Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Making Her Day

This afternoon, I stopped off at the Forest Hills CVS pharmacy on my way home to pick up a couple of things.  And when I got in line, there was only one woman paying for items and one clerk.  But in short order, there came to be another four or so people who formed a line in back of me.

Now, Washington, DC has more than it's share of Type-A personalities, myself included.  And the woman ahead of me was being way too slow about paying for her stuff.  She was asking a bunch of questions.  Then she couldn't find her CVS discount card.  At least she wasn't paying with a check.

If the line of waiting shoppers had been in cars on the street, we would all have been blasting our horns.  She should hurry up!  The check-out clerk should move her on!


As it was, there was just a lot of sighing and huffing and glares.

Then I noticed the poor sales clerk.  She was there all alone.  This woman paying for her stuff was clearly not her first slow as molasses customer, and the line back up must have been pretty typical.  She did not look too happy.

So when I got up to the register, I flashed her a big smile and told her that soon her day would get better! 

She got this big grin on her face and reminded me to be sure to vote!

I guess one of my favorite things is to find someone each day in some service job who looks and feels frazzled, harassed, unappreciated and underpaid.  Then I like to do some little thing to turn things around.  And, believe me, it doesn't take very much.

It's just fun.  I recommend it highly!


Comment balloon 38 commentsPatricia Kennedy • September 14 2010 08:16PM



That was a very nice thing to do.  We all could use a course in patience.  I think the world would be a much better place if patience was a required course in our school systems!

Thanks you for your kindness!

Posted by David Hardison (Bluegreen Communities) about 10 years ago

That was so nice of you.  I am sure people take out their  frustrations on her all the time.  

Posted by Faina Reinhardt ( about 10 years ago

Pat, patience is a virtue we all need to work on. I try to be patient, I really do. What a nice thing to do. And I am sure you made her day.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 10 years ago

Great idea.  This reminds me of one of my friends from college (who is also from DC).  Every once in a while, she would pay for the toll for the car behind her.  She did it just to make some random stranger's day better.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 10 years ago

I was just at a networking event where the wine was free for us agents.  I saw the bartender pouring glass after glass and I realized - what about tips?  I dropped a few dollars on the bar, he swiped it up and that was that.  We both felt better.  I know exactly what you mean.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 10 years ago

I'm not "allowed" to honk my horn in Austin. In Dallas, we honk all the time. In Austin, my husband says I'm being rude. I'm like, tell these people to drive and I wouldn't need to honk!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 10 years ago

Pat, why are the realtors always the "nice" ones.  I know mortgage and insurance people are, too. 

Do you suppose it because we essentailly work for ourselves?  And, we are the enemy, not some mean old boss breathing down our necks, day after day? 

Great motivator.  I always leave a business card with them when I smile and wish them a great day.  Sometimes, they just need to talk and sometimes I haven't gotten referrals! 

Posted by Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. (Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc.) about 10 years ago


You may have made the clerks day. It pays to be nice.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 10 years ago

It is satisfying even if it is random toll paying (as Debbie mentioned)-it makes you stop thinking and worrying about your own petty issues.  And it sure feels good on the receiving end. A great perspective, Pat.

Posted by Barbara Chatterton, Greater Madison Wisconsin Area Realtor (The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI) about 10 years ago


Taking the high road and being kind is always the best; great attitude.

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) about 10 years ago

I remember having a job as an airline ticket agent, and people would be just awful.  Except once in a while, someone would just be incredibly nice and make my day.  I appreciated it so much, and now it's just sort of fun to do the same thing for other people.  It probably makes me feel as good as they do.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 10 years ago

It is so great that you make that sales clerk's day - I love doing that kind of thing, and don't think it has anything to do with being a realtor.    It's just a big part of why we like this career - we like helping people!!!

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Interesting that she reminded you to vote - smart lady!

Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 10 years ago

Paying it forward - it's a good thing to do!  And this gal needed a little boost - and how fast she shifted to remind you to vote.  Little things make a BIG difference - every single day.  Let's just keep paying it forward!  Nice way to end the day Patricia - thanks so much!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) about 10 years ago

There are a bunch of Type A's in DC.  Kudos for taking the time to make an overwhelmed/overstressed/under-appreciated fellow human being feel good.  Ditto on Jeff's "smart lady".  

Posted by Marcie Sandalow, Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate (Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 ) about 10 years ago

Hi Pat... I think we have shared in the past how I used to work for an airline at the counter and gate at National Airport... I was thinking about that experience when I read your post and then, as if you read my mind, you mentioned your airline career.  Remind me to tell you my DCA story involving three 727's, a broken baggage conveyor, the airport police and the need to be escorted to my car.  I would have liked a passenger like you that day! 

