It was Fourth of July (exactly 10 days ago, although it feels longer ago than that). I was at work with Janessa and Heidi, and it was a less-busy-than-usual sort of day at the dairy. Most everyone that was coming in was just there to buy ice cream with their families – it was hot, and it was a holiday. At around the time the sun is almost completely gone, there was only one customer in the store. It was quiet, and I took advantage of the time to clean up some of the messes we made whilst dipping ice cream and making milkshakes. The customer (a man whose appearance I can’t recall other than his khaki pants and balding head) approached the counter to purchase his two gallons of milk, and so I rung up his purchases. Heidi bagged his milk, and the gentleman struck up a conversation.
“So, do you get paid extra for working on a holiday?” He asked. Heidi and I laughed politely as I replied,
“No, we don’t. I think it’s only if you work full time do you get paid time and a half.” Heidi jokingly said,
“We accept tips, though!” Without a second of hesitation, the gentleman whipped out his wallet, took out two single dollar bills, and put them on the counter. Immediately Heidi turned bright red, began insisting that she was joking, and did not want his money. I, too, told the man that neither of us minded working on a holiday, and that a tip was unnecessary. By this point, my face was also turning pink. My ears felt hot, and my mouth was stuck in a I-feel-awkward-and-am-not-sure-what-to-do sort of smile. Heidi tried handing the two dollars back to the man, but he refused. He explained,
“I worked eight hours today, and I did get paid time and a half. I’m just sharing the wealth.”
He said a few more things about how he appreciated us, wished us to have a lovely evening, and bid us goodbye. Feeling quite undeserving of his kind gesture, I somewhat self-consciously stuffed the bill in my pocket and decided to later put it in my jar of change/tips at home. Heidi declared that she was going to put the money in the offering plate at church.
That random gentleman reminded me of three important things:
- Small gestures can leave large imprints. So, be careful and aware of what you do/say.
- I shouldn’t hold onto my money with as tight of a grip as I do.
- As Anne Frank said,
(image made by me)