Service of Little Things Mean A Lot II

July 30th, 2020

Categories: Attitude, Customer Care, Customer Service, Library, Pandemic, Retail

I wrote the first post with this title three + months ago. It’s time for a reprise. The first post was about friends who reach out. This one is about strangers who warmed my heart.

How Cool is That?

The air conditioning units in my apartment all fizzled on a toasty day. I followed up a few times–the units belong to the landlord–and when the temperature had climbed upwards of 86° with four more hours until sunset–I get afternoon sun–I visited the lobby again explaining that I was beginning to feel woozy. The morning year-round doorman had been passive and useless. The manger was on vacation.

Climbing up to 86 degrees+

Doorman Joshua, a very young man and summer temp jumped into action and within an hour a porter/handyman was on the job. As I waited for him to return with new units the intercom rang. It was Joshua–we’d met only that afternoon–asking if I was OK. The porter told me Joshua had also called him again to confirm that he was on it. Too bad for us this is his summer job. I suspect he’s a student and given his common sense and empathetic streak predict great things for his future.

Beautiful Cashier

I visited CVS drug store on Third Avenue and 42nd Street early on a recent Sunday morning. The cashiers consistently help me make the most of my coupons. As I left that day–I was dressed in pandemic fashion on the cusp of sloppy–the young woman, who was barely out of her teens, called out: “Stay as beautiful as you are.” She could see my wave but not the smile under my mask.

Moving Along

I called the Metropolitan Transit Authority [MTA] about returning a discount MetroCard sent my husband. When I explained the reason the clerk, hearing he’d died, was compassionate and so heartfelt in her condolences I could hardly catch my breath.

Read On

I treated myself to an iPad so I could download books. I got tangled in the process of ordering a book after I’d downloaded an e-card from the New York Public Library so I sent a query to the help desk. After more fiddling I figured it out. A few days later I heard from Elizabeth at AskNYPL and in another email I explained that I was set and apologized for bothering her unnecessarily.

She wrote: “You are not bothering us. We’re here to answer questions, so if you run into any more e-book trouble, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Chat and phone are best for quick answers.” I responded again as did she: “So glad you were finally able to get a book! I loved A Gentleman in Moscow. Hope you enjoy it….Take care and happy reading!”

You don’t feel alone when dealing with people like these. Kindhearted, lovely strangers who take extra steps beyond their job descriptions are welcome anytime but especially these days. I suspect they enjoy their jobs more as well. Many of them suffer from pandemic fallout yet they still go the extra mile. Do you have similar instances to share?

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7 Responses to “Service of Little Things Mean A Lot II”

  1. MarthaTakayama Said:

    In these times of lockdown and people working from home with endless difficulties and delays in getting questions answered by phone, any kindness is certainly appreciated.

    I was very grateful of 2 women from the Mass. Dept. of Government office who while working from home were helpful, patient and reassuring as I struggled with questions about their site and its procedures. The office staff at Brigham and Women’s hospital as well as specific physicians nurse and assistants have all been kind, courteous, and incredibly, reassuring, while at risk themselves because they were working on site, not from home. I made a point of acknowledging the extra kind and professional behavior to superiors when possible. I also have been fortunate to have a professional, thoughtful, courteous insurance agent to deal with the consequences of damages to my apartment caused my the owners of the apartment above mine.

    As always even unpleasant situations are less trying if they can be handled graciously.

  2. TC Said:


    Recall the old saying “don’t sweat the little things” suggesting they are not as important. Well, I think it give that old quote a whole new meaning: It’s not importance that drives us but easy acts of thoughtfulness and kindness.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Terrific: Government, insurance and medical support staff receive kudos in Massachusetts! So good to read.

    You are right: courteous, even compassionate behavior in stressful situations especially, makes a giant difference.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’ve worked with and know plenty of people who toss monkey wrenches in projects and procedures because they agree with that saying–they don’t sweat the small stuff. Picking up after them can be a job in itself!

    When stressed themselves, as many are these days, being efficient, cheerful and kind to customers/clients takes special effort. Kudos and thanks to all who make the tremendous effort and bring a smile or give a person the feeling that they matter.

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    No complaints here — good neighbors, except the bug-bear across the hall, fun online bridge partners, family and friends. There are even some exceptions in the political crowd, such as the multiple food drives sponsored by our State Senator. Yes, he’s up against fierce competition in the fall, and has much to gain, but so what? Many families and stranded singles of all ages are being fed! If there wasn’t the threat of getting sick and dying, not to speak of loss of income, we could all be having a good time. That said, the sooner this is over, the better!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    We can wish it over: What a blessing to wake up one morning soon to learn that a foolproof vaccine with no side effects worse than a sore arm was approved along with an antidote to mitigate the worse symptoms that meant no more hospitalization for covid patients.

    Meanwhile, thank goodness for your neighbors,friends and family.

  7. MarthaTakayama Said:

    I think it is important to add to my response. The name of the Sr Claims Examiner who assisted me with my claim for damages in such a positive professional fashion is Logan Mao, of Chubb.

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