For those of you who have been paying attention you know that we bought a house in California and stopped traveling full-time at the end of last year. We were only in the house for a short while before we hit the road again and were away for a couple of months, primarily visiting with my parents in Florida. (I’m really lucky to still have both my parents, as they are getting on up there.)
We were anxious to get back home when our time ended there and so we made a beeline for the west coast. When we are trying to make time getting from one place to the next we drive very long days and then usually stop and spend the night in a Walmart parking lot. Then, we’re up early the next day and moving on down the road.
And because we love our coffee in the mornings, and because I don’t want the hassle of cleaning up a coffee pot in the mornings since we just want to get back out on the road, we can usually find some fresh brew at whatever fast food joint has set up inside the Walmart itself.
One evening on this journey back cross-country we stayed overnight at the Walmart in Seguin, Texas and they did not have a fast food place with coffee and there was nothing else around within easy walking distance.
So I trudged up to the gas station on the premises about 6:30 or so in the morning and asked the woman clerk if, by chance, she sold coffee there. She apologized that she did not.
So I said, “I was really hoping to get some coffee someplace. Is there anywhere close around here that has coffee?”
And she started telling me about different places, but then I said, “It needs to be in walking distance, I should have mentioned that.”
Then she said, “No, nothing in walking distance. You could go to the hospital, though. It’s right over there at the edge of the parking lot. They have coffee in the lobby and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you had some.”
I said, “No, I don’t think I’ll go to the hospital. That’s okay. I’ll get some later.”
Then she said, “If you can wait until 9:00 when I get off I’ll take you to get some.”
Well, I was stunned that she’d make such an offer, but I said, “No, thank you, we’ll be long gone by then. You see, we’re in one of those RV’s parked over there and we’ll just get going and find some down the road. But I really appreciate the offer.”
But it gets better….
Then she stunned me into near silence by saying, “You could just take my car if you want to.”
I could not believe my ears. Did someone who doesn’t know me from Adam just offer to let me — a total stranger — take her car to get coffee?
I was dumbfounded to say the least. And all I could do was say, “Thank you, you’re too kind, but I wouldn’t dream of taking your car like that.”
And she said, “It’s all right. I don’t think you’d likely be stealing it would you? I’m sure you’d bring it back.”
“Oh, yes,” I said. “I’d bring it back but I’m still not going to borrow your car but thank you so much for offering it. I’m touched more than you can imagine.”
And with that, I walked away as she said, “well, good luck with the coffee and safe travels.”
That’s why I believe this person has got to be the nicest woman in the world.
I’ve been thinking about this woman ever since. I still can’t believe that she was willing to loan me her car so that I could go get coffee. Loan it to me! A total stranger!
And ever since then I’ve been wishing that I had at least asked for her name so I could send her a note or something to say a proper thanks. A box of candy; maybe even some flowers, just to acknowledge her generosity.
So this incident reminded me that we should never miss an opportunity to say thank you to someone — in a meaningful way — when we have the chance.
When was the last time that you sent a personal, hand-written thank you note to your clients or to someone who has expressed some interest in your business?
Who could you send a thank you note to today?
So, right now I’m going to stop writing and send a few thank you notes of my own.
© Copyright 2012 Marty Marsh