Prompt 177-Kindness of a Stranger

Write about something nice a stranger did for you.

There are two instances that stand out in my mind, both involving flowers and a grocery store.

In the first scenario, I was working at a grocery store, in the produce section. I made sure the fruits and veggies were stocked and fresh, kept the displays neat, and made party platters. It wasn’t a very stressful job, and I barely had to think about my day to day tasks for the job. Occasionally someone would ask for fresher lettuce or if there was more of something “in the back” and I’d wander back into the cooler to procure it for them (or pretend to double check for something I knew we were out of because they insisted there must be more “in the back”).

It was a retail job. If you’ve ever worked retail, you know how it was. It wasn’t running the register though, and that made it so much more laid back. The only really stressful days were delivery days and the days leading up to holidays, because it meant a lot of restocking. I got a decent workout though. It was probably the main reason I didn’t put on any weight at my second job working fast food.

This particular day was slow. It was the day before a truck, so the cooler was mostly empty. There wasn’t much to stock, but it wasn’t busy either so people weren’t exactly looking for things we were out of. I was doing a round of cleaning when a gentleman came over carrying a bouquet of flowers.

“Excuse me miss, these are for you.” And he handed them to me. They were carnations. He told me he likes to give flowers and write thank you letters to hospitals and people in service jobs. “When you do good things, you ought to be recognized for them.”

I don’t know that keeping the produce department clean and organized really qualified me, but I was not ungrateful. Nor were the girls up at the registers who also received flowers. We might not have been changing lives (much less saving them), but it was nice to feel appreciated.

In the second scenario, several years and one state later, I was shopping for dinner and some minor essentials after work. My grocery store was always a nightmare at that time of the day, and I didn’t really have a list so I kept going from one end of the store to the other as I remembered items I needed. It had been a rough day.

I saw this young girl with a handful of purple roses walking up and down the aisles with purpose in her steps. Her father followed a few paces behind her, chuckling. I passed them a couple times in my wanderings, and each time she had one fewer rose. I smiled, thinking about the woman I had passed earlier with one of the roses in her purse.

I got in line at the self-checkout and was scanning the cover of one of the magazines when I heard a little voice behind me say “Excuse me.” I turned, and there was the little girl, with one last flower. She handed it to me and said “I hope you have a beautiful day!” I thanked her and she ran back to her dad with a smile.

It turned out to be “Random Act of Kindness Day” or something along those lines, but it was still a very sweet thing to do. And my rough day did get a little more beautiful because of her flower.

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