One rainy cold day, I decided I didn't care anymore if it had been raining all week, I just wanted my car clean. Besides, if it was nice and I had it washed, it surely would rain anyway! I went to the carwash around 1 p.m. and sat there a minute before a young attendant came out. He seemed somewhat dejected. After I pulled out of the carwash, I didn't get far before a thought occurred to me -- I had a bag of homemade cookies; they were meant to be for a friend but knowing the compassionate nature of my friends, I figured he would understand. So I immediately made a "U'ey" and pulled back into the carwash. The attendant seemed even more surprised to see me, again! With a big smile, I handed him the cookies and the card that said "SMILE, you have been tagged" and he got a huge smile ... Read Full Story >>
It was five in the morning. The room smelt weird. I saw him, next to me, deep in slumber. I went up to the bathroom and got my answer to the stench. He had had a few extra drinks last night, must have puked all over the wash basin. The basin was clogged and the stench inside was unbearable. A little angry I came back in the room with half a mind to wake him up and ask him to clean up. I could hear his soft snores and knew that he needs that sleep to be normal the next morning. This happened when we were vacationing in Dubai during Diwali holidays. I called up the reception and in an embarrassed tone explained my problem. It was a five star property and the receptionist promised to send someone over within a minute. Before hanging up, I requested him to send ... Read Full Story >>
One of my heroes told me of how she likes to secretly leave little treats for people at work with a smile card. So, I started doing that too. I found these really great snacks made by Larabar called “cashew cookies.” That was usually my go-to. Sometimes, I’d leave a book or a DVD that I liked for my co-workers on my way out. It was kind of cool, because everybody got it! Nobody tried very hard to find out who or how. They just kept doing it again and again. I got 3 of the smile cards given back my way. One of my best friends at work had her birthday a couple weeks ago. If you meet her, you would know that she’s an exceptional human being. She’s one of the most thoughtful people I know. On top of that, she’s very smart and always has good ... Read Full Story >>
When one of my colleagues was diagnosed with cancer, he decided to take a leave of absence. He decided to take leave not only because he was undergoing treatment, but also because his wife was going through treatment for a brain tumor. Given that they were both in bad shape, he decided to take the leave so that they could enjoy each other's company while they still had the chance. Before he went on his leave, he purposely came to his office after hours to gather his personal belongings - just in case. At the office, we all felt very bad but didn't know how to keep in touch with him and his family without bothering them. So here is what I did: I bought cards with envelopes and distributed them to all the people in our group. Then I sent an email to everyone encouraging my colleagues to write something, anything, for our friend. I then ... Read Full Story >>
I've been holding on to a good bunch of Smile Cards for some time now and decided it was about time I started using them more often! Any opportunity I get, no matter how big or small I am going to do an act of kindness and encourage the pay-it-forward idea. The other day I attended a large business event. I was seated in a row of seats where all chairs were taken except for one chair next to me. It was the only good viewing spot left in the room. There were other chairs available, but they were a distance away and to the side of the room. A few minutes later, two young men stood near me gazing the auditorium for the best seats they could find. "How many seats do you need?" I inquired. "Two," one of them replied. I flashed back to my Smile Card resolution and immediately got up. "Here, you can my seat and the ... Read Full Story >>
My friend Robert started a new job this week and he's been in training class for two days. The employer has a very strict dress code --- dark blue shirts and khaki pants. On the first day, an older gentleman in his class did not have the proper attire and he was sternly told that he would be dismissed if he didn't have the right attire the next day. He explained, "Sir, I had not been told about this. Because of my larger size, it's sometimes difficult to find the right clothing for a price I can afford." Last night, Robert and I decided that this old man shouldn't lose his job simply because he couldn't afford the clothes. I had some cash on hand at home and Robert took it with him this morning just in case it was needed. When training started this morning, the trainer was ready to fire ... Read Full Story >>
