Last Friday, one of my work friends, V. and I went out to get bagels for breakfast. While it is a daily happening for most of my colleagues, for me it is not. It was a special occasion. While I was endlessly vacationing in LA this holiday season V. filled in for me at work for the entire week. I was so very grateful and as a thank you, I asked her out to join me at her most favorite bagels place near our office (coincidently also best bagels place in SoHo).
When we got to the restaurant (which is both a sit down and a pick up location), it was FULL. I did not expect that, I mean, it was just a Friday 10:15am and it was packed. We asked to put our names on the wait list and started to wait. We waited, waited and waited some more. I was getting a bit antsy, as at least half an hour passed and we probably were somewhat half way through before being seated. I felt that with another half an hour wait and then another 45 minutes at a table, my day would pretty much disappear. I just had too much to do back in the office. And so we gave up on getting a table and decided to get the bagels to go instead.
We got to the cash register just a minute before a new batch of fresh and hot bagels magically appeared. We asked for a couple of those, a container of chive cream cheese and a coffee. The sales assistant, who must have been watching me getting impatient while waiting for a table, gave us the biggest smile. Just that made me stop constantly looking at my phone.
‘So sorry, Ladies, there is a bit of a wait today for a table. Just pay for the cream cheese and the bagels and coffee are on us.’
And so I paid $5 for the cream cheese only, the bagels and coffee were free. The sales assistant turned angel, literally melted my heart. And not because she saved me $12. She saw us waiting, she saw us getting impatient, probably she heard us whining how hungry we were… She seemed genuinely kind and wanted to do something nice for us. Both V. and I were really touched. We shared our experience with a few of our colleagues back in the office, our day seemed so much brighter. I felt I wanted to be nicer myself, I felt I wanted to reciprocate and do something good for somebody else. I smiled more that day. I was more patient.
Kindness is contagious.