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A Wonderful Lightbulb Moment

, , , , , | Right | July 28, 2021

I walk into an auto parts store.

Me: “Hi! I need a new headlight bulb and two windshield wiper blades, please!”

Associate: “Absolutely!”

The associate quickly gets what I need.

Me: “Could I be a bother and have you assist with installing these?”

Associate: “I can do the windshield wiper blades no problem, but I can’t help with the bulb. I’m sorry.”

Me: “Gotcha! No worries, my dude!”

A line forms behind me and the associate says it’ll be just a minute before he can step out to help me. I try to get a jump on installing the bulb.

I can’t get the bulb out with my crappy grip strength on my dominant hand due to an old injury, and I don’t realize the associate is behind me. He is laughing really hard at my struggle — but in a nice way. I realize I have taken the wrong bulb out and continue cursing while the employee laughs more. Having fixed my wipers, he bids me good luck and heads back inside.

I realize just how inept at car maintenance I actually am and get an idea, so I head back inside.

Me: “Hello! Quick question, and I promise I’m not trying to be that customer.”

Associate: *Playfully ducks under the counter* “Oh, no!”

Me: “I was wondering if you could take the old bulb out and I put the new bulb in. I have an old injury and next to no grip strength in my right hand.”

Associate: “You know what? Sure!”

Back outside, the associate removes the old bulb like he could do it in his sleep. I remove the new bulb and wait for him to scoot so I can get it plugged in.

Associate: “Here, I’ll just go ahead and do it since I’m here.”

Me: “No, I can do it! I don’t want you to get in trouble. Really, thank you for doing this, but I can get it!”

Associate: “My mama raised me to help people and have manners, so it’ll be okay.”

I reluctantly hand him the new bulb which he installs in three seconds max.

Associate: “There you go, ma’am! All good to go! Just try to turn your headlights on real quick to test them.”

I quickly turn them on and grab two $5 bills.

Associate: “Looks like they work perfectly!”

Me: “I know it’s not much, but please take this.”

Associate: “No, ma’am! It’s all good!”

Me: “Please, I have worked customer service long enough to know what it’s like. Please. You don’t realize just how much you helped me.”

I hand him the money.

Me: “I would also like to commend you to your manager if possible. You made this a very pleasant experience and didn’t talk down to me, and I really appreciate that.”

I called the next day and told the manager just how nice this employee was, and this seemed to catch her off-guard. I wish more people would call or talk to the manager about how much good employees really matter!

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