Picture by David Beatson

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Operation NICE Testimonial: A Lasting Impression

I got this off Operation NICE:

NICE Testimonial: A Lasting Impression
The other day I received an email from Lauren of (Mis) Adventures in Theatre with a story about a man she met in Vegas who left an impression on her that she won't soon forget!

So this is completely random. While I was driving home today I somehow got to thinking about a fellow I met once in Vegas. I will preface this by saying that of all the bums I've ever met, Vegas has some of the nicest, and this guy in particular, was exceptional.

I was going to a hotel a little off the Strip to go pick up a friend of mine who had just flown into town. I have also, recently bought a new car (against my will, but that's a different story) and thus, it is very clean (cars actually don't get dirty in Vegas. So weird). I parked in front of the hotel, got out of my car, and this fellow approaches me. I've been approached by bums (I really wish there was a better word, it sounds so awful when I say it :( ) plenty of times before this, so I'm not really shocked. This guy though, is different. For someone who is clearly down on his luck, he is very put together. His ragged clothes were clean, he stood up proud, and had a little belt of window washing tools around his waist and a pocket full of clean rags.

He comes up to me and says, "Hello Miss. Would you mind if I washed your windows for some change?" I looked at my car, with it's pretty clean windows, and looked at the man. He happened to catch me on a rare occasion when I actually had cash, and I usually give to folks who ask politely, cause hey, who am I to judge? I dug in my purse and pulled out my last $5 bill, handed it to him, smiled and said, "My car is pretty new and not really dirty, but you are welcome to this anyway."

He looked at for a minute, stood up a little straighter, and before he took it he said, "I really appreciate that Miss, but if it's all the same to you, I'd like to work for my money." I was shocked. In the best possible way. I said, "Of course! I admire that Sir, go right ahead. Thank you so much!" He then took my money, nodded and said, "Thank you, Miss," and proceeded to wash my windows.

My friend had met me in the parking lot while all this was going on, and we had to wait for him to finish, but he did a great job. I told him thank you again before he left, and he smiled at me and walked away. This man - who is washing strangers windows for whatever change they will give him - this man is one of the most polite, appreciative, kind folks I've ever met. He has more grace and manners than people a thousand times better off than he, and doesn't seem to moan and whine over his situation. Clearly, he influenced me, because this instance has stuck with me. We should all be so appreciative and polite. I hope that wherever he is, he is well and happy. :)

What a wonderful story! It definitely makes me feel like a brat for all the times I complained about Starbucks being out of my morning pastry or the extra traffic I hit on certain mornings. Puts things in perspective. That man must live by this motto, as we all should.

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