I have the good fortune to run into incredibly kind and thoughtful people everywhere I go. Last night’s meeting was no exception. I was a couple of minutes early to the meeting and coincidentally arrived at the same other time as two other participants. I work with one of the participants and I introduced myself to the second. Her name was Ann. She said, “I’ve met you before, but I’m not sure where.” She, too, looked familiar to me. She thoughtfully provided a range of places where our paths could have connected. She obviously had me pegged as a Houstonian because every venue she mentioned was in Houston. I confessed that I was from out of town and so the “could it have been here” exchange of information ceased.
The next order of business was propping the door to the room open so others could enter with ease. The lady was insistent there should be a way, but the door mechanism didn’t appear to be working. I countered that I could easily be the doorman. After all, I have the skill set for it. She said, “No, that won’t work. I’ll just fold one of these Styrofoam plates and use it as a door jam”. No sooner had those words come out of her mouth than she was actively engaged in sliding the folded up plate under the door. The process worked. The door remained open.
I shared with her that I once told someone I had finally figured out my skill set and that I make a great doorman. The guy responded immediately: “You know of course, you could be easily replaced with a block of wood.” The lady laughed.
As we walked back into the room, she pointed toward the floor and said: “Look at that!” It was a wooden door jam. She broke into laughter and replaced the crumpled Styrofoam plate with the block of wood. I asked for her permission to get her picture explaining that I write a daily blog and that the experience would appear in today’s blog if she’d grant permission. Well, obviously, Ann agreed because she’s the lady in the picture.
A few minutes later I had the opportunity to visit with another lady. I knew her by reputation, but she didn’t know me. The lady whose identity I am choosing not to reveal is perhaps one of the most generous philanthropists in Houston. Donations of both her time and her treasure are renown in lots of venues, yet she lives with a sense of humility and never wants recognition or to call attention to herself. She is absolutely delightful.
We were engaged in conversation and she mentioned that she was pleased with the outcome of a recent experience because she insisted that they take the higher ground. She said: “Sometimes you just have to stand your ground”.
To ensure I had an understanding, she described the keys with the batteries and electronic gadgets included inside. She said, I needed to replace my keys and they wanted to charge me $100 a key. I told them there was no way I was spending that kind of money on keys.
Although she didn’t verbally express it, she clearly knew the value of a dollar and she wanted her money’s worth. She wasn’t going to spend it needlessly. Her story underscores the importance she places on a dollar and how that money can be shared to meet genuine need if she is frugal in how she distributes her resources.
In providing background she said: “I once lost one of my keys and I immediately purchased another because you are supposed to have two keys to your vehicle”. As soon as she replaced the missing key, she subsequently discovered the lost key. Consequently, she had three of the fancy keys to her Lexus.
She said, “They since have all come apart. At first I glued them back together but that didn’t last. Now, all three of them are wrapped and held together with Scotch tape”. As she described the keys, I envisioned the unkempt look of aging Scotch tape holding keys together for a premium car. It seemed incongruent to me as well.
Would I have balked at spending $100 a piece to replace three keys? I probably would have complained about it, but I wouldn’t have been proactive in looking for another resolution. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I don’t have money and this lady does.
She said, “I went back home and got out my warranty book. As I was reading through the manual some reference was made to ‘the lemon law’. The way I saw it, I had a Lexus and three keys and all three keys were flawed. That had to fall under the lemon law”.
She called a telephone number listed in the owner’s manual and talked with a representative from Lexus. I had the sense that she laid the law down to the customer representative concerning the lemon law. He asked the lady where she purchased her car. She provided the information and he assured her Lexus would contact the dealer and make arrangements with the dealer to fund the cost of new keys.
They say you live and you learn. The next time I think I’m not getting full value for my dollar, I may just opt not to spend it.
All My Best!