This is from my own ‘yesterdays’ of life but even though it happened a while ago the memory is indelibly printed in my mind. Each time I recall this day, I’m reminded why small acts of kindness are so important.
This experience happened while I was operating a small marketing firm in downtown Portland, Oregon. While trying to secure an appointment with an editor for a busy city newspaper, the lines to his office phone kept staying busy. Every 5 minutes or so the receptionist would come on the phone line and apologize for the delay.
Although I could hear in the background that she was extremely busy herself, her voice was polite and sincere. At one point, while she was asking me to wait on “hold” just a little bit longer, I heard her speaking to several people, at once, there in the reception room, she was clearly having a very hectic and difficult day.
Still, each time she spoke with me on the phone, she stayed polite, friendly and interactive. I finally said to her. “A hard day today?” And she told me it was one of the worst she’d ever had regarding situations to handle. I was greatly impressed that she did not let her bad day interfere with her ability to give great service. Eventually I did get to speak with the editor and an appointment was set for the next day.
The next morning as I prepared to go to the meeting I kept recalling the excellent demeanor of the receptionist, I wanted to thank her and acknowledge her “good job”. I stopped at a florist’s shop and bought a single rose. When I arrived at the newspaper’s offices, it only took a few minutes, once in the lobby to locate the receptionist. She was the busy person handling a variety of people standing by her desk while holding the phone to her ear.
I waited my turn then introduced myself to her mentioning my appointment with the editor. She checked a list on her desk and I could see she recalled our brief ‘back and forth’ phone interactions. In a friendly voice she gave me directions to his office.
I handed her the single red rose bud and thanked her for her courtesy on the phone. She looked up at me, tears flooding her eyes and the cool, calm demeanor vanished. With the tears rolling down her face I was rewarded with one of the largest and most sincere smiles I had ever seen. She thanked me profusely, and said “That was such a long hard day for me, thank you for thinking of me. I now have this rose to recall when I think about yesterday.”
I was personally overcome. I had just wanted to do a thoughtful gesture of kindness. To me “a little thing”, but for her, something that made her sit up straighter, feel much better about herself and the job she was doing … just because … Someone was thinking of her, appreciating her and letting her know!”
As I headed down the hall towards my appointment, my own heart felt lighter and my steps more carefree. I nailed the interview with the editor and my piece was published.
I’ve never forgotten the expression on her face or that day. An act of kindness does keep giving … for both the receiver and the giver!
Have an excellent day, thank you for stopping by,
42 thoughts on “An Act of Kindness – keeps giving – for both receiver and giver!”
Penny, in a way I am like that receptionist. A little act of kindness my way and I am all tears and overwhelmed. And it is mainly because I least expect people to be kind to me. A most generous person by nature, I am most shy when receiving kindness from people. 🙂
Just one of the many endearing parts of who you are, Celestine which is why both Christina and I have you on our short list of people we truly adore!!!! 🙂
It is the small acts that mean the most and this is so you! This is the perfect example of why you are loved as you are. 🙂
It’s a good thing LuAnn, I never learned how to be any other way but me, lol! 🙂
Small unexpected kindnesses can change a person’s attitude, day, or life !
They can and do, don’t they, my friend!
it so does. Altruism floods the souls with all the good stuff–connection, appreciation, love and friendship.
Yes, you are absolutely correct. Very well spoken Karen, thank you!
This does not surprise me at all! You are awesome Penny, talk about not only making someone’s day, not to mention remaining a fantastic memory for that lady. You should be required studying in school, although we can’t have all those students following you around at once.
Well that’s a scary thought SteJ, a trail of people following in my wake, OMG! I’m going back up on top of the mountain, lol! xx
A great example of why you are so wonderful!
And – you are right. Doing something for someone make one feel good too.
xx 🙂 🙂 xx
@>—–>————– And here’s one for you my dear friend… just because you are you! xxx
This was a wonderful and thoughtful gesture on your part, Penny. Your kindness was a reward to her sincerity. really amazing.
Hello Padmini, dear friend. Thank you. I was quite surprised but in a very nice way.
What a lovely memory of how you brightened someone’s day! Hugs Ms. Penny! xoxox! B
Thank you Barb, Big hugs to you dear friend, xoxo!
What a lovely thing to do. Thanks so much for sharing : )
Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting, very much appreciated! 🙂
This is wonderful! Thank you for the reminder of how much a small gesture of kindness can mean.
Hi! You’re very welcome. I didn’t expect her reaction, so I think the memory stayed fixed in my mind because I was so surprised by it (in a wonderful way)!
What a wonderful, inspiring story, and I notice too it reminds me that, though that’s neither the motivation or the intention, an act of kindness is so often followed by the giver being gifted by ‘the Universe’ soon after. You got your piece published…and I’m sure what you had just done before walking into the Editor’s office opened the possibility of success a little wider. Thanks for another great post…and have a great week, full of single red roses, or their equivalent:-)
Hi Harula, I hope you are doing well? Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you. I believe it definitely pays forward. Thank you also for the warm wishes and single roses, very much appreciated by myself. May your week exceed your own expectations! xx
That is a truly awesome feeling.
Isn’t it though! 🙂
Penny, I wish there were a few million more people like you!
Hi Malcolm, thank you. There are millions more out there. Sometimes we all need little reminders … I think, with our busy schedules in life!
Lovely story, Penny. 🙂
Hello Tracy, thank you very much! 🙂
Isn’t it a great feeling as a giver when you see the reaction of the receiver? It makes it all worthwhile and you certainly made her day, she surely talked about it for a while and felt good again about her busy job. It is so wonderful to be kind. Wonderful like you!
Hi Ute, I’m sure you know that feeling well, dear friend. Thank you for your lovely compliment!
Such an inspiring story.
Hi Colline. Thank you. I’ve never forgotten my own feelings from that day watching her response. A feel good thing!
It certainly encourages one to do good things, and to follow your heart. So often we think of doing something and then backtrack, thinking it is silly.
Needless to say that this is exactly the sort of thing I’d expect you to do. my kind friend. I know the feeling …makes you feel, overflowing with joy!
Thank you for sharing this beautiful act of kindness, Penny!
Have a beautiful September!
Awwww, thank you Marina. It really just seemed like the thing to do at the time. Her reaction was unexpected but made me feel so good inside. A pleasure to share a happy memory with you. Thank you, September will be a good one for both you and I (thinking positive here, lol)! 🙂 xxoxx
Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.
That was a marvellous thing you did there Penny. Shows what a marvellous person you are. I imagine she will never forget that day either. I wonder if she mentions it to people when they are having a bad day. It would definitely be something that would bring a smile to their faces.
This brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Thank you Alastair. I was surprised, in that moment, by her reaction, but felt so good afterwards. Her appreciation of my appreciation, I guess! One of those win-win situations!
It’s one that is ingrained onto your heart as well 🙂