I work costumer service at a fast food restraint, and as many of you know sometimes we get those “hard to deal with” costumers who are having a bad day and need someone to take it out on. I normally try not to let it affect me when costumers are rude, but let’s face it sometimes it’s just easier said than done. On this particular night my shift was over and I was preparing to clock out when I saw an older lady standing just beyond the counter looking lost. So I asked her “Have you been helped?” She looked at me as if in a panic and said “No I haven’t.” So I stepped up to the register and said “What can I get for you?” She responded in a very aggravated voice “I need a cup of coffee!”
I was not prepared for her to raise her voice at me, so my irritation level started to rise as I asked questions like “what size” and “any cream or sugar?” because it was clear by her responses that she was becoming more annoyed with me for not knowing these answers automatically. I turned to go make her coffee when I then saw sorrow in her eyes. She leaned over the counter and it was clear she wanted to say something to me, I turned back to her hoping that I would not regret the decision to hear what she was about to say. She then said “I am sorry, it’s just that I have a double migraine.” I instantly felt sorry for her. I too suffer from chronic migraines that occur 2 to 3 days a week. I said in a soft apologetic voice “I will go get your coffee.”
After coming back to the counter with her coffee the lady looked in a panic again and said to me “I just realized that I forgot my purse in my car, I’m sorry I cannot pay for this.” I said “Ma’am, you can have it because I completely understand what you are going through, I get migraines too.” At this she burst into tears, then thanked me being sure to use my name, and left. My boss saw this and asked me what had happened because she heard the lady raise her voice at me and then start to cry, so I told her and she said that I had done the right thing. I could not stop thinking about that lady and the effect that I made for her through my understanding and act of kindness. Now it’s your turn to find a situation to Pay it Forward in your life.