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KINDNESS BY THE GALLON

December 13, 2011 by in category Blogs tagged as , with 0 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > KINDNESS BY THE GALLON

by Bobbie Cimo

The other morning while on the freeway driving to work, my cell phone rang. Normally, I won’t answer it without using my Bluetooth. But sometimes the contraption creates more trouble than it’s worth–it always ends up messing up my phone connection.

Nobody ever calls me early in the morning, unless there’s an emergency or it’s a wrong number. Because my curiosity got the best of me, I picked up the phone.
It wasn’t an emergency, just my co-worker calling me to let me know that the Shell station, down the block from where we work, was giving away free gasoline. She promised it wasn’t a joke and the lines were moving fast.

When I arrived at the gas station, there didn’t seem to be much of a commotion going on, so I was sure she had gotten her facts wrong. But when I tried to pull into the driveway, it was blocked off. A nearby attendant, directing traffic, indicated to me that I should go around and enter from the other side.

After taking a shortcut through the parking lot of my friendly bank branch, next door, I ended up at what I thought was the end of the line…only to find I had accidentally cut ahead of a dozen or so other cars that were already there. Can you say the word “riot”? Well, luckily there wasn’t any, just another guy directing traffic, and telling me I had to go around again, only this time not to use my shortcut.

As he was talking to me, an angry young man who had apparently made the same mistake I did, was also being told he also had to go around again. Only this guy a wasn’t taking it well. He stepped on his gas peddle and went barreling out and almost collided into me.

My first instinct was to slam on my horn with one hand and to give him some unlady-like gesture with my other hand. It was a good thing that I didn‘t. Because who do you think was in front of me, the second time that I went around? Mr. Cool, himself.

But my friend was right, the lines did move fast and the offer for free gas was for real. After pulling up to the pump, I got out of my car but was quickly told it wasn’t necessary. They would fill up my tank for me. I could feel a lump forming in my throat. Somebody was serving me? And what’s more, they seemed happy to be doing it.

I was told that the limit for each fill-up was $20.00. But if one needed to, they could go around for a second time. I was good at $19.67

Just as I was about to pull away, a young lady with a welcoming smile came up to my window and handed me a free bottle of water. “Have a nice day”, she said cheerfully. Without any warning, my eyes welled up with tears, and all I could do was choke out a weak “Thank you”.

This act of kindness with no strings attached, was hard to believe. But it was true. So sometimes when things seem too good to be true…you’ve got to trust that they are and go with it.

I later learned that the reason for the free give-away was to promote an upcoming episode of the TV show called “Gold Rush” that airs on the “Discovery Channel”. But regardless, it didn’t take away the fact that it made my day. Not to mention brought back memories of when we use to get service with a smile.

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