Monday, January 28, 2013

The Woman at the Post Office

I’m waiting impatiently in line at the Post Office last Saturday to pick up my order of ridiculously expensive shampoo. (Side note—it’s sooo not all it’s cracked up to be, and I have since cancelled my “subscription.”) Anyway, I got there early because I had to go to work. Who knew the post office wouldn’t open until 10:00? What a load of crap. On what planet does the post office open at 10:00am? They should definitely be open at 9:00. Strike one for the post office.

I’ve recently moved, so the delivery of said “special shampoo” was sent back to the post office because for some reason, they couldn’t forward it to my new address. All my other mail has been forwarded, why not this? Seriously? How hard is it to forward a little box with a couple of bottles of shampoo? I’m getting more irritated by the second. Strike two.

Dammit! I’m going to be late for work. This is such bullshit. I just want my flippin shampoo! I’m totally out and I don’t want to go buy some “cheap” shampoo at CVS just to hold me over, because then I’ll be stuck with a whole bottle that I won’t even use. Ugh! What is taking so long? I just want to pick up my package and go to work!

I finally get to the front of the line. I hand the man my slip and he goes to retrieve my package. He comes back and tells me there is an additional $7 charge. “Why?” I ask.  I already pay an ungodly amount of money for this stupid shampoo that doesn’t even work, and now he’s telling me I need to pay $7 more dollars? He tells me some bullshit about the package being sent back, and that’s why there’s an extra charge, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. I just need to get outta here. I hand him my debit card. He looks at me and tells me that they can only do cash transactions because it’s Saturday. WHAT?!?!?! Are you effin kidding me ? What the hell difference does it make what day it is? The little magnetic stripe on my card is somehow magically deactivated on Saturdays? I’ve never heard anything so stupid! Goddammit! I look in my wallet and I have only $4 in cash. The post office clerk tells me that he cannot release my package without cash payment. Strike 3 Post Office. You’re out.

I throw a fit. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I apparently was loud enough for a lady at the back of the line to hear me. A small, Dark-Haired Woman of about 50 approaches me, her hand extended with three one-dollar bills. “Here,” she says, in a thick accent, “For you.” I look at her face and wonder what kind of person does this. “No,” I say, completely stunned, “I can’t.” “Here,” she says again, and forces the money into my hand. Her eyes are kind, and she touches my hand as she walks back to her place in line. I am so touched; my mood immediately changes. “Thank you, thank you!” I say, “Thank you so much!” I give the clerk the seven dollars and get my package.

As I’m leaving, I stop to thank the Dark Haired Woman again, and notice she is standing with a tall, dark man. “Thank you so much!” I say again, “You just made my day. Really, I can’t thank you enough. That was so sweet of you. Can I have your name and address so I can send you back your money?” The Dark Haired Lady looks at me like she doesn’t know what I am saying, but still has a warm smile on her face. “No, it’s okay,” the man says, “Really, it’s not necessary.” I look at the man, he is smiling. I walk out of the post office feeling like a total asshole, but somehow grateful at the same time. Grateful that there are people like The Dark Haired Woman that exist in the world. And even more grateful that I had had the good fortune to have one cross my path.

This small act of kindness totally changed not only my mood, but my outlook for the day. It snapped me out of my hissy fit and put things into perspective. It’s really not worth it to get that upset over a stupid bottle of shampoo.

And so, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You, Dark Haired Woman. Your random act of kindness touched me and has inspired me to do the same for others. I only hope that I can make such a difference to someone as you did to me.

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