Long time no see, guys! I'm so behind on submitting stories. I've got some, I just need to type them up! But in honor of Selfless Saturday, I'm saving those for another time and am here to share a nice custy tale. =)
Every year as soon as it begins to get cold, I get a cough. Not a cold or the flu or anything, just a stubborn, annoying cough. General consensus is that it's allergy related and I've tried various generic allergy meds, but most of them make me feel all blah, which isn't any better. People have recommended certain name-brand ones, but hey, I'm a retail slave with a car payment and insurance and I enjoy having food and interwebs, I can't justify shelling out twenty bucks for 10 pills or whatever! Especially without a guarantee that they'd actually work!
About a week ago I was at work, and my cough was particularly horrible that day, to the point where it was starting to hurt whenever I coughed..which was every few minutes. I kept apologizing to customers, swearing it was nothing contagious and feeling bad for looking like a poster child for the black death. An older man came in to ship out a package, and commented that my cough was exactly like HIS allergy cough. He told me a name-brand allergy drug that he said was the only thing that worked for his. He told me that when the season starts, he does a regimen of these pills, and that it really makes the rest of the season easier.
I smiled and apologetically told him that generics hadn't done much and I couldn't really afford to go trying a name-brand drug since chances were it wouldn't help either, but that I really appreciated the advice. And anyway it's just a cough. He nodded, agreeing that yeah, he could understand it's tough to spend money in this situation.
I finished up his shipping transaction. I felt bad for the guy because the computer had gotten confused, and caused us to quote him a shipping price way less than that it ended up having to be. He paid the higher price and said he knew it wasn't our fault that the computer gave us the wrong quote, but he still seemed miffed, (for a good reason) and as I was ringing him up I was being very quiet, afraid that he might still get mad.
Then, as he took his paperwork to leave, he suddenly reached into his wallet and pulled out $20, set it on the counter in front of me, and said: "Here, take this and buy some [brand name] allergy medicine. It'll help."
Me: *completely stunned* "S-sir...thank you, but you really don't--"
Him: "You shouldn't have to go through this. Take this, you'll feel a lot better." Then he told me exactly when and how often to take the pills and for how many days, and left before I could do much more than stammer out a "thank you, you're too kind, I don't know what to say."
I used the money to buy the brand he suggested, and you know what? It HAS helped. A lot! I'm not coughing to the point of aching or feeling like I'm choking anymore. In fact, I'd say it curbed my cough by like 80% at least. Whether it's because the medicine worked or maybe just the placebo effect of wanting it to work, I feel better. All because of a stranger's kindness, made even more incredible by the fact that just five minutes before, he'd found out he was going to have to pay a lot more than he'd thought for his shipping! He had every reason to not want to spend any more money at that point, yet he still chose to help me.
To quote a certain book series I've gotten re-hooked on recently: as a whole, people suck. But a person can be extraordinary.
Thank you, random person, for caring about the well-being of a clerk who many customers think nothing of.