|This story was shared with me by Maria Regisford of Suncoast Marketing in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. A business client of several years, her story is shared with you here with the permission of both Maria and SMI President, Bob Scala.
Many of you are familiar with the movie, Pay It Forward, starring Haley Joel Osmond. If you are not, in the movie, a middle school student is challenged to come up with an idea to change the world. His answer is to do three things for three different people that they need but can’t do for themselves. They in turn are ‘required’ to pay it forward, by doing something for three other people in need.
This is her story. Thank you Maria.
On January 2nd I was out running some errands and decided to have lunch.
As I was eating, I noticed three young girls come in and get one plate of food. They all sat down together and divided up the plate into three parts. They only had one spoon, so the other two started to eat what they had with their fingers. I went to the Manager and asked if he knew the kids. He said ‘yes’ they were the sisters of Celeste, who works in the back. When I asked if I could speak with her, he kindly called her and when I saw her asked if she would mind if I bought her sisters some chicken, “Oh that would be so nice if you would”, she said.
I placed my order and it came to $7.00. I only had $4.00 in singles and was reaching for my debit card when the cashier said, “I forgot to give you the discount. Your total is $3.80 and you get 2 loaves of bread with that chicken.”
Oh the joy on their faces as they each sat with their own plate, their own utensils and napkin in their lap. They thanked me as I left. And I tell you, I felt good.
But that’s not the end of the story.
I’d been having trouble with the plumbing.. I’d tried bleach, liquid plumber and was getting myself ready to spend the money I didn’t have on a plumber. I was thinking all this while raking leaves and talking to God about it, when the Rotor Rooter truck drove by. It stopped and out stepped Leroy from our church and asked, “Can I help you rake some leaves?” I said, “No, but could you snake my drain?” and explained the problem to him. He said, “It would be my pleasure, no problem at all. It’s funny, they wanted me to go out on another job, but I told them no, it’s 5 o’clock and I need to get home earlier tonight. But then as I was driving, something just told me to come by your house.” Well he fixed the problem and as he came out I said, “Leroy, how much do I owe you?” He said, “Don’t be silly, I’m off the clock. Just a hug.” And off he drove.
What you put out you get back. Leroy showed up because of the kind actions that I put out into the universe by helping those children. I didn’t do it thinking of getting something in return. The thanks that I got as I saw their faces was my reward. And that is important. You can’t do things thinking about getting something back. They have to be unselfish acts.
The timing of this incident has been perfect. In sharing the story in our office, our company President, Bob decided that, Pay It Forward, should be our Suncoast Marketing mission and vision for 2010. We are already a very customer focused business and Pay It Forward, only helps to refocus and re energize us. And that’s not a coincidence either.