The Nice Old Grandma
At work today a nice old couple came in and said that they were looking for a vacuum. Which is great since I have a million of them. While I got to talking to them they told me a story that I felt is severely lacking from the general public right now. So here it is –
They explained that they used to live in a small apartment when they first got married decades ago. It was tiny and times were a little rough. So to make ends meet and get by, they went without a vacuum for 3 years. Which boggles my mind because I have 4 kids that can’t seem to find the garbage can or their mouths that we are constantly cleaning up after. Anyways – So their first vacuum was a little electric broom that got them by.
Then over the years they eventually got a vacuum, but nothing nice, nothing fancy. So after decades of sacrificing and doing the responsible things they wound up at my store looking for a nice vacuum. She wanted the real nice one and the husband was leaning towards the cheaper one. I watched a grandma lay on the charm to her husband to get the nice vacuum she always wanted. He smiled and said yes. On the way to ring her up, she looked at the steam cleaners and said how she always wanted one because she hated scrubbing and mopping.
But they both agreed that it wasn’t in their budget to get one right now, and just bought the vacuum package. As I was ringing them up I had my assistant manager go put something together for me. The couple was saying how one day they are going to come back and get the steam cleaner to make the cleaning easier. At the end of the transaction my assistant handed them the steam cleaner, free of charge. They both had the biggest smiles on their faces. She was hanging onto his arm just grinning and he was smiling (probably because he got a killer deal). On the way out to their car they were so thankful and grateful that it thrilled me I could do that for someone. It was just awesome. It was like handing a kid their first big toy that they couldn’t wait to go play with.
The reason I did it? I know of so many people that will pile crap onto credit cards and financing just to have something right now. There is almost a lost art to saving up and paying cash for something without adding a burden to your own finances. The generation that is about to leave us grew up saving old parts or repairing old appliances because they understood how to sacrifice and be responsible. They could want something for longer than a day, and they could save up even longer. I think that is a trait that is starting to be sorely missed right now. In a world where you are oppressed if you don’t have what your neighbor has, or it isn’t fair if you can’t afford a bigger house RIGHT NOW, it was so refreshing to see a couple that had waited well into their golden years to get that vacuum you could probably go buy right now. Also – they just reminded me of my grandparents so much I couldn’t help myself.