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Random Act of Kindness… sure feels good…

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Well, well, well. I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Talk about an interesting turn of events today.

This little story is directly related to one I blogged about back on April 5th (link is posted below the video). If you haven’t read it, you need to read it before you read this post. (just sayin’) (This would be the part where there would be a musical interlude playing softly in the background while you revert to my other post to see what it was about…. so here it is… go ahead and hit play while you read the other post….)

And here is the post from April 5th.

All done reading it? You may continue…

Since that experience I haven’t gone back to that location. I was just too disgusted. And then today happened.

I was early for work and decided to drive around a few of the blocks close to my work to pass some time. Lo and behold, I got the hankering for a donut (not a big stretch because I love donuts, and crave them all the time, but anyway).

Soooo… I was craving this…

Yes, all of them…

But settled for this…

Except it would be a large hot chocolate and if I have to settle for one donut I’d prefer it to be as big as my head (like the one I had at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece… I mean who knew there’d be a lemonade/donut stand perched there serving up enormous chocolate dipped donuts???) But I digress, and this is pretty much what I had.

Even though I should be eating this….

yeah, yeah… whole grains and veggies.

Soooooo… I come across the Tim Horton’s that I’d gone to back in April and decided to hit the drive thru. Hey, it sure beat driving even more out of my way to hit another one. Sooo… I enter the lot, and as I’m approaching the line of cars ahead of me I see a woman in her car in exactly the same spot that I was last time – that is, entering from the side street. Now, I’d like to point out that I think I’m a pretty fair person. Clearly, that woman had entered the lot before I did and therefore she should go ahead of me. So, I paused when there was an opening in the line and allowed her to go ahead of me.

She pulled in and I couldn’t help but notice she didn’t give a wave of thanks, no head nod, no mouthed out word of “thanks”, no nothing. I rolled my eyes. That irks me when people don’t acknowledge a nice gesture with a “thank you”. But whatever.

It was then I started reminiscing about the last time I was in this same drive thru. Should I try to do another random act of kindness? Should I even bother?

I ordered my hot chocolate and (albeit, regular sized) donut and arrived at the window to pay. The cheerful cashier says, “There’s no charge for you. The lady ahead of you already paid for your stuff.”

I was shocked. I looked at the cashier like this…

Yes, this is pretty much the same stare I had.

I couldn’t believe it. Here I was on the receiving end of someone’s random act of kindness in the exact same drive thru, and the exact same situation that I was in back in April – only our roles were reversed. Wow! It felt AMAZING! What a lovely surprise on a grey, cloudy morning.

And as she passed me my stuff I said, “Well, let’s keep it going then. Let me pay for something the lady behind me ordered.” The cashier looked it up and said, “She only ordered a large coffee.” So I gave the cashier the money and she said, “Cool! I wonder how many people will keep this going. It will be interesting to see.”  I smiled, feeling pretty good and I pulled away.

It was at that very moment that I replayed in my mind what happened the last time. If you’ve read my post from April 5th, you realize that I was all up in arms because my “pay it forward” didn’t work at all, or so I thought. Back on that day, I watched in disgust as the woman who I’d treated to coffee still paid for her drink! Or did she? I bet that she herself, after discovering that I treated her, maybe decided to treat the person behind her as well, just like I did today. And the act of her paying for the next person looked to me like she was paying for her own drink. Wow. Never saw that coming.

While I think I’m a fair person, I can also admit that I almost always jump to conclusions in almost every situation. (shocking, I know) And I’d almost bet a million dollars that this is exactly what happened the last time.  Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. This wouldn’t be the first time my moments of jumping to conclusions nearly started a widespread revolt amongst people… like the time my stapler went missing from my desk and I wanted to call the Police/FBI because I was sure there was a theif in our midst and I wanted him/her to be punished to the highest degree of the law. Turned out the stapler was under a stack of papers that I’d put on top of it and wasn’t stolen at all. … but that’s another story… and obviously a mistake that any rational person could make. (I have to believe that, or else I’m just a crazy person.. hahahah)

So, while I’m still on my high from the “random act of kindness”, I’m gonna go enjoy my lunch hour and see to whom else I can pay it foward today.

😀

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Pay It Forward, my ass…

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Life is funny sometimes. If my life were a comic strip I would be The Born Loser, I swear. Nothing goes as planned for me. As is the case in my “pay it forward” good intention today.

Apparently it's a whole dollar to rent a cart these days, not the 25 cents I remember.

First off, this actually started last week when I went to the grocery store and after getting out of my car, an older gentleman offers me his cart. Now ordinarily I’d assume that he just wanted me to take his cart back to the store for him so he wouldn’t have to do it himself. But at this particular store, where you have to pay to use a cart, his gesture was more like a gift. Never having used a cart at this store, and being stuck in the 80s like I am, I offered him the quarter for the cart. He smiled and gestured that I could keep it. Imagine my embarrassment upon realizing he must’ve thought I was mentally challenged in offering a quarter when in fact it took a dollar to use the cart. Oops.

After shopping I returned the cart to the store, retrieved the shiny dollar coin and considered passing it onto the next customer. One problem: there was no one in sight and there was no way I was going to stand around like some fool waiting to offer someone a dollar for their cart rental. I decided I’d hold off and “pay it forward” another time. Afterall, there’s no immediate “time” rule on paying it forward, is there?

That brings me to today. I head over to the local Tim Horton’s to get myself a donut. I’m not particularly fond of their donuts on any given occasion, but for some reason today I had the hankering for one. There are two entrances to this particular Tim’s. One from the main street, and one from an adjacent street at the back. Seeing as I was closer to the back one, that’s the route I took.

Neighborhood Tim's location.. quite possibly now on my shit list.

The drive thru is lined up and while I patiently wait my turn, not one person was letting me into the line. One, two, then three, four, five cars inch by not letting me in. Finally a lady waves me in. Seeing that she was super nice, I knew this was my chance to pay it forward. After all, I’d done this particular thing once before about 3 years ago when a man had let me into the line in much the same way at another location.

I roll up to the window and tell the cashier that I’d like to pay for the lady behind me. She checks her order and says, “She ordered two coffees.” I said, “That’s fine, she was nice enough to let me in the line when not one other person would.” The cashier smiled, told me it was $4 or so for the lady’s items and I paid her. I pull away and have to wait to turn onto the busy street so I watch in my rearview mirror as the unsuspecting lady approaches the window. She hands the cashier a $5 bill, gets her change and her coffee and drives off. No moment of happiness in finding out her coffees were already paid for, nothing!

Yup. That sums it up.

I can only assume that the cashier didn’t tell the lady about my good gesture at all and let her pay for the items that I also paid for in my gesture of goodwill, likely pocketing either my money or the other lady’s.

Talk about backfire.  Obviously this whole “pay it forward” concept is highly overrated. Or at least it is at Tim’s. I’ll pay it forward again, just not there…

;o)