Thursday, January 13, 2011
“To godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:7-8
This afternoon I had another job interview with a dry cleaning chain. I applied there weeks ago, and almost didn’t return the call for an interview, but I thought they might have some part time positions available.
My interview was at 3:30 so I left early and arrived at 3:20. The manager was handling phone calls and asked me politely to wait for her in the chairs in front of the counter.
While I waited I visited with the delivery drivers. They told me about how busy they have been recently. Clothes were going around the racks suspended from the ceiling and all the phone lines were ringing.
I heard the bell above the door ring beside me. Then a sharply dressed older gentleman walked in with a garment bag. The young man working behind the counter asked politely how he could help. The gentleman pulled out of the garment bag a camel colored wool coat lined with sheepskin “I have this coat. I’d like for you to go through- you see all these little loose stitches in the lining? I’d like to have them mended.” He said.
The boy accepted the coat looking inside at the small pulls in the lining. I thought, “Man! That must be a nice coat if he’s having it mended.” Usually, when I’m done with a coat I just give away or throw it away.
The older gentleman went on giving directions. “There is also a button missing right here, and I’d like to have it re-sewn.” Then he explained, “I’ll be donating this coat to Salvation Army. If you can just call me when you have it finished.”
The young man helping him looked a little confused and asked, “Sir, you know it costs extra to mend this lining.” “I know.” Said the gentleman. “Well . . . I just wanted you to know,” said the clerk “I mean, if you’re just giving it away.” The gentleman responded, “It doesn’t matter. It’s a nice coat. I’m giving it away, and I want the person who wears it to get more good out of it.” He went on to say again, “Temperatures are dropping below freezing this weekend, so if you can just call me when you get it ready. I’m sure someone will need this coat.”
As the man left the cleaners I almost stood up to give him a hug. It might’ve hurt my chances of getting the job. Even though I was interviewing for a “customer service” position, embracing the customers might be seen as over-the-top behavior.
This man was giving away his favorite coat and not just giving it away; he’s making sure it is in perfect condition. He’s not going to stick the dry cleaning bill in the pocket of the coat. He plans to pay, whatever the cost. All of this so a stranger in the cold can have a nice warm coat.