Try a Little Kindness or the Kindness of strangers

I was not going to do a post today. I have been doing on average two a day for a while now and thought, ‘what the heck, I can take a break now and then, can’t I?’ The obvious answer being yes as I don’t have to sing for my supper to any man or woman where my blog is concerned and I was a bit busy today trying to get my financial affairs in order.

I set aside an entire day to call the folks I owe money to and explain that the old solution was no longer viable and that I was having to re-do the whole thing. I found myself giving the “Reader’s Digest” version of my last year over and over. The amazing thing was that not only did it get easier each time but I found I was still able to laugh at my “overabundance” of bad luck last year.

I think the thing that made it that little bit easier to chuckle at my current dilemma was the kindness shown by each and every one of the people I talked to on the phone today. One young man took severe umbrage at the fact that my pension was going to be so tiny.

He was so upset that he began to search the internet for help for me and find numbers of people to call. I assured him that I was doing all that already, but he still felt the need to help. Now here’s the amazing bit; this young man works for a collection agency that took over my debt problem from couple of major credit card companies. The company responsible for making sure I pay the money I owe.

I was flabbergasted and touched. This fellows show of empathy and humanity really helped me; more than I can say or even try to explain. I thanked him for his concern and his help and offers of further help. I hung up the phone at the end of our business in a much better mood. I actually felt chipper (an old-fashioned word I know, but damn-it it fits) and gave thanks once more to a young man named Stuart who cared.

But that’s not all. Everyone I spoke to today reacted the same way. Each and every company I spoke to responded to me and my situation with a wealth of empathy and understanding and well wishes. I was complemented repeatedly on my ability to laugh at my bad luck and I had one or two other folks who also wanted to help by making sure I was speaking to the right people.

I had made these same phone calls in the beginning of December with the news that everything should be sorted out by now via an agreement written by a financial company. Unfortunately, before the middle of December everything changed when I found out that I no longer worked for the Ministry of Justice and was being medically retired. Once I received my paperwork verifying the result of my meeting with my number one governor, I decided I needed to call the debt charity folks and see what I could do.

These charity people were also very helpful and assured me that bankruptcy was not an option just yet. They explained that my circumstances were way too up in the air and that it would take the court at least a year to make a decision. They gave me great guidelines on what to do and a timeline to do it in. The helpful chap also gave me his personal phone number to contact him on.

Needless to say, I’ve had an uplifting of spirits in the last 48 hours and it is thanks to the charity folks and their positive attitudes and the brilliantly helpful and kind customer service representatives I spoke to today.

I sat here waiting for tea and I realised that the kindness shown to me today did not just surprise me, it shocked me. I thought of an old Glen Campbell song called Try a Little Kindness and it began a sort of loop in my head (it’s still playing now) and I then thought of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire and her “relying on the kindness of strangers.”

I then decided I had to post about my day and the unexpected delight of it. The kindness of these total strangers; people who did not know me and really only knew what I had told them. People that get these sort of phone calls all too often in these financially stressful times; probably so many times that they must tire of it. Yet the folks all offered help, well wishes, and most importantly a final message of intent.

The intent to provide further assistance if I need it.

I had a lot of calls to make today and I really dreaded doing it. But the positive and caring response I got from each company’s representative made the chore less difficult and a lot less embarrassing.

I’ll leave on a positive note and a thankful one. Thanks again Stuart and all you other folks who made an old man very proud to be part of the human race once again.