While lunching at Taco Bell yesterday I noticed a homeless man enter the establishment and straight-away began to bus tables. He then went to the drinking fountain and wet some napkins and wiped down every vacant table in the dining patio.
After he was finished with that task he went to the condiment station and organized it. Taking great pains to re-sort the hot sauces and straws. It was impressive work, to be sure.
Once satisfied he made his way to the order counter and asked very politely, "I've straightened up your restaurant, do you think you could spare me something - anything - to eat.
The girl seemed genuinely saddened to tell him, "I can't. I'm sorry."
He looked at her and said, "I understand. Thanks anyway." As he turned to leave he began to cry.
I was just finished eating and after I bussed my own table I went to the counter and ordered two bean burritos. The girl handed them to me and I took them to where the homeless man was sitting in the patch of grass outside.
I handed it to him and said, "Your hard work didn't go unnoticed."
And thru a big smile he thanked me. And it felt good.
I had stopped at Taco Bell while I was on my way to redeem a gift card I had received for Payless Shoe Store. Or whatever it's called.
I looked around the store for a bit, settled on some shoes and proceeded to the checkout counter.
As the sales clerk was ringing me up a little 3 or 4 year old girl ran up to her mother (on line behind me) and asked very excitedly in Spanish if she could have the pair of sparkly princess shoes she was clutching in her hands. What little girl wouldn't want a pair of sparkly princess shoes? Hello.
One doesn't have to understand Spanish to know that the mother was not buying those shoes for her, the dejected reaction from the tot spoke volumes. Of course, it kind of saddened me.
As my transaction finished the Payless employee said, "You have $3.80 left on this card. I can give you the cash if you like."
I thought about it for a second and then point to the sparkly princess shoes still in the little girls grip and asked, "How much are the sparkly princess shoes?"
She replied, "Like $5."
I told the sales clerk, "I'd like to apply it to the shoes if the mom will go for it. I mean, a girl has to have her sparkly princess shoes, right?"
The clerk told the mother of my offer. The woman beamed as she tapped her hand to her heart and said with a hint of shame, "No, no, no. No gracias."
I shot a look to the sales clerk and then she said, "Don't worry. I'll make it happen."
I grabbed my bag to leave and thru a big smile the little girl thanked me.
And it felt good.