On a work trip to Nordstrom HQ from the Denver office last year, I had a short break for lunch and decided to eat in the Cafe at Nordstrom Store #1. I approached the counter to get a table, not realizing that at the Cafe you were supposed to order first, and they would bring your order to your table. I walked back to where the menus were and stood examining one.

Moments later I got a tap on the shoulder, “I’m really sorry; are you in line here?” It was Blake.

“Uh, no. Go ahead, Blake.” I’m sure for Blake it wasn’t so unexpected to be recognized in Store #1 in Seattle. Maybe he would have been a bit more impressed had he been in Park Meadows (here in Denver). For Seattle employees, it probably wasn’t any big deal to run into Blake either. For me visting from Denver, it was a huge deal.

I was just struck by how he really seemed very apologetic to be interrupting me and how unassuming he was. I do, though, regret that I missed my chance to say to him, “How about you just wait your turn, bub?”

Benjamin Rice