I have always loved our local library and every couple weeks, I've started to stop by on my lunch break. As the weather has gotten colder I have noticed that the library is more crowded during the day and not smelling very pleasant. It seems that the library is a popular place for our local homeless to gather to get out of the bad weather. I am glad that there is a warm safe place for people to get out of the bad weather, but I also wonder what it is like for the librarians who work there every day. Recently, on the way back from a business meeting, I stopped at a bakery and picked up my favorite treat -- a Napoleon. I love the bakery's Napoleons and was looking forward to enjoying the treat when I got back to my office. That day, I also stopped by the library ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I was in the grocery store and ran into an old client. (I worked in Social Services for 14 years and recently left to pursue other things). This particular person had been a very abrasive, beligerant and loud client, which intimidated some of the staff. Somehow I became the person who was best at dealing with these sorts of folks and I was called to the front desk to talk with him. He was tall and, well, scary looking. Wild hair, missing teeth, buggy eyes. I brought him to my office where he began crying and we talked about his life and what he needed help with. I then did my job, and helped him to the best of my ability. He soon found employment and went on his way and was one of my best success stories and I was proud of it. This was over 4 years ago. Anyway, yesterday ... Read Full Story >>
A wonderful Sufi story by Idries Shah: Once upon a time, not a thousand miles from here, there lived a poor old wood-cutter, who was a widower, and his little daughter. He used to go every day into the mountains to cut firewood which he brought home and tied into bundles. Then he used to have breakfast and walk into the nearest town, where he would sell his wood and rest for a time before returning home. One day, when he got home very late, the girl said to him: ‘Father, I sometimes wish that we would have some nicer food, and more and different kinds of things to eat.’ 'Very well, my child,’ said the old man, ‘tomorrow I shall get up much earlier than I usually do. I shall go further into the mountains where there is more wood, and I shall bring back a much larger quantity than ... Read Full Story >>
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite -- telling them to help themselves to the coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup itself doesn't add to the quality to the coffee and in some cases even hides what we drink and yet you consciously ... Read Full Story >>
Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content. One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy. The King asked the servant, "Why are you so happy?" The man replied, "Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don't need too much - just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies." The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King's woes and the servant's story, the advisor said, "Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club." "The 99 Club? And ... Read Full Story >>
I have a good friend, Tom, who keeps extra umbrellas in his car. On rainy days he drives by bus stops and hands free umbrellas to anyone who needs one. Yesterday, a young man knocked on my door. He was canvasing the neighborhood setting up appointments for free window replacement estimates. He stood far from my door and spoke carefully. I knew why. Despite much progress, stereotypes are still very real. I knew this young African-American man was not getting a whole lot of doors opened in my neighborhood. I opened my door wide and we chatted for a few minutes. He visibly relaxed. Before he turned around to leave, I noticed it was about to rain. I asked him if he would be okay in the rain. He told me that he needed to finish out the block before he could return to his car which was parked several blocks ... Read Full Story >>
Today has been a great kindness day for me. I brought an extra banana on my drive into the office and gave it to the homeless man at the corner. I bought coffee for the hurried woman in front of me, who smiled and had a little bit better day if only for a few moments. I sent 5 thank you notes to people who have done simple things for me in the past few days. And my daughter and I made smile rocks and sent them to a special friend in need.
How does this pertain to you? Because every single one of my acts today was because of something I read here! A special friend made a difference for me today when she sent me a great note and some karmabucks. A special thank you to her for making my day today!
Your comments, stories and kind acts make all the difference, even when you don't know it. Your words touch more hearts than you know and cause others to pass it on. Keep it up everyone! I am a better person having had my life touched by you all. I plan to continue following your lead and look forward every day the inspiration you provide to me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!
