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The Jar of Tea

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For many years I worked at a department store on the beach in Florida. I was supervisor of the Gifts Department. We sold all kinds of souvenirs of the beach and many other interesting gift items. Our base crew was about 12 people and our company was owned by a nice old Southern family. In the spring and summer, we trained 70 or so high school and college kids to work with us.

Every day I brought a mason jar of herbal tea I left in my office, which was also a supply closet, to decoct until lunch time. The other employees were fascinated by the jar, which held many herbs, oat straw and wheatgrass. They wondered if I actually ate the green stuff. It looked like a druid’s potion of some kind. They often questioned me about the contents.

If one of them came to work sick, the next day I would bring a decoction which I had adjusted ingredients and strained out the solids and told them it was Get Better Tea. They would drink it and say how terrible it was, although the next day they would be well. Even the assistant manager became a fan of the tea after she was made well by it.

One day I was in a hurry and didn’t quite get the jar on the shelf. It fell to the cement floor and broke into a thousand pieces. My manger told me he was sorry I broke my jar. I said, “I wanted that tea.”

He said kindly, “I’m sure you did.”

All day long people came up and told me how sorry they were that I broke my tea jar. It was surprising and endearing how many people thought so much of my jar of tea.

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