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 10 years ago

You have just brought up something that I have been thinking about all day for my next blog. Time to get off the fence and write it.  What a great thing you did for that clerk.  Bravo!  

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach ( (757) 560-0881) about 10 years ago

It's the small things that make a huge difference in someone's day.  Good for you for helping her feel a little better.

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) about 10 years ago

Pat... I knew there was a reason that I liked you... even though you made me miss a few free beers when I had to walk you out to your car, because you locked your keys in the car... lol  Yes, you still owe me.. lol  Seriously, I don't do this every day, but I do try and do what you mentioned. And yes, it's easiest at the grocery store, because this is where it seems that the lines get long quickly, and most people aren't patient. Hey, I am not always patient, but I just try to keep things in check. Sometimes people look at e funny when I do try to cheer them up.. like, what's in it for me.. lol  Well, not to see your gloomy face as I stand here?  lol  Good positive post and reminder.. thanks

jeff belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) about 10 years ago

Pat - what a nice thing to do and it does always have a ripple effect.  I'm sure the afterglow had her treating the next few customers with a smile!

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) about 10 years ago

Pat, being nice to people who just got the "shaft" is one of my favorite things to do.  I love giving them a compliment, especially after they just had a rough one.  Thanks for being such a wonderful LADY!  And, lady is a term of respect here! 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) about 10 years ago

It only takes a small phrase of kind gesture to turn someons's day around.  And it leaves us with a great feeling.

Posted by Anne Clark (Metro Referrals) about 10 years ago

It's so easy to be nice! Takes too much energy to be mean!!!

Posted by Betsy Schuman Dodek, (Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Pat I had a similar experience at the grocery store last night.  An elderly woman was counting out the change she needed to pay for her groceries... the tab was something like 14.93   The lady kept taking out 1 coin at a time from her purse and placing it on the counter... It seemed like it would take for ever... so I said to the clerk.. her take this dollar and give this lovely lady the change!  They both were delighted.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 10 years ago

That was a very nice things to do, Pat.  Don't you hate those people in line who seem to think that the world waits for them.  When it happens in an express line I usually tell the clerk that they need to have a special line for express people. 

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) about 10 years ago

Hey Pat - you're just being one of those little beams of light ... oh wait, that was a different name!  Not only did you make the CSV clerk's day ... seems like you have made many of ours .... Thanks!

Posted by Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi, The Nines Team in Lodi (The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi) about 10 years ago

I'm glad you made that nice gesture.  It seems that the service industry workers deserve it more than they get it

Posted by Debbie Atwood, Real Estate Broker (Century 21 Real Estate Center Everett, WA) about 10 years ago

So many people make their own crappy lives seem more important by humiliating people they consider to be "lesser beings'. You're a class act!

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) about 10 years ago

Oh yes, Pat,  I 100% agreed.  It doesn't cost anything to say a few nice words to someone who needs it, it always makes them feel somewhat better.  Good for you!

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) about 10 years ago

The impatience, I think, is a east coast thing!  Also an east coast thing is the surprise on the faces of those when you flash a smile and speak some encouraging words!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 10 years ago

I do that, too--when I am not feeling totally stressed out for waiting in line for too long! LOL

Posted by Holly Weatherwax, A Great Real Estate Experience ( Associate Broker, Momentum Realty) about 10 years ago

Good morning Pat,

If more people would practice random acts of kindess what a calmer world we could enjoy! Good for you!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) about 10 years ago

Hi Pat, one simple gesture that changes attitude on 2 people. We should all learn to be more tolerant, as we may all be like that person at the front of the line, and for some of us, sooner than we would like. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 10 years ago
Doesn't surprise me at all about you. You are a sweetheart and I just knew that about you.
Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) about 10 years ago

I love the way you think girl.  I wish more people thought like that.  A smile will take you a long way in the world.  One of the few things you cab share for free.

Posted by Lesley Wagstaff, For Real Estate and Mortgages (Re/Max Results Realty in Vancouver, BC) about 10 years ago

I'm really shocked this wasn't featured... it's such good advice for all of us and written in your own unique positive style.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 10 years ago

This is indeed a great post! We have all been in both the position of the exasperated customer and the poor clerk who couldn't do anything about her customer. I am sure you made her day!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 10 years ago

AMEN! It's such a blessing to be a blessing! :O)

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 10 years ago