It’s one o’clock in the morning on a random Wednesday night. I recently got out of work and wanted to blog about something I experienced today before I forgot. I truly believe that this is something that every can relate to.
I work at an event arena where I work at the concession stand serving customers their food. In recent concerts, I’ve served around seven hundred customers, which is insane. We can’t solicit by having a jar for tips. I get paid below minimum wage. I deal with a lot of people with a high pace speed. Not everyone is cut out to work the register at this type of job. The hours are a bit strange since we work events that get out late at night and start early in the afternoon. This job may be hectic ninety-nine percent of the time but it never ceases to be boring. Needless to say, there’s some background knowledge about my workplace.
Not everyone leaves tips since we can’t have jars out. They think that we can’t accept them or whatever other reason. There are however some very generous people who tip, of course depending on the crowd the tips you receive range all the time.
Tonight, in the beginning of my shift I found a penny on my counter, heads up. I thought at first that it was strange. What would I want with a penny? Not to mention, in our registers we only have quarters. No one had ever left me a penny before. Regardless, I carried the penny around all night in my little apron. I kept wondering why someone would have a single penny just hanging around in their pocket at this type of event. For some reason, I just couldn’t get over the penny and why it was given to me.
Just before our concession stand closed for the night, my last customer walked over to me. She ordered her food as usual. Her friends came over and asked her if she was okay getting back to the seat on her own. They left. My customer started talking to me. She said “They keep asking me if I’m okay… I lost my son just last week. We just buried him on Sunday.”
Caught off guard, I didn’t really know what to respond with. I knew that this lady was feeling a great amount of grief and wasn’t exactly sure how to handle it. We talked about how her friends were just being supportive, how hard it was for her to stay strong in a time like this and she even told me about the tattoo she got in her sons honor after his death. After talking to the customer for about ten to fifteen minutes, it hit me. The penny.
My mother lost her sister about six years ago. Ever since, she has been finding and picking up heads up pennies everywhere. She calls them pennies from heaven. Many people actually use this expression thinking that this penny was placed in this spot to bring up the memory of someone you have lost. For my mom, it was her sister. But tonight, the penny placed on my counter earlier that day was from my customers son.
I told her about how my mother has this tradition of finding pennies she claims are from heaven. I told her how there was a penny that was randomly placed on my counter today. I pulled it from my apron and handed it to her. I told her that I believed that today, that penny was meant for her to have. She needed it more than I did.
This just goes to show that everything happens for a reason. The little things you do for others could mean the world to someone else.
Everyone deals with loss differently. For some people, they may need to get out and take their minds off everything. For others, they may not want to talk about it. Some people just want to be alone. Sometimes asking if they are okay is the worst thing to say. Of course they aren’t okay right now. But they know they need to be strong for everyone else.
Treat your customers, and for that matter, everyone, with respect. It may be the end of a long shift. You might be extremely tired. No matter how much you don’t really want to be there anymore. You truly never know what a person is going through or dealing with in their lives. They may seem happy or may be out having a fun time for the night at some type of event but you don’t know what is going on inside their lives.
I guess my point is just that every little thing matters. Little kind gestures can sometimes create the biggest smiles in a person. Who would have ever guessed that a penny would make a customer smile or have such a big meaning to someone else. It may be worth a small money value, but the gesture was one of a big heart.
***Photos used in this post belong to respected owners, they are not our own images***