Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Today's act of kindness might be also be considered an act of common courtesy, though there's plenty of overlap between the two since being kind and being courteous are two sides of the same coin. Here's what happened:
When I return home after being out, one of the first things I usually do is check to see if there were any phone messages left for us. As I listened to them today, I heard a call from a woman named Catherine returning "Rob's call about the furniture" and leaving her phone number. It was obviously a case of someone dialing the wrong number.
Rather than ignoring it, I called the woman back and explained that she had left the message on our home number and that it must have been a mistake. She rechecked the number and determined that her staff must have written it down wrong when they gave it to her. More importantly, she was so appreciative that I called because otherwise this person Rob would be left wondering why no one ever called him back. Now that she was aware of it, she could track down the correct number and get back to him.
So much of courtesy (and kindness) is simply about treating people the way we would want to be treated, even if they're strangers and we'll never see or talk to them again. If I had mistakenly left a message at the wrong number, I know I'd sure appreciate the recipient letting me know so that I could correct the situation - so it's the least I could do for someone else.