I order, but he’s charismatic all the same. He’s also never gotten my order wrong, so he earns major points for that.
So the next time you go into the Dunkin’s on Comm. Ave, forget about the fact that you’ve been waiting 10 minutes in the corner for your small iced coffee, or that their donut selection is mediocre. Instead, take note of the people behind the counter. You might start to appreciate the personalities that take your order, and maybe, like me, you’ll start looking forward to seeing their faces.