Hurt Eyes

I walked in to the bank to cash a check.

“Hey Dan! You ready?’

I looked up and saw on of my regular tellers, Wells.

“Wells, how’s it goin?”

Wells smiled.

“Been ok…been ok. You?”

“I’m good…just another friday. You been busy?”

Wells looked to the side and was silent for a few seconds.

“Yes…I am leaving. I am moving.”

“Oh, really? Where?”

Wells stopped again. Her eyes started to glimmer.

“Cayman…Cayman Islands…leaving the country.”

The glimmer in her eyes was not caused by happiness. I pretended not to notice.

“Wow…that’s a big change. You all packed? Ready to go? That’s a whole new way of life.”

She looked down and looked back up…and that’s where I noticed her hurt eyes.

“There’s just nothing for me here….nothing.”

I looked behind me to see if a line was forming behind me. I paused and just listened to Wells. I did not know much about her. She was not young. Her face was weathered showing that she had been through tough times in her life.

She continued..

“I…don’t want to be here anymore. Not just at this place…just HERE. Away…from anything. I just can’t be here. I don’t belong….HERE.”

A single tear dropped down her left eye.

We take normal interactions for granted. The normal “hi…hey, how’s it goin?”….but sometimes, someone reaches out for an ear to listen. Someone wants to be heard. And it was my ear to be reached today.

I broke the silence.

“This is great news Wells…this is a brand new start. A NEW life. It will probably be scary at first. But, don’t discount yourself. Something in you is telling you what you need to do…Do it. That first breath of air in your new country will be healing. Imagine that. That’s awesome, Wells. You gonna do great things out there.”

She looked to the side again.

“Yes…thank you.”

She smiled and her face softened. A line started to form behind me. I looked back.

“Whoa, well, you are popular…everyone is here to see you. Good luck, Wells. You’re awesome…”

I walked away and looked for another bank worker. I spotted an older man who worked there.

“Hey, how’s it goin’ sir. Are you a supervisor here?”

He nodded.

“That teller over there…Wells…she is awesome. She’s friendly…knowledgeable….great customer service is hard to find nowadays.”

I walked away.

Kind words go a long way. And sometimes, a few kind words can heal and build someone up. And there are opportunities we get during our normal day that appear for us to build another person up. Do we take it? Or do we ignore it? It might come from a loved one…or a random stranger. And one day…it might be us that needs an ear and the kinds words.

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22 thoughts on “Hurt Eyes

  1. This post made me tear up. So many times we take tellers and other customer service type people for granted. It’s good that you not only showed her you cared, but that you then praised her to her supervisor. I hope he relayed your kind words to her after you left.

  2. You are a good man Dan!! I know what it is like to be on both sides of this situation.. I know your time and kind words made a huge impact on that person and you will be someone she will not forget!

    • Aww thanks! That’s why I am a strong believer in words of affirmation…tell people how important they are…and compliment them. I never had a father who did that for me…so I vowed to do it as often as I could to as many people as I could. Her eyes told a story…and it wasn’t a happy one. I really hope she finds what she is looking for.

    • Thank you very much! Sometimes we get lost in life’s shuffle and are not able to see people who are hurting in front of us…and it is extremely painful to seem invisible…I have felt that way…and I am sure I am not alone in that feeling!

  3. I thought hmmm. Wells (Fargo) and Cayman Islands- illegal money is often wired there? I thought you were going somewhere else with this story. 🙂

    I, am like you, will always give a cheer-up and shout out. Shoot, even when I’m upset and I know it’s not Customer Service rep’s fault, I usually give up my fight. “Look, I know it’s not your fault directly that this has happened, but I need a new…” and I usually just accept whatever they tell me, even if it’s BS- I’ll grumble and walk away ensuring to not take it out on that person.

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