It’s the little things

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I haven’t been using any of the WordPress Post a Day prompts, but the one they posted today (or rather for Day 57, but who cares really!) reminded me of a fun story that was worth sharing.

When was the last time you did a random act of kindness?

I like to think of myself as a fairly positive person at work. I mean, we all have our days of complaining and sometimes it’s nice to just vent when something happens, but more often than not, I’m in a good mood.

Last Sunday I was coming to the end of a ridiculous 5 day work week. It was my 4th day in a row of working, and let me tell you, in retail it can be brutal- especially the weekend. And it was BUSY. Really busy.

Anyway, I guess I wasn’t having the best shift. People were being crazy & you never realize just how messy people can be until there are dozens of them grouped together, leaving everything lying around like they’re in their homes. I was trying to clean things up before heading onto my break when I saw the nicest thing. There’s this display fixture with hundreds of toy animals that are organized by type and children LOVE to take it apart entirely and play with all the animals. It takes a good hour to organize it all again, but it’s something that needs to be done every day. It’s very tedious.

As I was heading on my break, I happened to walk across this messy area and I noticed one of the mother’s picking up some of the animals that kids had been playing with from the floor… And putting them back in their rightful place. In my 2 and a half years working here, I have never seen a single child or parent pick anything up off our floor to put it back in the right place, especially those animals. I stopped for a minute and noticed that not only was she putting them back, she was putting them ALL back. She was picking up the hundreds of little toys off the floor and re-organizing the entire display.

I immediately turned around and got her a gift certificate for my store. I handed it to her and told her that it was really unnecessary of her but that I really appreciated it, and did she want a job? She laughed and thanked me and told me it was kind of fun. When I came back she had organized the entire thing.

Okay, so this wasn’t exactly MY random act of kindness, but I returned the favor with a small gesture that I think she appreciated. On any other day of the week, I might have just thanked her for picking up after her child, or maybe not even said anything at all. But on this particularly tough day when nothing was going right and I had 4 hours of cleaning to do after my break, I wanted to give something back to her.

Moral of the story? It’s the little things that can go a long way and you just never know when you could make someone’s day with the tiniest of those things. People like this lovely mother remind me of this on the days when I need it the most!

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4 responses »

  1. What a great story! One thing I’ve started doing is paying for the person behind me’s bridge toll or coffee. It’s a minor thing but sometimes that can make all the difference in a day!

  2. I love that! And I especially love that you blessed her, even though she was doing it just to be nice. Awesome.

    And per Miranda’s comment, it’s definitely something I’ve wanted to do – pay for someone behind me in the drive-thru. I just think of how it would make MY day if it happened to me.

  3. The Chick-fil-a’s around here tend to encourage RAOK; everytime I go through, the person in front of me has paid for mine, I pay for the person behind me and I guess it just goes on like that all day.

    I try to pick up after myself when I’m shopping! Years of working in retail at least taught me that!

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