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On Friday night, out here in Burlington, we had a bit of snow. Not a lot of snow, by any stretch of the imagination, but more than everyone was expecting, and really the first one of the 2012 winter season. My daughter’s school bus was running several hours late because of the weather and all of the drivers who forget to drive slower when there is fresh snow on the ground. Our house is located at the top of steep hill, so the bus driver wasn’t going to come up the hill, but drop her off about 15 minutes away at a nearby side street. I asked my daughter to text me when her bus was 20 minutes away from the house so I could walk out to meet her. Her text came in at 7:20 pm, so my husband and I bundled ourselves up, put our leash on our puppy and off we went through the snow to meet her bus. It was a warm night despite the snow, and with very few cars on the road, it was actually a lovely walk. The 20 minute estimation turned out to be wrong as the traffic was crawling along the streets. Through a series of texts, I knew that she was close, and 40 minutes later when we could see the bus in the distance down the road, my husband took the puppy home as it was just getting too cold for his feet. I propped myself up against a wall, waited and watched the cars slowly going past me.
About 10 minutes later, a lady in a silver car rolled down her window and tried to get my attention. I thought that maybe she was lost, so I approached the road. Instead of needing something from me, she surprised me by asking me if I needed a ride somewhere rather than waiting for the bus. I explained to her that I was waiting for my daughter’s school bus, but thanked her for the offer.
10 minutes later my daughter’s bus arrived and we had a lovely walk home through the snow. The whole evening I was thinking about the stranger who stopped to offer me help. In our businesses we often forget how much the small kindnesses can mean. They require so little effort, but can make the world of difference to your staff or your customers.