People Are Awesome

No, I really mean it.

Yesterday, neighbors and I piled our three kids into a wagon and paraded to a playground. The three-year-old announced she had to go (you know…go), so I took her to my favorite coffee shop, Rowster. The toddler and his other friend stayed behind to continue making car noises near one another.

Feeling slightly bashful about using the bathroom without making a purchase, I introduced my pint-sized companion to the owner. I announced I’d forgotten my wallet, but managed to bring my son’s Epi-pens with me. This is what’s known, scientifically, as a DOUBLE FAIL. Epinephrine is known to be effective only when kept around and used by the person who needs it. And wallets aren’t helpful at home.

The owner responded, “Epi-pens? Who’s got the problem? Your kid? Nuts? Ugh. Do you want something? What do you want? You can just pay for it later.”

Blink. Blink. Blink.

It was like taking a time machine back to the 1930s. People had tabs. Business owners knew community members. There was trust!

I got a cappuccino, and it was extra delicious.

Fast forward to nap time. I turned to new house duties. Namely, tracking down a large sample paint chip I ordered three weeks ago. No word at Home Depot. Foot tapping at Home Fine In The Tub. I must be clear. I am in love with this paint company, YOLO Colorhouse. They are eco-minded, and dreamy, and I eat up their brand. Yum, yum. I’m not just waiting for any paint chip, I am waiting for Water .02, which could change our lives.

I decided to drop YOLO Colorhouse a line. They can’t do anything about Home Depot’s delay or service. But when you’re a niche company that seems to care, you want to know how your product is handled, right? Maybe not, but I would.

Well, guess what, y’all? Kim (a person!) got back to me lickety split. She’d looked up my Home Depot order and wrote to say, “Hey, thanks for telling us. That’s not normal, and we’ll fix it for you. I just dropped a sample to you in today’s mail.”

A cappuccino on credit AND a free paint chip? This. This is how to do business. May our journey into homeownership continue to reveal such awesomeness.

About alanajoyski

Project manager, problem solver, chips fan.
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7 Responses to People Are Awesome

  1. Lauren Supplee says:

    I LOVE this Post. Call me an optimist but I try really hard to hang on to those nice people, nice businesses, etc to get through the days you want to strangle someone…

  2. pia says:

    Love it. The cafeteria here at my new work is super chill about you “paying them later” if you forget your wallet and it amazes me, especially compared to the cafeteria at my last job in DC, where you were lucky to get a smile or eye contact. Yay PEOPLE!

  3. Gerene says:


  4. Tom says:

    It seems that the phrase, “Like father, like daughter.” has some validity. I’ll be begin by correcting your sense of history. My story took place in 1956…not in the 1930s. Society changed after my encounter with TRUST which I didn’t view as a big deal.

    Your grandmother Ruth, whom you never met, and who probably plays a role in you wordy gifts, wrote a newspaper column. And would love you, had she lived to know you. But, I digress. She had a childhood friend, Irene Johnson, whom she had not seen in years. Six years after they graduated high school Irene moved nearly 300 miles away to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They kept in touch via snail mail. Way back then there were no Tweets or blogs or IMs. And you certainly didn’t call people who lived that far away except to announce a death or some other tragedy.

    So, it was quite a shock to receive a call from Irene, who had three daughters and a son. She invited your grandmother and her youngest son (me), to a special event in Milwaukee. Irene’s son, a priest, was returning to the United States after several years as a missionary in south Africa. We packed our bags and headed to the Homestead tavern/lodge in Fifield. There they had a magical electrical switch. When it was turned on, a red light mounted on the roof of the building would blink on and off. That signaled the next Greyhound buss traveling on Highway 13 to stop and pick up passengers.

    Big city, here we come. What an incredible journey. I had never been away from home. There was sure to be adventure ahead. Many hours later we were enthusiastically greeted at the Milwaukee Greyhound depot by the Johnsons. There were introductions to be made and tall buildings to gape at on the way to their home. It turned out they lived near Milwaukee Stadium. Home of the Braves. And I later met the likes of Eddie Mathews, Lew Burdette, and Hank Aaron who would stop by the Johnson’s for a cold brew or a short conversation as they WALKED to work. Wow! Can you believe it? But again, I digress.

    One morning it was decided that Irene’s three daughters and I would take the trolley (I had never been on one) downtown to the public museum and have lunch at Gimbel’s department store. Mom got their catalogues every year an usually placed a small order. Who ever thought I would be eating there? Not me. Trolley fare was calculated and set aside, and off we went.

    When lunch was over the bill was brought to the table. That was expected. What wasn’t expected was the discovery that we had NO MONEY beyond trolley fare. What to do? An idea sprang to my panicked mind. I had received a Westclox wrist watch about a month earlier (value, $10.00). It was my pride and joy. We sheepishly approached the cashier and explained our plight. We promised to get the money. I proffered the watch as collateral. He said that wouldn’t be necessary. And we left with red faces and a solemn promise to return. And as I recall, there was quite a bit of nervous laughter on the way to the trolley stop. What would our parents say?

    When we returned with the money he thanked us and said, “I thought I would never see you again.”

    I asked the obvious, “Then why did you let us go?”

    He replied, “What should I have done? Called the police? Had you taken to the station? No. I believed you didn’t plan to get a free meal, but I really didn’t think you would return.”

    Trust is a funny thing. And Milwaukee was a great place. And when there is priest in the family, trust is the coin of the realm. Oh yah, and trolleys were cool.

    • alanajoyski says:

      Wow. I think we should get you your own blog. Maybe one to co-write with Uncle Jim. I Love that the lunch was probably $3.25 for all four of you, too.

      I think the Pollacks in my life would agree with you about Milwaukee.

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