I had a positively delightful interaction with the fella who delivered our fuel oil today. He’s probably in his twenties, slim, regional accent, and nice as pie. I make a point to greet every person who provides our home with a service and typically they get a cup of tea or coffee if they’ll have one. This is how I was raised, but also, I know what it’s like to do manual “blue collar” jobs, to sometimes feel invisible, but be providing a vital service for others. I’ve worked food service, window washing, plastic parts picker on a factory floor, and more.
When we moved into this house about six months ago, nearly everyone who helped us move brought a package of biscuits (cookies). We don’t eat biscuits much, so I decided to give them away when I could. The first time I met our bin collection crew I rushed out to catch them and asked if they’d have some. The look of joy and surprise on their faces told me that they don’t often get offers of biscuits and I’d guess they don’t get a lot of people rushing out just to say hello either. To this day, as they barrel down the drive on a Tuesday morning, if I’m not outside simply to say “Alright? Gorgeous day, isn’t it?” then they look into the big kitchen window and we wave or give thumbs-up to one another. There are always smiles. Even if I’d never given them biscuits, the friendliness counts and makes us all feel good.
So today’s fuel oil delivery involved me making him a cup of tea, having a nice chat and he taught me about a fuel additive that may save us money and help the efficiency of the AGA (and he may have popped a bottle of that stuff in without charging but it’s our secret…). I joked that I wished I’d had biscuits to go with his tea (but if only he’d known his timing was off by about five or six months I would’ve given him a whole package of them!). He was so nice and all it took was ten minutes out of my day to connect with someone doing a largely unnoticed but vital job and we made each other smile. I’m still smiling.
I know we live in a busy world, but these little kindness moments keep us human, connect us, make us smile, and make all the difference in our days. They matter.