I loved this article from “Eat Pray Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert in “O” magazine. Reading it, took me back to an experience I had at Baskin Robbins many years ago when I was an assistant at William Morris. Like Jay Z, I had “99 Problems.” But in my case, having a boss act like a b**ch was one of them.
I was working for a very challenging agent who was mad a lot. In retrospect, she was probably having a few bad days and just took it out on me because I was the easiest target. I can’t remember the details of why I was so burdened this particular night, but I needed a pick-me-up. Most of my assistant friends would go out for drinks and commiserate together. Being a very active Mormon at that time, alcohol was not an option. I felt very alone. And so I did the next best thing…
I headed to my favorite ice cream place to eat my troubles away.
Baskin Robbins was my favorite, and my signature treat was a double scoop of Peanut Butter & Chocolate and Pralines & Cream. On this night, two scoops was not going to smoother my pain, so I decided to add a giant scoop of Rocky Road (I think it was a metaphor for my current young adult angst). I got up to the counter and ordered three scoops of fat, sugar and cream without a shred of embarrassment (these were not child scoops; they were big, grown-up scoops to placate my real, grown-up problems).
Two retired Beverly Hills firemen overheard my indulgent order and one of them exclaimed, “Whoa, whoa, that’s a lot!”
I slowly turned toward the men with eyes full of pure depletion and sighed “Yeah, I know. I have to do some emotional eating.”
He asked why and I basically told him about working for a talent agent, the insane demands, and how mean everyone was that day. When I got to the register, the gentleman pulled out a $20 and said, “This one’s on me…someone needs to be nice to you today.”
He wanted nothing from me. His kindness made my load feel lighter for the night (unfortunately, my skirt fit a little bit tighter the next day). I was the recipient of kindness from a stranger. It felt so good.
I often think of that man and how that tiny gesture made me feel so much better. It’s amazing how a call to check in with a friend, picking up the tab for dinner, or a small act of service for or from a friend—or even a stranger—can turn your frown upside down.
My Grads, has anyone done something really nice for you completely unprompted? Have you paid it forward? What happened as a result of it? Email or comment below with your experiences, I’d love to hear about them.