You Working It Makes Others’ Work Worth It

, , , , | Working | March 22, 2013

(A couple of years ago I was busking, or performing on the streets, of Nashville. At the time I had just been laid off, so busking was my only source of income until I found another job. One Friday evening in winter, I am bundled up and doing my best to keep playing and singing, but due to the cold weather I’ve barely made $15 after four hours. I am almost ready to call it a night when an SUV rolls up next to me and double parks. A man in a business suit jumps out and runs up to me.)

Business Suit Man: “Here, this is for you.”

(He holds his hand out, and I see a fat roll of money. I take it from him with shivering hands and look: it’s almost $500.)

Me: “Oh, my God. No, it’s too much!”

(The man shakes his head and presses the money back into my hand.)

Business Suit Man: “Nope, it’s yours. My friends and I work in the building across the street and we’ve been listening to you for the last few hours. The music made our Friday go by faster and you were doing it out here in this cold, so we decided we wanted to take up a collection in the office and make your night.”

(I keep shaking my head no and start sobbing, but the man steadfastly refuses to take the money back. Car horns start honking at the double-parked car, so he runs back to the passenger side and climbs in. As he does so, he shouts back to me.)

Business Suit Man: “Buy yourself something warm to eat and get out of this cold!”

(And before I knew it, he and the car were gone. It didn’t strike me until after the car pulled away that I never said thank you. I was too much in shock to get a good look at him, so I’m not sure if I ever saw him again, but wherever you are, Business Suit Man, thank you. You most definitely made my night.)

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