Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nice People

I rent a P.O. box for business purposes that I check once or twice a week. The post office is a one-room cinder-block building in a tiny town nearby, and is usually staffed by two workers who keep a candy bowl on the counter.

A few months ago while I waited in line to mail a package, one of the clerks caught me rooting around in the bowl for my favorite, those little green sour apple Jolly Ranchers. We chatted about candy for a few seconds, I mailed my package and left.

Several days later I returned to check my mail, opened my box, and found sitting atop the junk adverts three green sour apple Jolly Ranchers. That particular clerk wasn't working that day so I couldn't thank her for making my week. Next time I went in: another couple of Jolly Ranchers. She was working that day, so I went to the counter to thank her for, again, making my week. She explained that she was attuned to the candy preferences of several regulars and, when she refilled the counter candy bowl, did her best to accommodate them. I just returned from the post office a few minutes ago and she did it again.

What a tiny, attentive, wonderful thing to do. How easy it is to brighten someone's day. Monuments, museums, technology and conquest are well and good but, as far as I'm concerned, getting candy in my mailbox is what Civilization is all about.


Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me that in the 'doom and gloom' of todays society that there are still people who take great pleasure in giving to others and seeing them happy. I have always been under the impression that if you can make others happy then you can be happy with yourself, and also practicing one good deed a day keeps your passion for life alive!

Anonymous said...

When something like this happens you are always expecting "what's the catch - something for nothing - a don't think so!".
But yes there are people out there who do enjoy the satisfaction of putting a little smile on someones face evry day, and maybe the tabliods should show more good news highlighting these people.

Regards Simon Dumville

Brian Fies said...

Anon and Simon, thanks for your thoughtful posts. I like to think the reason that good deeds don't make the news is that they're still too common to be considered special or unusual. When we get to the point where a newscast leads off with "Driver lets pedestrian walk through crosswalk, film at 11!" we will have reached a sorry state.