Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kindness

I'm feeling the strain of my financial situation and I suppose that makes me also feel vulnerable.

Zoe is due for her annual physical, so I had made an appointment to take her last night to get only her rabies and DHLPP vaccinations. When I learned that she would have to have a physical by the vet, I decided to decline getting the DHLPP vaccination. Because I don't want to jeopardize Zoe's health I changed my mind at the last minute and told the vet to go ahead with all vaccinations.

She looked at me and asked "money tight?". Yes, I said. For the first time in my life I've had to ask family for some help. She looked at Zoe's records and said that the DHLPP wasn't critical since she's had three sets over the years, and that she could just take care of the rabies without an exam to keep the bill to about $20. She then proceeded to give Zoe a quick once-over anyway at no charge.

I've been a client of this particular veterinary practice for many, many years. The vets there are compassionate, support rescue groups and aren't in it just to make money. I appreciated Dr. X's concern for my situation and what she gave to me, getting almost choked up before leaving.

Since I was in the "big" city, I decided to treat myself to dessert at The Olive Garden. My sister had sent me some money to help with the IRS bill (more on that later) with some extra for fabric or something just fun.

It was getting late in the evening so I didn't want to wait to be seated and just walked into the bar area. I had been sitting there for more than a couple of minutes with the bar tender making a couple of drinks and cleaning up. I hadn't been acknowledged and was watching him wondering how long he would take before doing so. The second bartender came from the back with a carry out order for another customer and after taking care of that, immediately came over to me and asked if he could help me. "You sure can", I said and gave him my order.

There was something about him that seemed so genuine. He made eye contact with me and the other customers he talked to (yes, I was watching him). There was a certain appeal to me about him. He was young - maybe in his 30's - and had a nice demeanor about him. Not cocky, but very pleasant, and while average looking, attractive to me.

I ended up ordering a full blown dinner to take home, but ate some of it there. I can't remember the last time I've had dinner out and I felt like I deserved it. It was my sister's treat and I appreciated it. So I sat there and ate a little, but packed up most of it to enjoy this evening. I had dessert and coffee, which felt luxurious. As I sat there, I watched the first bartender, who did finally talk to me a little. It was almost 9 o'clock and I still had things to do before going to bed, so I didn't hang around after I had finished.

I wanted to say something to the young man who had waited on me and when I saw the opportunity, I signaled for him to come over. I told him that he had been very kind. He seemed a little surprised and thanked me immediately and said that he had enjoyed waiting on me. As I left, he told me to have a nice evening.

I wasn't feeling sorry for myself for sitting there alone. I rarely get lonely. But the kindness that was shown to me by two individuals - one a complete stranger - touched me so much that I almost cried. Silly? I don't know.

The quote ...be kind to strangers, for you never know what battle they are fighting... kept going through my mind all evening.

4 comments:

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

I am so glad your vet worked with you and told you about the boosters. so many vets won't/can't. The DHLP has been frosting on the cake for way too many years.


Weird, how basic customer service has become a rarity. If people in the service industry wonder why they're not making decent tips, they need only look at how they treat people. I'm glad you met one of the good ones, particularly on this night.

Olive Garden! YUM!!!!

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Phyllis, sorry to hear that money is tight. I only ever got the first set of injections for our cat and didn't do anything else. She lives indoors and is almost 7 years old now so I don't think much could get to her. I know you really want to be the best pet owner you can be, but you can only do what you can do. Glad you were able to treat yoursef. Olive Garden -- salad and breadsticks and a nice glass of wine -- now that's a meal for me. :) It's about bedtime around here so will close for now. Take care! Tammy

Patty Sumner said...

Phyllis, I am so glad you were blessed both at the vet and by your sister. You are right, we never know who we are dealing with. The bible says it just a little differently.....it could be angels unaware that you are being kind to. Kindness goes a long way and you are a wonderfully kind person who deserves kindness in return> Blessings!

Diane said...

Phyllis, no, it's not silly. Sensitivity isn't silly, ever. And this world needs more of it, more appreciation of the little things, the simple things. Instead, we need to differentiate between our wants and needs and to be grateful for the needs we have that are met. It's a simple thing to do but our culture of consumerism doesn't support it. It's a shame, because I really feel that we've lost the sensitivity to be kind and to be thankful for kindness when it's extended to us. So many people feel entitled and take things for granted.
You, my friend, are a rare person!
God bless!
Diane