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I'm embarrassed to admit that I found myself without any change in my pocket, purse, change holder or even on the floor of my car. But, it's true. And, I was smack dab in the middle of rush hour traffic and in line at a toll booth. The toll was 30 cents, I had 20. Will I get a ticket? Will they make me pull over and fill out paperwork and then fine me? I started to panic. I needed to get to my doctor's appointment.
As I pulled up to the toll booth greeter, I looked once again for change. Nothing. They probably hate people like me. I'm sure the people behind me didn't like me much either.
"Don't worry about it, honey." the woman said. "I got it."
I couldn't believe it. I know it was just 10 cents, but still. It seemed so kind. So patient. So unlike what I had anticipated would happen.
I thanked her profusely and drove away, vowing I would go back there and thank her, give her the 10 cents and thank you note. But, I haven't seen her since then.
Small gestures like that can make a so-so customer a loyal one. A 10 cent favor meant so much to me in that moment, and I will never forget that woman or her kindness.
When customers come to your business, remember, a simple hello, a smile, a helping hand, can mean the world to someone who is having a bad day, or is short on hope, short on patience, or short on change.