Kindness: Making A Meal Out Of It

, , , , , , | Hopeless | July 25, 2018

(My roommate and I hit a run of bad luck financially, but I finally managed to get my tax refund after nearly two months of waiting. After catching up on bills, loans, and paying back friends and family, we decide to use the last of the money to stock up our food supplies at H-E-B with more than just cheap TV dinners and canned meals. However, as we are looking at a few of the coupons that are in the store to see what we want and can afford, one of the employees approaches us.)

Employee: “Hey, you two seem to be pretty down on your luck, so I thought you might like this.”

(She hands my roommate a nearly $10 value package of skinless chicken breasts that has a sticker on it reading, “TRY ON US!” Then, she proceeds to explain that the sticker means we will get the entire package — at least five very nice-sized pieces — for free.)

Roommate: “Wait. You mean you are giving us this… for free?”

Employee: “Yes, I can tell by the way you are shopping around and—” *she points at me with my phone that I was using a calculator for the amount remaining in our budget* “—that you are seriously keeping track of how much you are spending. Did something happen?”

(I begin to explain about the various bills, and the fact that we lost power for a few days in the last month due to being late, despite the fact that we were going to pay them quite literally the day after they cut the power. However, they had nearly doubled the total bill in fees for the disconnect, reconnect, deposit, and the like, meaning we had to beg for help to get it back on. In addition, we had a few legal issues, had to get our car repaired, and various other things; the only saving grace was the tax refund.)

Employee: “That sounds pretty bad, but I’m glad to see that you are starting to get back on solid ground. I do hope that this helps you out a little bit, and if you need any help with anything here, we’ll do our best to accommodate you if it’s possible.”

(At this point, my roommate and I start to break down, but we try to keep it contained.)

Me: *voice breaking* “Thank you. We will definitely keep you in mind the next time we come here.” *without realizing it, I find myself hugging the employee* “You have no idea how much this means to us. This store is always so friendly, but we never expected this.”

(As I let the employee go, I begin to feel the tears rolling from my eyes and they blur my vision.)

Roommate: *also in full tears* “Thank you. God bless you. But I think we need to keep shopping around.”

(The employee nods as she starts to head off.)

Employee: “I’m sure good things will be coming to you pretty soon; just make sure you keep looking ahead.”

(After she left, we remained standing and crying from the gift and kindness of the employee. While we are still not in the best situation, we are a lot better than we were then. If you happen to be reading this, H-E-B employee, please know that the gift was made into one of the best dinners we had had in a long time, and may you keep bringing good fortune to others who are in the shoes we were in.)

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