A couple weeks ago, I had a phonecall in the shop, mid afternoon, around about the time when those pesky telemarketing calls crop up out of nowhere.
Normally I don’t answer those calls as they’re usually around that same time, but this time I chose to answer it just in case it wasn’t them.
Upon answering the phone, there was a bit of a delay- the same kind that happens on a telemarketing call.. and I was very nearly going to hang up, when I finally heard a voice, a really crackly, rough kind of voice and I really couldn’t make out what this person was saying, the voice kept getting louder and the words more hoarse, but I preservered, and I’m glad I did.
You see, the person on the other end of the phone was a lady, a very sick lady.
After she’d calmed down a bit and gotten enough breath back to get the words out, she told me that she’d seen her neices flowers (in the same household) and used my business card from that order (I put business cards in with every envelope) to call me- discreetly might I add as I could sense the urgency in her voice.
She wanted to order some flowers for her sister whom she was staying with, to wish her a happy birthday. She told me her situation, she was only 43kgs and cannot leave her sisters house until she gains enough strength to leave, and the reason for the breath- suffering from Emphysema.
She could hardly breath.
Once we got the details about her order sorted out, she asked me how she could make the payment.
The order was for a $50 bouquet and $11 delivery, and she wanted to pay via cheque.
Cheques are like foreign ground to me, I don’t know how they work as currency in a business as I haven’t had to learn because of the common ways of a payment- either eftpos, cash or bank transfer.
So I said to her, I could accept the cheque as payment, but I was wondering “do you have cash at all?”
She said yes but how do I get it to you?
I knew she couldn’t leave the house, I knew she couldn’t pay via internet banking or credit card as she simply didn’t know how, and I could tell that.
So I simply told her, please just send the money in the post, whatever will be easiest for you!
So the order for the flowers was within a few days, there was a very good chance the money may not have been in my hands in time, but there was no point in time where I thought about not doing the flowers.
This woman was a total stranger, but the order went ahead and I kept it in the back of my mind for the next couple of weeks.
Above all else, I wondered if this lady was going to be ok!
After about 2.5 weeks, a small envelope arrived in the mail, cursive handwriting in an older style and a note that read “Dear Hayley, Thankyou for the flowers, here is the money” , and then it was signed with her name.
I feel there was a lesson in all of this.
Sometimes we give out our trust to the wrong people and they take advantage of it in the worst ways, but this time I just knew in my heart that this woman wanted to send a good deed, and she needed help and just a little bit of trusting to do that.
However that lady managed to get her money to the letterbox to post it, she made it happen and I bet that trust I had in her to place the order has gone so much further than just that one bouquet.
”Help people when you can” - that is the lesson I learnt from this.
As a nod to the lost art of letter-writing, I really feel it would be a huge investment to teach our kids how to do it, can you imagine them not knowing how to write because they can only text instead?
Below, is a stunning letter writing kit for young and old alike, I know I would love to receive a letter written on this, and in turn I’d love to write on it!
Check it out below: