Counting the little things: part II

After reading Wibke Richter’s column “Counting the little things” in the March 25 issue of The Oakland Post, I was inspired to recount similar events that happened to me last week.

I headed home at 11 p.m. last Wednesday night after a tiring shift at Kohl’s in Lapeer. While driving through town I glanced at my gas gauge and remembered that I was on empty. I pulled into the closest gas station and got out of my car to do a routine chore that I’ve done too many times to count. I slid my debit card through the reader, opened my gas tank door and attempted to remove my gas tank cap. Except, there is something wrong with it and it refused to budge.

I walked into the gas station and asked the clerk if there was someone else working there who could help me out. He gave me a blank stare and didn’t answer. A woman purchasing coffee offered her assistance. She walked out with me, tried to remove the gas cap for about five minutes, and gave up.

I then started to approach a car full of young guys a few pumps down from me. Before a word left my mouth, one of the hoodlums asked if I was 21, and said that they would buy me gas and cigarettes if I bought alcohol for them. I turned and walked back to my car.

Finally, a car of two well-dressed men pulled up next to me. I asked for their assistance, and willingly they both came over to help.

The younger of the two started speaking polite small talk with me, sensing my level of stress rising by the minute. He said his name was Wally and the older gentlemen was Walter. Wally asked me where I was from, what I did, etc., while trying with every random tool he had in his car to pry off my gas cap.

The men kept trying for at least 20 minutes, until finally Wally was able to wedge off the stupid little piece of rubber that was preventing me from filling my gas tank. Times like these make me wish I had an abundance of money or small gifts to give to people like Wally and Walter.

People taking three seconds (or even 20 minutes) out of their lives to be nice to those around them has become a very rare commodity today. I hope people like Wally, Walter and the friendly truck driver who helped Wibke Richter know how much they are appreciated.