A random act of kindness made my day

Derrick Knutson

Derrick Knutson

You know, sometimes a simple act of kindness can really brighten a person’s day.

My coworker Jon and I were the recipients of an anonymous act of kindness recently when we went out for lunch Friday.

I had just finished the last bites of my chicken wrap and he was just about to eat the last piece of his steak when our waitress came over and asked if we’d like anything else.

We told her no, and that we were ready for the bill.

She came back a few minutes later and said our bill had “been taken care of.”

At first, I was kind of confused and thought we won some kind of free-lunch contest or something.

However, that wasn’t the case: The waitress explained someone at the other end of the restaurant had “wanted to pay for people who were leaving,” and that just happened to be us.

We asked the waitress if we could thank the person who had paid for our lunches, and she told us the woman wanted to remain anonymous.

I joked with Jon when we got back to the office that the generous woman in question must have seen us across the room and thought we looked particularly handsome that day, prompting her to pay for our meals, but I knew the truth: This lady just wanted to do something nice for someone out of the goodness of her heart.

I was really taken aback by that.

I’ve reported on stories of anonymous generosity, but I, as far as I can remember, have never been the subject of someone’s goodwill in such a way.

And you know what? It felt good.

I got back to the office, in a cheerful mood, and realized I’d left my scarf at the restaurant. I went back to get it, and the hostess there handed it to me with a smile — another day brightener.

About an hour later, I heard a page over the intercom system at work that noted, “Someone with a complaint about the Post Review is on 101.”

I’ve dealt with complaints at every paper I’ve worked at — it just comes with the territory. Some are legitimate and then there are the people who just want to vent about something.

When I picked up the phone, I didn’t really care of which variety this complaint stemmed; I was in that good of a mood.

“I answered, “Post Review, this is Derrick,” in a cheery voice, and proceeded to listen to the caller’s complaint and suggest some remedies.

Honestly, she was polite, which is sometimes far from the case with people who call the newspaper to criticize.

I once had a guy call and yell at me, “You’re ashamed of the human body!”

Another person who called swore at me for a half hour straight about a city council story I wrote.

The woman who called Friday simply wanted to see more items on the community page from Rush City, to which I told her that if people submit them, we will print them.

There are some very active people in the North Branch area who submit items to us every week, so take note, Rush City people: If you’d like to see something in the paper, let us know about it and/or submit some information and a photo via email.

My responses to her questions seemed to satisfy her, and I was glad she was a caller of the civil variety.

Overall, it was just one of those good days, and it started with an anonymous woman buying lunch for my coworker and me.

I plan to pass along her goodwill, because doing something good for someone you don’t know, even if it’s just a small gesture, could have a ripple effect that leads to people treating one another better. And I think that’s a good thing.

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