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Friday, October 22, 2010

Random Kindness

Recently I went through the drive-thru of Potbelly's for lunch. I had a five and a ten dollar bill in my wallet. The total was $5.83 so I took out the five and then went to get change. After rifling through my coins I discovered that I had more pennies than anything, so I decided to forget giving exact change. I sat mindlessly, listening to the radio and getting lost in my thoughts when the cashier opened the window. I handed her the money in my hand. She paused, then asked me if I had the change. "How did she know I planned to give exact change?" I thought to myself. I told her "Not enough to worry about". She looked puzzled, then nicely said "OK, don't worry about it. Your order will be up in a minute". I wondered why she said not to worry about it, but then didn't give it another thought. What would there be for me to worry about it? But I would appreciate my change, I thought. After a few seconds, I began to get a little antsy, wondering what was taking her so long to give me my change. As the seconds continued to pass, I couldn't imagine what was the problem. Suddenly my brain decided to function and in a panic I looked into my wallet, where a lone $10 bill sat. I realized that the cashier didn't give me change because I shorted her by $0.83! I'd forgotten to switch the $5 for a $10 when I discovered how low I was on change. I frantically search the bottom of my purse and dug up 83 cents. I try to get her attention, but she was busy. Finally she opens the window and with a broad smile hands me my order. I clumsily explain my misunderstanding, apologize, and thank her profusely for being nice enough to overlook my "lack" of money.

This little event made my day. Number one, I had to laugh at myself and how I must have come across to the cashier. What an idiot? And I had the nerve to be impatient (in my mind) with her. Then I was struck by her kindness. Not once did she seem annoyed or irritated, though she had a customer not giving her enough money and then saying that it wasn't enough to worry about. If I were in her shoes, I probably would have politely recommended removing the drink from my order since I couldn't pay. But most of all, in an age where people are rude and uncaring it was refreshing to have someone be so nice. I left there with a resolve to do something nice for someone else.

How about you? What is one thing you can do to brighten someone elses day?

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