Thursday, January 26, 2006

Accepting the Challenge

About a week ago, a colleague in my professional referral group challenged each of us to consciously do something particularly nice for a stranger before the next meeting.

Things like letting a slower-moving car take the prime parking space you could have had, paying for the drive-thru order for the person behind you at Taco Bell, letting a person with a smaller grocery order go ahead of you in the grocery line, etc.

So today I accepted the challenge. (Although, when I write that, I think it sounds like I found it difficult or was reluctant to do; and that wasn't the case at all.)

Taking my daughter through the Wendy's drive-thru (I only got an iced tea for me, although I did snitch a few of her fries!) for a treat, I got up to the window to pay and said, "I'd like to pay for the order behind me."

The gal at the cash register just started smiling, really wide and nodded, and said, "As soon as she's done with her order, no problem."

Unfortunately, it took about ten (I am not kidding) swipes of my credit/debit card through the reader before she was able to complete both transactions (the stripe on my card is worn...I can't help it if I never carry cash!), and then she had to call someone for help. Sheesh. All I could think of was, the lady behind me is probably getting ticked about the delay of that stupid lady in front of her (me) at the cash window.

Then finally, another person came into the little booth where the drive-thru gal was working, and looked at me and said, "You want to pay for the lady behind you?"

I nodded.

"Do you know her?"

"Nope."

Now she's grinning and smiling, and the two of the gals in the booth are joined by a third person, and they're all scrunched in there, looking at me and grinning--and all I can think of is the lady behind me is getting even more ticked!

"Why are you doing that?"

I said, "Why not? And if she asks, just tell her I said to do it for someone else sometime."

So finally, they figured out what they were doing (I'm still not sure why it took so long) and I was able to move forward, get my order, and go on. And the guy at the second window who gave me my order was also smiling really nicely, and he said, "I gave you both credit card receipts in your bag."

When I drove off, I saw the gal in the cash register window leaning out the window and talking to the lady behind me. And I smiled.

So now I'm going to extend the challenge to you! Do something nice for a stranger today, tomorrow, next week. You don't have to tell anyone about it, but I'd love to hear if you do!

4 Comments:

Blogger Jill Monroe soliloquized...

Okay, I'm going to accept!

Thursday, January 26, 2006 5:16:00 PM  
Blogger Jana DeLeon soliloquized...

What a cool idea! I'll have to figure out something to do.

Thursday, January 26, 2006 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger MaryF soliloquized...

I love it! Look how you affected those kids working there!

Friday, January 27, 2006 7:28:00 AM  
Blogger Trish Milburn soliloquized...

Great idea. I've done the let someone with fewer items in the grocery line go in front of me.

Saturday, January 28, 2006 5:39:00 PM  

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