Sometimes people surprise you with the extra effort they go to on your behalf, even when you have made it difficult for them. For example, just a couple of days ago I filled out an online request at the City of Dallas website for a recycling roll cart at my new house. I failed to do my research to find out that there are three sizes of carts and instead I just requested a “smaller size” to fit in my new, tiny garage. It arrived promptly a day later. The two guys who delivered it were very friendly and both smiled when I went to retrieve the little blue cart, which was so small that I called it adorable.
Unfortunately, my husband thought the adorable cart was too tiny since, as a family of four with two teenage boys who have been known to take the entire carton of milk in the car on a 20-minute errand because, “Why not? I’m going to drink it all,” we recycle more than an adorable amount each week. So I went back to the City of Dallas website and politely asked for an exchange to a larger size, apologizing for the inconvenience. Within a few hours, my phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize so I assumed it was a telemarketer and didn’t pick up. Imagine my surprise when a man’s voice began leaving a message regarding my recycling bin. With all the needs that the City must get bombarded with every day, someone from the enormous bureaucracy of City government was actually responding to my tiny little recycling cart need? I lunged for the phone and intercepted the message.
“No problem,” he said, when I explained why I needed an exchange. “Just have it out tomorrow morning and we’ll exchange it with a bigger one.”
Well, guess what? I FORGOT! Like an idiot, I got caught up in the crazy afternoon of errands and meetings and dinner preparation and forgot to put the adorable cart out.
So this morning, just as I was pouring my first cup of coffee, the phone rang. It was a vaguely familiar number so I picked up. “Mrs. Richie, we’re out here with your new recycling cart,” a man said. Sure enough I heard the rumbling of an idling truck outside. I felt like one of those vegetable-avoiding actors in a V-8 commercial who needs a slap on the forehead to jog their memory.
I offered a sincere apology and thanked him for taking the time to call me and make sure I got the new cart. He could have easily just driven away and written on his report that the absent-minded citizen had not done what he’d asked. But no, he went the extra mile.
Thank you, sir. I appreciate your efforts and love my new, large recycling bin!