Human Kindness - Humble Hospitality

Human Kindness #23: Humble Hospitality

Welcome back to Human Kindness! If you haven’t already, please check out Human Kindness: Introduction for the background to this blog series! These stories are NOT all my own, they have been submitted to me for the purpose of this series and are a collection from some of the kindest people I know or who have contacted me to share their story.

I am ALWAYS on the lookout for kindness stories, so please do get in touch if you have one, there is a chance for you to submit yours at the end of this post (and I will always keep them anonymous). As always, if you’d like to receive these stories directly to your inbox every Monday morning, sign up to the mailing list at the end of this post.

I absolutely ADORE this week’s story. I love every story I receive, you know I do, but this week is a little gem. How kind of somebody to take time out of their weekend break to help somebody else, without expecting payment of some kind in return. It is the essence of human kindness.

“When I was younger, we went on a weekend away to Anglesey in Wales, somewhere I had never been before and was very much looking forward to visiting. There was a pub nearby to where we were staying, and we decided to go in there for some lunch on the day we arrived.

When we walked in, we managed to get a table easily enough, but the place felt frantic. Even though we’d never been there, it wasn’t just a busy pub; you could tell something wasn’t right. The staff were continuously apologising to us for the delays and poorer-than-usual service, and whilst we sat there for a little while, some of the other people gave up waiting and walked out.

Not really wanting to add to their stress and walk out, we were happy enough to have a drink and a chat, and wait as long as need be – we were on a weekend away after all! We could clearly see that this was a small, intimate, friendly pub and that this wasn’t the usual standard of service. But as more and more people came into the pub, it became clear that the staff were really struggling, with many looking close to tears.

The manager came out to us to explain that there would be delays with the food, they were short-staffed and it was unexpectedly busy, and as we chatted to her a little in an attempt to reassure her that it was OK, we were more than happy to wait and we appreciated their difficulty, she explained that they had been unexpectedly inundated with custom, they were already short-staffed, and that they were expecting another rush later on in the evening.

It was a small family-run pub, and we felt sympathetic towards them, but mainly quite helpless. That is, until my mum decided to step in and help. She explained to the manager that we are here for the weekend and have no plans tonight other than to spend the evening in our holiday let. She told her that she is very friendly, good with people, all of the jobs she’s ever worked have been in some form of care/work with people so she has plenty of experience in customer service, and she is very efficient. She would like to offer her services and help out with the evening shift. She didn’t want payment, she just wanted to help. She could wash dishes, serve food, take orders and payments, clean up – she could do whatever would help.

The manager was completely taken aback and thanked her for such a kind offer, but explained she couldn’t let her spend the first night of our holiday working there! After much persuasion and reluctance to accept, the manager finally relented and agreed. My mum spent the evening washing the dishes and keeping the kitchen running, doing whatever cleaning she could and lending a helping hand wherever she could. Her help was invaluable that night and meant that the pub and team were able to function as close to their usual service as possible given the circumstances.

They tried to pay her, and my mum wouldn’t hear of it. She advised that she had done it because she wanted to, and asked them only to pay the kindness forward.

Some people might have felt put out that their mum chose to miss out on the first night of a weekend break, but we just felt proud. She saw a family who needed help, knew that she could do something to ease their burden, and then did it. It was one of many beautiful things she has done for other people and I am forever in awe of her aptitude to recognise when somebody is in need and then offer a selfless act of kindness to help.”

***PLEASE NOTEit seems there are some issues with the below form and stories not being submitted. For some reason you have to go through the process TWICE, you will receive a confirmation when your message has been sent. If you still can’t submit your story, please email it to hello@reflectandintrospect.com***

Have you experienced an act of kindness recently? Maybe you have done something for somebody that you haven’t yet shared for fear of being judged to be “bragging” or you have been on the receiving end of a kindness that somebody has shown you. My inbox is ALWAYS open for your kindness stories so please submit them!

Stories will be treated with discretion and published anonymously at all times, and I will share as much or as little information as you wish. Message me using the form below and I’ll be sure to feature your story in an upcoming post.

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