Monday, September 30, 2019

Pay It Forward - Revisited

Recently I told you how happy I felt when a complete stranger paid for my meal at a fast food drive through. I was so surprised that I simply drove on through with a smile on my face.

I wished I had extended the favor for the car behind me. I was just too surprised.

The other day I was in town. As I often do when I drive that far I stopped to grab some fast food so I would not have to cook when I got home.

When I pulled up to the window to pay I asked how much the order for the car behind me would cost. I am limited because I have only my retirement funds to spend. I could handle the cost.

I told the cashier that I wanted to pay for the car behind me. She asked if I knew the person. I said no. Did I want her to have my name. No. She took my money.

I went to the next window only to be told that they were in the middle of cooking something that I had ordered. Would I please pull ahead and wait? Of course I would.

As I was waiting the women whose order I paid for drove by. They both had big smiles and waved in appreciation.

I was happy. They were happy. It was a pleasant experience.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Secret Shopper

When I was working as a cashier we were told that the company had secret shoppers. Secret shoppers are paid by a company to shop in their stores and then rate the service they received.

At least one cashier I worked with was notified by our manager that he waited on a secret shopper. He was given high marks. It went into his record.

Not long ago my son and I went to pick up a pizza at a service station in the next little town. They are the closest thing to fast food near us.

Standing ahead of us in the line was a man purchasing beer. The cashier asked him for identification as the law requires. He furnished his drivers license and she entered the date into the computer as her company requires. He paid his money, took his beer, and left.

Almost immediately the man came back in. He handed the cashier an orange piece of paper and dashed back out.

The cashier looked at the paper. Then her mouth popped open and she had a shocked look on her face.

She had been visited by a secret shopper. She passed with flying colors according to the orange note.

It was her conscientious sense of duty that earned the orange piece of paper. At the same time she was given the extra "pat on the back" that showed her that she was appreciated. She felt so good.

Once more all it took was an orange piece of paper to make someone feel good about herself. It might be nice if we all gave out a nice note to someone who only did a job the right way.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Pay It Forward

I was having a ho-hum day. I had to go into Sioux City to pick up my medicine. While I was there I picked up some groceries.

Since I hate shopping and especially grocery shopping I do most of it on-line. They gather up my order. All I have to do is wait while they bring it to my car and load it. All it takes is a few minutes and I am ready to roll.

When I finished all I had to do it was the later part of middle afternoon. I still had a half-hour drive ahead of me to go home. I decided to have fast food for supper.

I was sitting in that long line and noticed a woman who looked particularly grumpy. I felt bad for her and wondered why she felt that way. I was soon right behind her in the line.

When I got to the window to pay for my order I was informed that that nice lady had paid for my order.

She waited ahead to make sure I received my paid-for meal. Then she drove off with a backward wave.

I learned some things that day. The first is something I already knew. Do not make assumptions about someone until you have facts. I thought she was grouchy and I was wrong. Lesson re-learned.

Second: it made me extraordinarily happy that she did that for me. I smiled all the way home. I hope my wave back at her was a sufficient thank you.

Before you ask I did not pay it forward for the person behind me. I was so surprised that I did not even think of it until it was too late. I intend to do it in the near future however.

If you want to make someone smile pay for their coffe or pay it forward at the fast food place. I can tell you I felt so good about the whole human race at that moment. To do that for another person would make it worth the extra cost.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday The 13th

My aunt and uncles went to school in a one room schoolhouse in the country. On the last day of school there was a picnic and we always went. The more the merrier, you know. One year it was held on Friday, the 13th.

We set out for the picnic with Mom at the wheel. Daddy had to work. Mom was running late as usual so she was driving a bit faster than she should have. She came to the top of a hill and saw the police car at the bottom. Instead of slowing down she panicked and stopped. When she restarted and drove down the hill she was pulled over. Luckily the cop recognized the car. Daddy was the town marshal and worked with the state police on occasion. Mom received a warning to be more careful and we went on our way.

The car was low on gas so Mom pulled into a station along the highway. In the 1950's the pumps often had big glass globes on the top with the name of the gasoline company on them. They were pretty. When Mom pulled in for gas she realized that she was too far away from the pump. She pulled forward a bit and then backed up a bit closer... whoops! a little too close. She bumped the pump. That beautiful glass globe began to wobble, wobble, wobble, wobble... it seemed to be slowing and coming to a stop. Whew. Then it just fell right off and smashed into millions of pieces.

The man at the station was very kind. Of course we did not have to pay for it; it happens all the time. (Right!) We got our 2 dollars worth of gas. That filled it up back then. And we were off again.

We turned off the highway to the county road on the way to the picnic. We were merrily driving along and Mom missed the turn onto the next county road that led to the school. Not to worry... she just backed up so she would be in position to turn. Somehow we ended up in the ditch. Some of the ditches in Nebraska were like valleys. We were rear end down with the nose of the car pointing up. Now what was she to do?

Here we were with a car full of children sitting in a deep ditch with no chance she could drive it out. As luck would have it a neighboring farmer came by on his tractor. Mom waved him down and he of course was happy to help. He was so happy to help that he could not stop laughing as he hooked the chain up to the car and his tractor. Laughing as he had Mom steer the car while his tractor strained to pull us out of that ditch. He was so happy when we were completely clear of the ditch that he kept laughing. Mom had made him so happy that he was still laughing as he drove off.

Off we went again. Mom successfully made the turn. Believe it or not we made it safely to the picnic. Of course we were extremely late but there were still a few games left to be played. After that Friday, the 13th, was a day that we no longer let Mom drive. As a matter of fact we would not even allow her in the car.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Ants Go Marching...

Do you remember a children's song called The Ants Go Matching One By One?  It is sung to the tune of When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again. The first verse is:

The ants go marching one by one
Hoorah, Hoorah
The ants go marching one by one
Hoorah, Hoorah
The little one stopped to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down in the ground to get out of the rain. 

It is a fun song for children and has many more verses.

I was coming home from a drive the other day when this song came to mind. Why is the question that comes to your mind. Let me tell you.

As I was walking up to the front of my house I noticed a few little red ants rushing toward my front steps. Oh no. I was about to be invaded by ants!

As I watched I saw hundreds and hundreds of ants rushing that way. Then I noticed that even though part of them ran along the side of the bottom step they all kept going at a full run.

When I called my son out to take a look (he got into the house before I did) he was surprised too. He tried to follow the mass of ants back to their beginning but did not find it.

I have no idea how far they were going or why they were in such a hurry. I can tell you it was quite a sight to see.