Today I pulled in at a garage in town to put in petrol. The pump jockey was an amiable young man, flashing a bright smile and cleaning front and rear windows briskly. When it was time to pay, he brought the card machine and asked if I had a certain retailer’s club card to swipe, as this petrol company gives cash rewards. I gave it to him and told him that on a number of previous occasions the card wouldn’t swipe and appeared to be damaged. He swiped a few times, then asked for any other card – I gave him a shopping card – which he duly swiped, then punched in the numbers from the first card. This allowed my purchase to earn rewards even though the card was damaged. I was astounded and asked him if he had figured this circumvention out for himself. He said he had, as it had happened before and, by thinking about it, he had concluded that by swiping another card, he would be passing on the problem to the machine, which then asked him to input the account number manually.
This was most impressive, and I told him that he should be employed in IT rather than as a petrol attendant, and he laughed and said he was no good with computers. So I asked him what he would like to do, and he told me he was studying accounting. To say I was impressed is an understatement and I wished him every success. His name is Lucky.
Which goes to show – take time to talk to strangers; make no assumptions as to a person’s dreams or abilities, particularly based on learned beliefs; endeavour to always leave someone feeling better than they did before you arrived. I know that was a highlight of the day for me.