This past week has been pretty crazy, especially when it comes to keeping on top of school, work and everything in between. However, amongst the chaos, there was a glimmer of bright light on what seemed to be the worst day ever. This post is dedicated to those working men and women who even in 4 degree weather will do their best to help others.
On Wednesday morning, I woke up an hour and a half earlier than normal with the intention of heading into work early to get on top of some things that had fallen behind. Mind you, the night before I had been a complete panic over the day ahead of me and I wasn’t exactly thriving on sunshine and daisies when I got up.
My Wednesday started off typically: get up, shower, get dressed, and eat, then it’s out the door. I started my car without incident. I drove most of I-81 South from Scranton without dealing with the usual amount of stupidity. I saw a gorgeous sunrise. I started to feel like the day was going to be alright – and then it happened. Around mile marker 173, my car started to shake violently. I pulled over. Great – a flat tire on my front passenger side.
I wanted to get to work early. I was going to be on top of my day. I was going to get ahead. Damn.
Escaping from the brutal wind and cold (it was a balmy 4 degrees), I managed to get a hold on AAA without too much hassle. If it were a nicer day, I would have maybe tried to change the tire myself, although I doubt if I would have been able to accomplish it successfully.
And then it was time to wait. I flipped through the radio stations, made a shopping list, and wrote down some ideas for blog posts. It was a pretty productive half hour before some everyday heroes showed up to help my grounded Volvo.
The first to pull up was a State Trooper, who was kind enough to make small talk with me and wait until the tow truck came. He put on his flashers to ensure that I would be easy to find. Then when the truck pulled up, he told me to have a good day and to stay safe. I like that.
Next, a man in a bright green sweatshirt came over to my driver’s side window. “You doing okay?” he said. “We’ll take care of ya’. Stay in the car and keep warm. I’ve got tools. We’ll get ya’ set in no time.”
In about 3 minutes, I was back on my way to work, with a renewed sense of faith in mankind. Before those two people drove up, I was panicky, stressed and wishing to be anywhere but there. However, if that situation hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t have had the time to appreciate the gorgeous sunrise or the sense of kindness. The tow truck guy had changed my tire, asked me if I was alright, and helped me get back on the road with a smile. There are still people out there who take pride in their work, are courteous to complete strangers, and can make a horrible day seem just a little bit more bearable. It just goes to show that customer service is still alive and well even in a tumultuous economy.
Customer service, above all things, is the reason that many business get by in a time of economic downturn. People like getting the attention and services they need with speed, courtesy and care. People appreciate those everyday heroes that change flat tires, fix water heaters, or bag groceries with a smile. People notice when they receive help from a complete stranger on a 4 degree morning. I know I did.
This week, I challenge you do perform an act of kindness, then tell me about it. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just make someone feel good. If you have a business, pay a little extra attention to your customers. If you hold a door for someone, give them a smile. No matter what you do, do it with the knowledge that you are making someone’s day just a little bit brighter. It’s true – kindness adds color to the world.