A Massachusetts teen was fired from 7-Eleven for giving a mug of coffee to a homeless man
In what comes as a fateful (and a tad ironic) outcome, she landed a new job within days—at a, get this: homeless-services organization.
19-year-old Ava Lins told Yahoo Shine “My lesson learned is that good deeds pay off”, adding “do what you believe is the right thing, and stand up for what you believe in. Only good things will come of it.”
“Do what you believe is the right thing, and stand up for what you believe in. Only good things will come of it.”
Ava, a hardworking teen has previously struggled with homelessness. So naturally, when she got down to talking with a homeless customer, who didn’t know where he was going to sleep on a particularly cold night, she identified with him and gave him a small cup of coffee.
Apparently, storeowner Romany Youseff appeared amidst the exchange, rudely confronting the man. He asked whether he had paid for the coffee, at which point Ava Lins lied, telling her boss that he did pay. She told the truth the following day and paid for the $1 coffee herself, but, she says, she was soon fired.
Almost penniless, she used social media and got in touch with local news stations to get her story told. She soon got a Facebook message from Citizens for Adequate Housing in Peabody. They said:
“Our mission is about restoring hope and dignity to homeless families, and what she was able to do with a simple cup of coffee was just that. It was very inspiring.” “We want more of that in the world.”
Strangely though, Youseff tells Yahoo Shine that she is “lying” and that he did not fire her.
Moving Beyond Face Value
At first glance, many will feel that this teenager displayed compassion and empathy by offering him coffee. It is also natural to write off the storeo wner as a cruel, stoic individual. But, is it really as simple as that?
It certainly isn’t. Based on reports, it appears as though the store owner showed up at the nick of time, he would have never known of the exchange had he not shown up. Had he not shown up, the coffee wouldn’t have been paid for. It’s a matter of principle - it matters little whether it’s $1 or $1000.
Moreover, how is the store owner to know whether this incident is isolated or whether Ava did this regularly? Ultimately, the store owner could get into trouble as well.
The banal but true adage applies: there are always three sides to a story – yours, theirs and --- the truth.