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The Kindness of a Stranger

I dread going into businesses with long lines and frustrated employees. These places include the Department of Motor Vehicle, any government office and the cable company. Long lines, impatient, grumpy customers and over worked employees. Not somewhere my happy energy wants to be!

Today, I went to the cable company. I sat in my car outside of the building for a moment. As I closed my eyes I envisioned happy people in the line that would chat with me to make the time pass by in a more interesting way. I imagined that the staff would be friendly, helpful and kind. I took a deep breath and opened the door.

A huge line that was 15 deep and only 3 staff members working waited me. As I began to loose hope, another 20 people got in line behind me. Ok, now I am in the top front half of the line. That is not bad, better than that poor guy who is number 35.

The gentlemen in front of me struck up a conversation about the changing of times with technology. He was from Finland and loves being able to video chat with his cousins. His heart is there but his children and grandchildren are here. He remembered when he was young how expensive it was for his parents to call. They had to make a reservation with the operator for a time to place the calls.

All of a sudden I was next! I again set the intention that the staff member would be kind because my problem was very complicated and frustrating. I did not have an easy fix. I was there because the field supervisors had already been to my house 18 times in the last 3 months, phone support was not working and I needed it to be fixed.

Then I was called to the counter by a woman named Sandy. She was super cheerful and very kind. We spent almost 2 hours working on the problem. She tried everything. At the end, she was not sure if I would still have my business line when I got home. She told me with tears in her eyes that she tried everything she could and was worried I would be mad at her.

Kindness Words in Sky Compassionate Generous Background

During the time I spent with her, I told her that I was a coach and motivational speaker. She got so excited and shared some of her dreams with me. I helped her out a bit. So by the time we were finishing up, she was completely invested in making sure my cable was fast and dependable so that I would not have to delay moving forward with my new venture.

I thanked her very much and told her how much I appreciated her help and her caring enough to go the extra mile. I told her that she was a great detective and had actually figured out the root of the problem that more than 20 others could not.

She asked if I was going to be crushed if I got back home to my office and there was no phone. In that moment, I knew it was not a big deal. So what that that number is on all my business cards and websites? I could change that. People could find me online or on my cell phone, so despite my attachment to my number, I let it go.

The authentic kindness and caring of a stranger seemed to be the gift in all of this. I felt so blessed. I got home and there was no phone. I also had forgotten to pick up all the messages from last night and this morning.

Yet in the grand scheme of life, that really does not matter. My heart was touched and I was reminded of how amazing humans can be to a stranger in trouble.

+Michelle DeBerge

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About the Author Michelle DeBerge

Michelle has over 20 years experience in coaching, leadership and motivation. She is passionate about creating a community for growth, healing and support. She has been recognized for her work both locally and nationally. She inspires audiences and clients with her down to earth stories of struggle and growth. She believes that being authentic has been the key to her success.

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