Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Kindness Pays.... Part II

The other day, I was in a store making a purchase that took quite a lot of time. I had about 3 hours of interaction with the salesman who was helping me. The purchase involved a number of purchases to help me with an ongoing problem I have with my back and hip. Over the course of this three hours I talked with this man a lot.

We were discussing a recent incident that I was feeling very upset about. Someone who hit one of my vehicles (and fully admitted it at the time - there was NO dispute about who's fault it was), stalled dealing with his insurance company for two months and then finally contacted his insurance agent, only to lie about the facts of the accident. Now we are in a dispute because this man is being dishonest. Nothing infuriates me more than one person trying to take advantage of another and being dishonest in the process.

As I was telling the sales guy this story he started telling me his opinions about 'karma' and how he believes the old saying about 'what goes around, comes around.' I share his beliefs, wholeheartedly. The salesman said, "One day, something is going to happen to that guy... and he's NOT going to like it!" I agreed.

Then the salesman told me the following story. He said that a while back, the other saleman in the store had a young customer in the shop who was making a purchase. During the credit application process, the young man inadvertently left his passport and social security card in the store. My salesman's co-worker said he was going to just throw the documents away. My salesman was mortified. He tried to reason with the other salesman and talked about how frantic the young man must be in losing track of those items. The other salesman didn't care and handed the items to my guy. He said, "If you care so much about it, YOU track this guy down."

My salesman looked the last name up in the phone book. There were 5 entries. He started calling. Eventually he found the young man's grandmother and left a message. Finally he received a call from the young man's parents, who were relieved beyond belief. They set a time to come and pick up the documents.

When they arrived, they handed the salesman a thank you card. It had $50 inside it! He didn't feel it was necessary, but he was greatful. He only did what he would have wanted someone to do for him!

The irony, he told me, was that the other salesman who refused to try and return the documents to the customer, was extremely broke and desperate for money at that particular time. $50 would have really helped him out. Yet, in his laziness and lack of concern for someone else's problem, he made a choice that cost him the very thing he needed... money!

Another great lesson that when we do the right things, for the right reasons, we are often rewarded in overt ways. Even if we don't get an outward reward, there is a deep satisfaction that comes from doing something nice for others... just because it is the right thing to do!

I enjoyed my afternoon with this salesman. I learned a lot from how he approaches his life and I feel enriched by that!

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