July 4, 2017
Who deserves such a gift?
A Ukrainian cobbler and his son who met my demands for ten items with no questions, no notes, no comments – just a ticket number as a reference. One week later all items were repaired just to my specifications.
Then there was the intrepid task to become a newbie to Medicare. My insurance broker took all my needs and so kindly put them in a spreadsheet. With a smile she helped me choose a health plan that was a small amount out of my social security check providing me better care than I already had.
There was the Tire Dealership who met my each and every need over the years with either new tires, free rotation or tire repair. Many times I was met with new faces, but given superior service every time.
The cherished provider at my friendly computer service center met all of my complex, multi-page list of high tech computer concerns each and every appointment I made. When I feared I had lost my entire memoir, he handily retrieved the file without a problem and all was repaired with a smile.
I can’t forget our horrendous winter which took a toll on my car parked outside in Seattle for six weeks. First it was a broken axle boot – I now know what that is “X” number of dollars to repair in Seattle. When I called my trusty mechanic in Bellingham he quoted me a price for a third of the cost and told me I could wait until my return home.
Then my driver-door lock froze and would not function while in the frigid-zone of Seattle. For sure a $200 new lock was in order. My same mechanic referred me to a locksmith in Bellingham. I called for advice. He gave me a two-step home-method and all was fixed with no dollar outflow.
Moving my items to storage was my next big task. My pain in having my personal effects in three locations was met with the kindest person at the storage unit office. She even gave me the senior rate and prorated my final bill without asking.
In the midst of moving, living in different locations, I decided to jump into the bleak buyers real estate market. I met with the Zen realtor with her no-nonsense approach that neutralized my type-A, multi-demanding personality. She and her staff exuded calmness in light of my anxiety. And yes, she found me the perfect condo that I purchased.
I moved five times in eight months and I was on a first name basis with the moving company. They provided me no-dent, no-scratch service without question and even gave me a frequent flyer rate.
In preparation for the purchase of real estate, I met with a loan agent. After thirty minutes of knowing every dollar I ever earned in my life, he gave me advice that denied him a commission.
My dentist and his staff of over twenty-five years of service have become like family. They knew every oral-hygienic pitfall I’ve ever had. Quality care, with the conservative approach, to spare me unnecessary out-of-pocket costs.
Then there was my personal medical scare that demanded immediate attention. Never did I expect an office visit the very next day with a substitute physician, exam, lab tests and ultrasound all before noon with my results by 6 PM.
Lastly, but without any less value, was a Yoga instructor who brought joy, peace and passion to her teaching. Yoga during my heightened time of stress this past year brought balance and calm to my chaotic life.
So what do these people have to do with Random Acts of Brownies, you may ask. Random people that came in and out of my life: a cobbler, healthcare broker, tire dealership, computer technician, car mechanic, locksmith, storage manager, realtor, moving company, loan agent, dentist, doctor and a yoga instructor.
The gleeful surprise on each face was priceless when I delivered, unannounced, fresh baked brownies to each workplace with a heartfelt thank you. Wasn’t each person just doing their job, you might ask? Maybe so. But here is what was different.
When a person remembered my name; when they provided the service I asked, no matter how complicated; when they smiled and asked was there anything else even though I’d asked fifteen questions; when they provided top quality service each and every time; when they provided advice that denied them a commission; when they solved my problem over the phone without asking me to come in to charge me a fee for advice; when they took an extra step to prorate my service fee; when they called radiology and asked for a same-day appointment when there was none; when they brought passion and joy to their job that transcended to my wellbeing.
These are the individuals and groups who deserve my brownies. And, no, my giving was not random. Those who brought a warmth to my heart for their work and effort deserved something special. Many service jobs are thankless. I would know as I worked in one for over forty-five years. Those who go over and beyond to make me feel that I am the only person needing their service – even if it is for just that moment – deserve a special thanks.
In a time when hate and self-righteousness can permeate the air, I look to these service providers who give me hope that there is goodness in the world and good people in it. Thank you all for your service and for all the others who make clients and customers feel special.
I continue to give random acts of brownies today.