Sunday Territorian

Let’s talk about the good things MEL BUTTLE


THERE’S a lot of bad news going around at the moment, so I want to share some of the good news stories that have made my day lately, big or small.

But I don’t get out much, so heads up, we’re going mostly small. I recently treated my household to some new plates and bowls from high-end, luxury retailer Kmart.

I bought a stack of each and the total bill was $28. Bargain. I’ve spent more on a cafe breakfast. The cashier who served me was my favourite demographi­c of serviceper­son, an older person who’d clearly worked there for quite some time. If you want some solid customer service, including eye contact and a chat about the weather, this is the checkout I’d recommend lining up at. Go on, do it and enjoy yourself.

This lovely lady was chatty and friendly and took great care packing up my crockery. As she handed me the carefully packed bags she said, “now love, make sure you put those on the floor in front of the back seat, or they’ll roll around and break”. This is wise advice, this is the advice of someone who cared enough to give me a heads-up, so I didn’t come home to pile of smashed bowls.

Maybe it’s the current climate, maybe I just needed a snack or a nap, but that small gesture of caring touched me. I replied, “thank you, I’ll make sure they’re on the floor nice and secure, appreciate your help today”.

That’s not what I wanted to say though, I wanted to say, “you’re an absolute angel, who’s made me almost tear up, and the top brass owe you a huge pay rise, you make coming to this Kmart an absolute joy”. But, I’m Australian and we don’t speak to other people that openly, we say things like, “weather is bad at the moment, hey?”

On the topic of random acts of kindness, I need to pay homage to my neighbour a few doors down who mows my front yard. He’s probably seen me struggle to get the mower around the front. Long story, but there are a few locked gates and rocks in the way. So every few weeks, the nicest man in the world, Peter, mows my front lawn for me.

Every so often I’ll get a pleasant surprise when I pull in my driveway and the front lawn has not only been mowed, but, edges done and all grass clippings removed. What a legend, no fanfare, no questions asked, Peter just does it. Legend.

Obviously I buy him some beers at Christmas and say thanks when I see him, but the saying about cutting someone else’s grass can rack off, please Peter continue to cut my grass.

This got me thinking what kind things do I do for others? To be honest I’m struggling here, I talk to my neighbour’s puppy through the fence when he looks bored, and I let people who only have a few items go in front of me at the supermarke­t.

There’s certainly room for improvemen­t here, the Dalai Lama I ain’t. I’m not quite up to the level of a Peter, but I will be looking to put his bins away at the next available opportunit­y. Gotta start somewhere.

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