That Little Extra

“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.”

— Pierre Corneille

On the way home from work last night I noticed that a headlight was out. Knowing that commuting in the Oregon winter is done in the dark, it seemed wise to get the headlight fixed sooner rather than later.

autozonelogoI pulled into AutoZone in Tigard. The attendant, Joshua, found the bulb quickly, checked me out, then gave a little extra. He offered to install it, as he said, “so I wouldn’t get a ticket.”

Being in a bit of a hurry, I put aside my obligatory manliness, and acquiesced. I was glad I did though because it was a tricky light to install, and he changed it in about five minutes versus the twenty minutes it would have taken me. And frankly, I don’t recall having had an auto store employee offer to install a headlight for me before. Ever.

But when I offered him $5 for his courtesy, he declined saying, “No tips.” My guess is that the store has a no tip policy. I thanked him anyway and I got on our way.

Even though I couldn’t show my gratitude to Joshua in person, it occurred to me later that I too could do a little extra. So I donated that $5 (+ a little extra) to the Salvation Army, one of many the charities, AutoZone supports. Also, I wrote a short note to their customer service department asking them to pass along my thanks.

Whether time or money, it’s easy to get embarrassed if we go out on a limb to be generous and our gift is refused. It’s also easy to avoid thanking someone, offering a gratuity, or showing some appreciation if it’s an unfamiliar situation. Sometimes it takes courage to give that little extra recognition. But, I think that even the humblest person will always appreciate it.

If you’re unsure whether to give a tip, thank someone, or how to show your gratitude, ask yourself if you would like to receive a little extra appreciation in that situation. Let that guide your actions.

After all, it’s the spirit with which the gift is given that makes the difference.

Thanks Joshua from AutoZone for that little extra.

Yesterday’s gift of time … Donated to the Salvation Army as a way to say thanks to a helpful AutoZone employee. 

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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