Meet Tom. He seems very middle-of-the-road, average. He works at Walgreens on the corner of Lake City Road and 145th in Seattle. His till is never off by even a penny. He greets every customer with the same inflection, offers the daily special, and then rings up the purchase. “Our daily special is two for five dollars…” There is no conviction in how he presents the options. If you say yes, he’ll ring up the purchase as if it were completely your idea. If you say no, he continues as if the conversation never happened.
After work, Tom dons a pair of large headphones that play Gregorian chant to drown out the city while he takes a bus during the wet months. In the summer, he walks the three miles to his one bedroom apartment. This summarizes Tom’s life for the last ten years.
“Our daily special is two cookies for three dollars.”
Go ahead, ask him something. “Are they any good?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never tried them.”
You pick them up and add them to the lot. Good job.
Later, Tom ends his shift. As he passes the counter with the cookies under the sign “Daily Special,” he swipes a package and slips it in his pocket. The checker doesn’t even notice. She never looks at Tom.
The next day, Tom fails to show up for his shift and no one remembers the last time they saw him.