Thursday, February 24, 2011

It Was Worth The Wait

The other evening I needed to pay my internet bill. It was due. Yes, I could have paid it online, but whenever possible I prefer to deal face to face.

When I walked in the manager was once again manning the triage desk. One of the things about paying my bill in all kinds of weather while wearing my gear is folk tend to remember me. He and I have this little dance we do each month. I tell him I want to pay my bill. He tries to direct me to one of the self service machines. I remind him that since my head injury I don't do machines. He says he remembers and I believe him. But even so, he next offers as he does every month to walk me over to the machine and do all the work for me. Each month I decline and every month he reminds me how much he hates to see me wait. We go through this every month. This month he was particularly keen to get me to a machine since I might be facing as much as a thirty minute wait. I assured him it really was fine. Finally, he gave up. He wrote down my name and I retreated to the wall of windows that face somewhat west.

Waiting for me was a view of a most remarkable sunset. I knew that if not for this unintentional wait I would have missed this sight completely. I would have finished my commute, had the bike hooked up to the battery tender, and been in my condo feeding the cat. As it was, I had nothing else to do but stand there and watch the sunset intensify in color--orange, yellow, multiple shades of purple, and even some green.

At one point I noticed the manager dealing with a particularly angry customer. I admired his patience, but thought I detected a certain sense of burden on him. I began to suspect this had not been an easy day for him.

I watched the sunset unfold and waited for the manager to be free of customers. When this happened I called to him and motioned him to come over to where I was standing next to the door. He came over. I told him to open the door, step outside and look west. To my surprise he didn't question me, but just did as I asked.

I watched him stand there looking at the sunset. He stood there for at least a full minute, maybe longer. Then he came back in.

"Pretty cool, hey?" I asked.

"Yeah," he said and smiled at me.

As he left me, it seemed he had a little more bounce in his step, but these things are difficult to gauge and I was well aware I could have imagined it. I went back to watching the sunset and waiting to pay my bill.

Later, the manager walked a customer to the door. They have a custom at this store. After your dealings are completed, the person who waits on you walks you to door, opens it for you, and thanks you for your business. It is a nice touch and I like it. Anyway, the sunset was waning, but still glorious as he closed the door. I said to him, "You didn't ask her to look at the sunset."

"No, but I did text my wife and asked her to look at it," he said, smiling as he pulled out his phone and showed me the proof.

"Cool," I said.

Eventually, I managed to pay my bill. The whole transaction took maybe a minute and a half tops. And, it was worth the wait.


  1. Great story. Isn't it amazing how far a good deed goes. You spread a little cheer, (sharing a sunset) and he passes it on to his wife...and so it goes on.

  2. I am so glad that you are capable of 'seeing' the sunset. I am happy it was there to help you...and to help the manager. I love it when a 'chore' turns into a uplifting experience.

  3. Two guys admiring the sunset. There is hope for the world. Sweet, that he texted the wife.

  4. Dear Keith:

    I have no idea what kind of a head injury you have, but there is nothing wrong with your soul.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  5. bluekat,
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it. Glad you liked the story.

  6. Lori,
    Some of the gifts I've received from riding are a stronger inclination to go with the flow and an increased attention to what's happening around me. I am grateful for these gifts.

    I appreciate the comment.

  7. SonjaM,
    I, too, thought it was very sweet that he texted his wife. Apparently, sunsets are important to them. Of course, I had no way to know I was plugging into the history. I do love it when such serendipity happens.

    Thanks for commenting.

  8. Jack,
    I'm in the company of many former NFL players without having ever been one. I have had multiple concussions, and now suffer the consequences. Oddly, the time I seem to be most mentally resilient is when riding. Riding has expanded my soulfulness, I have no doubt, still your comment nearly makes me blush.

    Thanks for stopping by. Be assured I'm going to make sure Heather sees your comment :-)

  9. Perfect way to "pay it forward" and brighten someone's day.

    It is nice to notice the little things and how magnificent they are and nicer still to share it with someone so that they too can enjoy it and pass it on.

    I think the world would be a better place if we would all just slow down and go with the flow a little more. People would be happier if they weren't in such a rush. Things like beautiful sunsets get noticed and smiles ensue.

  10. Keith:

    I think as riders, exposed to the elements and more aware of our surroundings are more in tune with nature, and her beauty. In a business environment we are all slaving away to make ends meet and have no time to stop and contemplate, and not all customers are in a good mood.

    sometimes we have to remind others to stop and reflect

    Riding the Wet Coast