Thursday, December 8, 2011

On kindness

Oh how I hate it when people are rude.  Abrasive.  Mean spirited.  Where does this type of behavior get us, really? 

I was reminded of these feelings today when reading this post on Karen Wolrond's blog-chookooloonks.  It was a brief testimonial about how a simple kindness can not only lift the spirits of the person you pay the kindness to, but to those around you and your own.  During our hectic holiday celebrations, we need to remember this lesson. 

Just last week I was irritated beyond belief.  At a certain online retailer.  At the postal service.  At anyone and anything that came across my path in relation to a gift we had ordered for our son over a month ago and seemed to vanish into the ether.  I contacted customer service, as instructed, on the appropriate date, and began to explain my problem to a very nice woman.  I could tell in her voice she was bracing herself for an onslaught of anger and venom.  When I assured her I was not angry at her, that I knew this was not her personal fault (after all, I highly doubted she tracked the package from New Jersey to Toledo, stole it, then made it back to her desk to receive my phone call), and that I promised not to yell at her once, her tone relaxed completely.  She tried everything she could to resolve the issue for me-sadly ending in a credit to the account as the item was sold out, and wished me a merry Christmas as we parted on the phone (after talking about our respective children).  It wasn't the outcome I'd hoped for, but I can honestly say that by being kind to someone who works, in what I assume to be a wretched job at any time of the year-most especially now, I walked away feeling that I helped her have a better day and resolved the issue on my end as well.

Sometime over this holiday season, take the time to pass along some kindness to those in your path.  Especially those who are working jobs in retail, food service, customer service, or in the USPS (UPS or Fed Ex too!).  They are all doing the best they can to manage chaos right now, and the more kindness we all shower on them, the happier our holidays might be. 

And please, don't run people over in the parking lots.  Do that one for me.