This is my first post here as I have just joined and what a wonderful way to start off! I was working as a waitress in an upscale Italian restaurant where the majority of the patrons were the sort who pay little or no attention to those around them. One evening, I had been having an absolutely horrible day as I had just received an unexpected bill that was already past due. As I was standing in the entry way to the building, a young man appeared. He walked up to me and asked if there was any work that he could do to earn twenty dollars because he needed to get home. Having recently moved and being from a small town, I had never really encountered something like this before, so I asked him to wait while I went to the back of the restaurant to ask my boss. As I ... Read Full Story >>
It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule. Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results. Said in another words: 1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil. 2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants. 3. Stockholm, has 500,000 people. 4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA. The first time I was ... Read Full Story >>
I hated closing. I'm a person who claims that I do not hate, but I hated closing. Period. And by that I mean the closing shift at Domino's. We close at 11pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends. And I HATED closing. I hated it because we close at 11pm, but people call late at night and then we have to clean up and do all the paperwork, etc. So, I never get to leave until 11:30-12:00. It got to the point where I didn't like customers who called after 10pm. That felt bad. I got bitter and angry inside. But alas, I decided I needed to change myself and little by little I developed a new attitude. Now when I go in to close, instead of saying we close at 11, but (wah-wah) I won't get to leave till 11:45 and I won't get home till 12:30, I simply say I work till midnight. Then, ... Read Full Story >>
You think everyone would have something they dislike about their job - with the notable exception of the people at State Bank and Trust in Fargo, N.D., CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports. "What do you hate about this company?" Hartman asked some workers. One said: "I haven't found anything yet." Another: "No, this is a good place to work? "What do I hate about management? They're just too nice!" One worker said. Another worker said, "They care about their employees." The conclusion: Take this job and love it! Another worker's reaction to Hartman's question, what do you hate about working here, was: "I have to go home." State Bank chief operating officer Michael Solberg said, "That's our mission statement: happy employees, happy customer." What, is this McDonalds? To accomplish the company's mission, Solberg says the bank gives a year-end bonus of about 5 percent of salary. They contribute 15 percent of salary to the 401-K, and do a full ... Read Full Story >>
I was working for a company in Australia that has a high turnover of staff. I, too, had found a better position and was very aware that management would be dissapointed that I was leaving. I had recently become friends with a young man who had just migrated to Australia. He was unskilled and was finding life difficult being unemployed and married and having two young children. As I handed in my notice I was asked if I was aware of anyone who was looking for work and could do the job as well as I had done. I took this opportunity to line up an interview for my new friend. My friend was not offered the job after the interview. I had to serve a weeks notice and during this time I asked management the reasons why my friend was turned down. They claimed that his English was not good enough ... Read Full Story >>
[A letter to Abby, in her column last week.] Dear Abby: Please let the world know that kind people still exist. I was on my way to two job interviews. Not surprisingly, I was nervous, so before I got off my train, I took my phone out to check the directions to the first one. A short walk later, I reached the subway, but when I went into my purse for my wallet to buy a MetroCard, lo and behold, my wallet and new glasses were missing. I retraced my steps and ran to the courtesy counter to ask if anyone had turned in my wallet and glass case. The woman in the booth told me the train was still in the station and to hurry there immediately to check for my things. Long story short, no luck. Heartbroken, I returned to the courtesy desk. Not only would I miss ... Read Full Story >>
One of my pleasures has always been to make friends out of people I encounter on a regular basis. This has sometimes led to wonderful unexpected gifts beyond the obvious happiness of setting up outposts of friends. 10 years ago, I was a "career professional" working as a programmer in a bank. Like many people, I was unhappy in my job, feeling completely unfulfilled, and occasionally having anxiety attacks about my life passing by without meaning. Banks have a strange corporate structure, doling out the title of "Vice President" rather liberally to miscellaneous positions of middling authority. My job had been bestowed with this aggrandizement. It not only seemed ridiculous to me, but became a source of irritation when I'd watch someone greet me respectfully, then turn around and respond dismissively to a fellow employee. In reaction to this obvious inequity, I made it a point to be even more respectful towards ... Read Full Story >>
My fiancee and I decided today was the day to finally treat ourselves to a nice dinner. It started off as 'our' day' but little did we know that it would turn into much more. I didn't want the whole day to be about yearning to leave the office for the upcoming dinner and I didn't want the dinner to be just another romantic night for two... So, I felt compelled to turn up the notch of giving that day and see what that could do. During the work day, I began in small ways. I inserted a few more quarters, dimes, and nickels, into the vending machines at work for the staff, so that something extra jingled inside for the next hungry worker. I posted smile signs in the lobby which gave clear instructions on how to smile as employees entered the office, either before their morning cup of coffee or right before a meeting with their boss. I drafted some powerful words of inspiration on colorful strips of paper and decorated my cube, so that any colleagues who came by, might just stop for ... Read Full Story >>
I'm just a senior in high school who works for minimum wage at a local Baskin Robbins. In and outside of work, I always wear a smile and try to influence my amiable attitude towards others. But lately, I've been inspired by the stories here to reach out in kindness in other ways beyond just acting friendly. So, today, when I went to work, I decided I would take my first big step and truly help a complete stranger. Two young girls came into the store and looked around. I offered them my usual "Welcome to Baskin Robbins!" greeting. It was a couple of minutes later when one of them finally decided upon a flavor, chocolate chip. So then, I made a big scoop and put it upon a cone and handed it to her. Interestingly, though, the other girl didn't get anything even though I could tell she was eyeballing the variety of creams. So, I ... Read Full Story >>
I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ" the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to ... Read Full Story >>
My daughter reminded me yesterday of a story that happened several years ago. I worked in a nursing home for several years and had kind of adopted one wing, where the residents had few guests/visitors, and stayed manily in their rooms or in the hallway outside there rooms. I went down on my breaks just to check in, to see if anyone needed or wanted a bit of extra TLC. I gave them "flower" nicknames so I could share some of there stories with my kids without revealing there identities. The residents all knew I had nicknames for them. I called them my own private garden. One day I happened to overhear one of them say, "I wonder if dandelion is coming today?" "Of course, she always comes answered another." I admit I wondered why they named me after a weed. A few months after overhearing this one of my special ... Read Full Story >>
I work in a casino and deal with customers everyday. Unfortunately the majority of the time that means dealing with negativity as people are losing money and not generally happy.
