Saturday, May 17, 2008

78:365 Random Acts of Kindness

Anna: Yesterday evening, both at and after work, was truly interesting, and showed me again why I have come to really enjoy people. I'm actually a hermit by nature. I would be quite happy sitting in a corner, interacting with no one, buried in a book or a craft. Over the years, I had reason to make the effort to reach out to people and discovered that, in general, people are really fantastic.

I found myself working a convention of some kind - the room was filled with vendor's booths and large equipment. Coring and drilling rigs, and contraptions with names like "Mud Puppy" and "Geoprobe" on them. I had only the vaguest idea what I was looking at, but still found them beautiful. I have a thing for heavy equipment. ;-)

For the most part, all we had to do was wander around, cleaning up glasses and plates from the many tables scattered around. There were also 2 large food tables with chefs cutting meats for the guests as needed, plus two other smaller food tables with chafers and staff serving out pieces of hand thrown pizza. There were 3 bars, too. Those of us who were wandering with trays would sometimes help those at the food tables, clearing away empty food trays and replacing them with fresh.

In the back, where only the staff goes, the kitchen and dishwashing staff were kept hopping, making sure we servers had plenty of space on these great rolling shelf units, taking away and replacing them as soon as they were filled. At one point, I was walking back towards where these were kept, just as one of the kitchen staff was rolling a shelf away in the other direction. As we crossed paths the guy looks up at me, then suddenly smiles, reaches onto a tray, grabs one of the fresh flowers that were part of the decorative display and handed it to me, with a cheerful compliment. I thought that was pretty sweet, and I ended up wearing the flower tucked into my name tag for the rest of the evening.

The convention shut down at 11pm. By then a lot of the staff were sent home, having started much earlier in the day than I did. Even so, the few of us that were left were able to get everything cleared and put away before midnight.

It was a gorgeous, warm evening, so I waited for Philippe outside the building. As I was sitting, watching the classic and muscle cars cruising by (they seem to all come out on friday nights. :-D), I heard a loud bang. Looking over, I saw a guy had opened the lid to one of the garbage cans in front of the building and was rifling through it. The noise I'd heard was the lid falling and hitting a post. I've seen people going through garbage cans before, and this guy wasn't at all like any of them. He was well groomed and well dressed, wearing a backpack on his back and carrying a plastic bag for his finds. I think he was gathering plastic recyclables. No big deal. I go back to watching the traffic.

A minute or so later, he came up to me. Seeing my uniform, he thought I might be security (which I found kind of funny - banquet staff wear formal clothing; tuxedo shirts and bowties). He wanted to let someone know that he'd found a "50 pounder" 0f Morgan in the garbage can. With it being grad season, he thought it might be good to warn someone that there was probably a guest - or 5 - that was really drunk. We started joking around about just how sick drinking that much would make someone - and that hopefully, the person would learn their lesson and never drink that much again! Then he moved on.

Moments later, he's back - wearing a black plastic top had and carrying a gorgeous, long stemmed rose with bud, pictured here. He asked me if I was on my way home, and I said I was. He then offered me the rose. The rose and hat had been left on a bench nearby, and he thought I might like it. As he hands it to me, joked, "just to show how much I love you." Suddenly, he doffed his hat, struck a pose and began to sing,

"Just to show how much I love you,
Just to show how much I care..."

He then asked if I remembered that old vaudeville song. I had just been thinking that it sounded familiar, too. So we laughed and joked some more, before he headed off down the street, still wearing the shiny black plastic top hat.

And I have a beautiful white rose.


Gawdess said...

a beautiful rose and a really neat story!

Ampersand said...

soooo sweet.

Sharon said...

What a gorgeous rose!