Today, at the Tractor Supply, one of our regulars came in. He's a funny charactor, and talks to everyone, elderly fellow with a big white beard. Never saw him in a bad mood in my life. Anyways, he came in today, and I called out, "How's it going today?" and he walked over. He looked me square in the eye and said, "My house burnt down yesterday. We lost everything. I lost my two dogs." And he had tears in his eyes.
"Dear God!" I said. "You're the house up on Hatch Run? I drove home last night after work, and I could smell that there had been a fire. I did not see where it was. Tim said he'd driven off the hill early that morning, and the road was closed. He knew it was a bad fire. I'm so sorry. I didn't know it was you folks."
He said, "Yep. We were in bed. My daughter woke up. She said it felt like someone shook her awake. She thought it was her mother. She rolled over and there was no one there. She lay there a couple minutes puzzled, but finally got up to figure out what was going on, and she walked into the livingroom and the woodstove was on fire. If it was not for her screaming, I don't think we'd have gotten out in time. She can't get over that feeling that someone had shaken her awake."
I said, "I've no doubt that Someone did shake her awake." He grinned a little, very unlike himself, and headed to the back of the store. He needed dog food and a bowl for the one dog that he managed to save.
I paged the manager. "Mark," I said, "we got a guy in here that had a house fire. He lost everything. Can we help him out?" and Mark immediately said, "Is it Gary -------? I heard. I want to talk to him," and off he went. Mark gave him a gift card, and a discount, just like that.
I love that I work for a store that is so quick to take care of its customers. Really.