Monday, February 16, 2009

Do as you would be done by

He was smiling as he came up behind me stopped in the middle of an aisle where I was temporarily distracted from running over people's feet and crashing into shelves by the B&Q employee directing me outside to the building yard. He started to laugh and told me I had the face to get away with anything. I've heard that kind of thing before, but it seems age confers a certain freedom to make such statements to much younger women in a friendly rather than sleazy way. All I could do was laugh. And hit a shelving unit with the mobility scooter I'd been lucky enough to stealwait for another customer to return. It was fun...but frankly I've had more powerful vibrators. I didn't share that insight at the time though.

After a few more pleasantries the gentleman asked me what I was shopping for and if he could assist me in any way. I was after a paving slab of some sort to use as a hearthstone for the fire I've recently picked up 2nd hand on ebay so initially I demurred as moving paving stones are heavy things and he wasn't the youngest of men. He insisted though and I was ever so grateful when we got outside to the building yard and found it barren of employees.

Chatting about what I wanted the stone for and what he was purchasing in B&Q as we looked at stones I felt I should make a choice quickly and let him get on with his day. He had time to spare though and insisted on carefully showing me each paving stone so that I could make my choice, and when I chose the particular type of stone he meticulously sorted through them all to make sure I had one that was both beautiful and with the least faults.

Finally I made a choice I was happy with and the gentleman asked how I was going to get it to the check out. He found a flatbed trolley nearby and insisted on lifting the stone for me and helping me to the checkout with it. We chatted companionably as we headed back into the store, and passing the cafe I offered to buy him a coffee to thank him for all his help. He refused, insisting that he was both too old and too old fashioned to ever let a young lady buy him a drink but I could tell by the twinkle in his eye that he was pleased to have been asked.

Once at the checkout, despite all the time we spent selecting the most appropriate piece of slate the sales assistant noticed a chip and took 20% off the price, unfortunately the offer didn't extend to the gentleman's purchases...though I did ask!

Concerned about leaving me with the heavy stone the man continued to help and insisted on lifting it safely into my car for me, and extracting a promise that I wouldn't even consider trying to lift it out at the other end myself. He took time to position it safely on the back seat, the boot being full of wheelchair, and after my telling him just how much I appreciated his help he took his purchases to his car.

I didn't get his name, but he made my day. I think he was lonely so I hope I made his too. Oh, and I've kept my promise, so, for now the slate is still in the back of my car.

10 comments:

LceeL said...

I envy the man. I would do for you, if I could. That much and more. Just because.

Casdok said...

Lovely to hear there are still Gentlemen out there. Hope it dosnt stay in your car to long!

Ben S said...

Yay for the best bits of human nature!

steph said...

Ace!

Thanks! You've just renewed my faith in mankind.

Hope the slab fits.

Mysterious G said...

there are still a few nice ones left.

Now get someone to get that damn rock out the back of your car before it kills you :) Lumps of rock don't decelerate from 30mph as gracefully as a bag of shopping.. if you catch my drift.

Get that whip a'crackin and get some of your slaves to shift it for you, I concur with the bloke you shouldn't be shifting it yourself.

Dave said...

That's how it works BG. You do a good turn for one person and someone does a good turn for you.
I don't know if you have faith in "someone up there", but this is a "someone up there" moment.
My friend's emails are tagged with this motto "practice senseless acts of kindness"
You didn't have to put yourself out with the old lady but you did. It was senseless in that respect.
You got your reward when he helped you with your slab.
It costs nothing but means a lot.

Constable Confused.com said...

You have just renewed my faith in humanity. Can't promise how long it will last once I get back to work tomorrow.

Scribbler said...

Hey Dave - tell your friend that practise in that instance is a verb so it needs an 's' not a 'c'.

That should test his commitment to his motto...

(ps nice story - warms the cockles)

having my cake said...

What Mysterious G said! You dont want it whacking you in the back of the head at an inopportune moment.

Lovely story tho and it certainly reinforces the 'pay it forward' idea which has become so lost in this me, me, me culture.

Roland Hulme said...

What a beautiful post!

And if it's any consolation, paving slabs in the back of the car are what helped the General Lee jump all those ditches straight and true in that old Dukes of Hazzard show.

True fact, look it up.