A Reddit user going by saviour__self posted a story this week about a recent experience at Trader Joe's, and it's incredibly touching. She was chatting with the cashier at Trader Joe's and mentioned how surprised she was to get out of the grocery store spending only $40. During the conversation she mentioned that it was just her and the kids at home, and she thought nothing much of it.
But then as she was leaving, the cashier ran after her and gave her a bouquet of purple roses, just to do something nice for a single mom, and saviour__self said she was so touched it almost made her cry.
"It made me feel so amazing," she wrote. "The last time I got a bouquet of flowers were anytime my ex-boyfriend was apologizing (toxic and dishonest relationship). She doesn't know that their father hasn't seen the kids in 5 years, or hasn't paid child support ever or that I'm busting my butt working, going to school full time, dealing with heartache, and trying to be a decent parent. But I hope she knows I'm so thankful for her kind gesture and how much it meant.
"If you're on reddit, thank you. You are an amazing kind woman and your kindness is an even greater gift than the beautiful roses."
As Bustle's Rebecca Fishbein points out, that one story prompted an outpouring of similar anecdotes from people who say they received random gifts or acts of kindness from the staff at their Trader Joe's stores.
"Trader Joe's is so amazing," wrote a commenter going by caseylynn1978. "When I separated from my first husband, I had some terribly difficult months. I went food shopping and loaded up because we had no food in the house (me and two kids) and I was going to pay with my credit card. Turned out my credit card had been canceled. I didn't know until I tried to pay. They let me go with $100 worth of food and told me to just pay it forward. I don't think I ever cried so hard. I did go and pay them back later."
Another Reddit user mentioned that he went in once to buy some beer after a rough breakup, and the cashier gave him a chocolate bar and said to be careful. It's a small gesture, but it can really make a difference to know that someone's thinking about you.
And one user even said that she was setting up a new apartment and stocking up her fridge after being out of the country for six months, and the cashier gave her a small orchid just as a way to welcome her to the neighborhood.
This kind of kindness goes well beyond what most of us think of when we think about good customer service. Promptness and politeness are traditional signs of good service, but these kinds of gestures are just really nice.
One user who said they were a former Trader Joe's manager says this sort of behavior is actively encouraged by the company.
"Trader Joe's does very little advertising so they rely heavily on word of mouth," that commenter wrote, "things like this are why trader Joe's continues to expand."
The word-of-mouth advertising and support of random acts of kindness certainly seems to be working, because the Reddit thread about this single mom's bouquet of flowers quickly went viral and became a big love-fest about how much everyone loves Trader Joe's and all the nice people who work there.
Have you ever had this kind of experience at Trader Joe's?