I met my husband for lunch yesterday at Smitty’s On The Corner in downtown St. Charles. Their fast, friendly service and tasty food is plenty of reason to grin. But yesterday there was an extra and unexpected reason to smile.
Ahead of me in line there were two young boys. Unaccompanied by adults, I’m guessing that they were older elementary age. While I was waiting to order, I observed that they each bought a soft drink and some ice cream. It’s possible that they had sandwiches before I arrived, but what I observed was just those two purchases. Then they sat down and I lost track of them.
Just moments later, one of the boys came back up to the counter, spying the baskets filled with bags of chips. He started to reach for one of the bags, saying to the employee behind the counter, “Are these bags of chips free to take?” “No,” she responded politely. “You have to pay for the chips; they aren’t free. It’s 99 cents for one bag, including tax.”
The child immediately withdrew his hand, a sheepish and disappointed look passing across his face. “I don’t have the money for it,” he explained. The Smitty’s employee, having seen that sad expression that I also saw, offered, “Would you like to take them now and pay for them later today?” “No,” he answered, “I really don’t have enough money for the chips.” He stepped away from the counter and sat back down.
Again, I lost track of the two boys while I was picking up my lunch and filling my beverage cup. As I turned around to find a seat, the child came back to the counter one final time. “All I have is 67 cents,” he said to the employee. Without hesitation, she smiled at the child and said happily to him, “That’s just exactly the right amount for you to buy a bag of chips today. Just exactly the right amount!”
In a time when other small business owners aren’t always known for exceptional customer service, it really brought a smile to my face to see this extraordinary generosity extended without a second thought. I know it made that little guy’s day. It made my day too.
What extraordinary ordinary experience made you smile this week?
Republished with permission. Originally published by Elyse on her employee/job seeker blog in 2013.