#132; The Kindness of Strangers

On my way to my first SoVA interview – a temp agency, this morning – my new, temperamental, 21-year-old convertible decided to stall in the center lane of a highway at a stop light. After stalling, it simply would not start again. I tried turning it fully off, pumping the gas a bit, and restarting. Nothing. It turned over, but there no gas getting wherever gas needs to go in the engine (I know cars, but not their insides).

So there I am, in my lovely, angry, yellow Cavalier Convertible Z24, in the center lane of a high way with absolutely nowhere to go. A large truck behind me started honking its horn despite the two empty lanes on either side of me (seems like most people would just go around the offending car in such an instance, but not this morning!), a State Trooper saw me and drove right by. I began to panic – my car may be little, but I am much, much smaller and not capable of doing a danged thing about a car that won’t move of its own accord.

Without my even noticing him stop, a man was then at my passenger side window – on the highway, in morning rush hour – instructing my panic-addled self how to put the car in neutral and get it to the side of the road. Turns out, this kind, patient person worked at a Chevy dealership about two minutes down the road. He offered me a ride once we settled my car on the side of the road and said that we could have it towed to his dealership (where he’s a mechanic) for cheaper than it would take to get it all the way back to my house (roughly half an hour away). He said it’d be a bit pricey, but the garage there could also look at it, my car being a Chevy.

I reluctantly agreed through my haze and called my roommate to let him know what was going on. I called the lady I had an appointment with and rescheduled (thankfully!).

The guys at the dealership were so understanding of my intensely tight budget, my roommate came to get me, and my car was pampered by geniuses all day. I got a phone call this evening to pick it up, and word that because they couldn’t figure out what had caused the stall – even with all the time and testing they put into it today – they were only going to charge me for the tow and a ‘check in’ fee, rather the hundreds of dollars worth of labor that it would have been.

Seriously!? I kept feeling all day – all week, I have felt like this, to be honest – like I just couldn’t get a break. And then here are some random people who just went out of their way to make my day much easier than it should have been. I cannot thank them enough (though am totally planning on sending an adorable, cheesy thank you card to the dealership!), and I just wanted to take a moment to show my gratitude to the universe.

Have you had times in your life that strangers have gone the extra mile to make a great difference? Let’s use this moment, this space, to let the great unknown how much that means.

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