the best $12 i'll ever spend

I had a great 'city day' today. I had to run to Boulder for a client meeting and then on the way back home, I stopped downtown to get a bunch of errands crossed off my ever-growing to-do list. I had some trouble finding a parking spot, which is almost always a concern when driving downtown, but after driving around a couple of blocks, I pulled into an open metered space and as I as getting out, a woman walked up to me and said, 'If you want to back up, I'm getting ready to leave and I have about 20 minutes left on my meter.' I smiled and thanked her and thought, 'See? Not every person in the big city is cold and ensconced in their urban bubble.'

About an hour later, I was on my last errand of the day—getting my two watches fixed [finally, dang] and I stopped at this little kiosk in the middle of the 16th Street Mall that M had told me about. I walk up to the window and tell the guy behind the glass that I need a new battery in one watch and some links taken out of the band on the other, so he invites me to come around back and sit inside while he works. His name is Papa (not entirely sure of the spelling) and he's been in Denver for about 8 years. He grew up in Senegal and went to school in Lille, France because Senegal was originally a French colony, so most people from there go to France for University. He speaks three (!) languages fluently—French, English and Spanish and he came to Denver because he had friends here. He loves the winters here because he never saw snow as a kid.

Now, if you know me even a little bit, you know that I am the least likely person to have long, in-depth conversations with complete strangers, but holy crap, in this instance, I'm so glad I did. The cash I gave him to fix my watches seemed a small price to pay for what he gave me in return.* This is what it means to take care of your customers. I will recommend him to everyone I know and will go back every time I need a watch fixed, no matter how far away I am.

* Sorry for the hippy, dippy, feel-good, claptrap, but I just can't help it, it was a really great experience.


DougieB said...

some of us don't mind hippy-dippy claptrap. It is quite welcome.

Also welcome: the use of the word claptrap. Where did that one go?

d said...

i believe it went the same way as 'horse shit'.

LSL said...

This makes me really happy. I feel like I fall into days like this a lot, and it goes a long way towards making me feel like the world isn't completely doomed. Also, you're getting increasingly hippy dippy since the move to the big city. Watch it.

Mrs. C. said...

Since when does NOT being a cynical curmudgeon = being a hippy dippy claptrap? This is a good story. So shut up with your footnotes.