A Moment of Kindness

I had a stressful day yesterday and was feeling quite flustered, tired and anxious. However my children seem to like to eat every actual day so I decided to pop into a shop after browsing a local charity shop for a large dining table (that's a story for another day) to buy ingredients for a quick and easy meal for my herd.
Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash Shopping trolley

I grabbed the items I had gone in for, the two children who were with me added a few extra things (don't they always?) and with one eye on the clock with school pick up looming I headed for the tills to pay.

My basket added up to just under £15. As I got my debit card out the cashier warned me there was no contactless feature on the machine - it had apparently stopped accepting contactless payments some time previously.

No worries - I inserted my card knowing there was several hundred pounds in that account.

DECLINED.

What? The cashier assured me it was probably the machine and stood looking at me. I asked if I should try again. He shrugged. Feeling my anxiety rising and aware of a growing queue I popped the card in again and paid more attention to typing the pin in.

DECLINED.

I only had £10 cash on me and was reluctant to put stuff back as this store has a complicated discounting multi buy system. My son offered to pay with his card knowing he also had more than enough funds available.

DECLINED.

The cashier just stood there still mumbling that it was almost certainly the machine not working. I asked if he could try another machine or save my shopping so I could nip to the cashpoint.

Bless him he just looked bewildered - seriously I have underwear older than this boy looked- and I was on the verge of just giving up. On top of the day I already had endured I was on the edge of tears.

Then a very glam woman standing behind my son leaned forward with a five pound note folded discreetly in her hand.  She nodded at me and said: "Take this. I'm very happy to help."

I thanked her and asked for her Paypal address so I could ping her the money but she smiled and shook her head.

I don't know if she thought I genuinely didn't have the money or if she just wanted to move the queue  or what but her kindness saved me from further embarrassment and possibly a complete breakdown.

The cashier took my £10 and her £5 and offered me the change. I gestured for him to give it to my heroine and she hesitated and asked if I was sure. So she really did think I hadn't got the money.

I decided not to feel embarrassed just grateful that there are still lovely people out there who are happy to help a stranger in need.

If you were that lovely lady in Dunstable let me assure you, I will pay forward your kindness and the £5.

Thankyou.

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