Well last night I was working the grave shift and stopped to give change to a customer. He said I looked like I needed a hug. I just smiled. He opened up his jacket and pulled out a ziplock bag. Inside were a bunch of "hugs."
They were the word "hug" carved out of wood and attached to a pin. He had obviously made them himself. He handed me one as well as a card that goes with it (talking about the benefit of hugs and the low, low cost).
He made my day and I attached the hug to my ID badge so I could be reminded of how good a hug feels, especially when you least expect it.
I thought it was rather odd when my friend from the nursing home asked me to motor her wheelchair through the puddles that formed from the melting snow. I didn't really get it, but I went along with it. We were out on one of our walks or what I like to call one of our"weekly strolls" because I stand and she rolls. Adhering to my friend's peculiar request, we were off on our watery wheelchair adventure! We splashed through each puddle together and came out of each experience, slightly damp and smiling. In fact, after a few puddle excursions, even I started looking out for larger and more daunting puddles to sail through until one day we were out on our stroll, and to our dismay, no puddles were to be found. They had all dried up. Keen on keeping our strolling adventure alive, we discovered something new that awaited us. As we headed down the residential street, there was a small pile of leaves. My friend asked me to roll her through ... Read Full Story >>
Shopkeeper Tom Algie faced a dilemma over Christmas -- how to give himself and his three staff time off but without letting down his customers. So he came up with a solution to suit everyone: leaving the hardware store open with an honesty box. He left a note telling shoppers who came in on Boxing Day to serve themselves and then leave their payment in the box he had rigged up. Perhaps astonishingly, his plan worked. Trusting shopkeeper Tom Algie wanted a day off and left his DIY store open with a note and honesty box - and returned to find £187 inside When Mr Algie, 47, returned at 4.15pm to close up, he was delighted to find the shop in Settle, North Yorkshire, had taken £187.66 - and two euros. The father of two said: 'I didn't think twice about leaving the shop open. Settle is a lovely quiet ... Read Full Story >>
When my sister got married some time back, we were all excited. After her honeymoon she invited me over to her house to help her unwrap the gifts and send some thank you notes to all the people that came to the wedding party. As a side note, my sister works at Standard Bank in Malawi. Going through the gifts, we came across this precious exotic ice bucket in silver and gold. I had never seen such a beautiful ice bucket. Inside it was a note that read, "When I heard you were getting married, I asked around for the details and somehow managed to get here. You might not know me but I know you. I am a regular customer at Standard Bank and you helped me a lot when I was applying for a loan. I will never forget what you did, God bless you. -- Anonymous" When I showed my sister the note, she couldn't remember who the person ... Read Full Story >>
It was in the early 1970s that I was employed by Rockwell in Downey on the space shuttle program. The pressure to produce was intense with constant demands to meet schedules with teams of people of disparate skills and motivation. I had been involved in the Gurdjieff work for a short time and was beginning to experience a bit of the calm that comes from the meditation practice. At lunch time, my habit was to walk around the area adjacent to the test facility. One day while so occupied, I came across a small strip mall that had a space rented to a branch of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation organization. Having a bit of curiosity about the technique, I entered the facility and spoke with a pleasant and slightly plump young woman who appeared to be quite calm. Although it was not my interest to sign up for the courses ... Read Full Story >>