A story that made me very happy — I couldn’t stop smiling.

Someone I know who lives in Geneva knows that I'm very interested in happiness, and she related the following story to me, because this incident made HER feel so happy.

I asked her if I could post it, because I found it such a gratifying incident.

"A couple of weeks ago I went into Harrods in London (huge department store I am sure you have heard of!) to buy some Minton China plates for a wedding anniversary which was to be a group gift from friends to other friends in Geneva. Having only 30 minutes between meetings, I whizzed there in a taxi from the office and battled through the milling people on the 2nd day of the sales on the ground floor up to the 5th to the china department. There was a non-descript chap standing there who was obviously a sales person who I rushed up to and asked if he had this particular china? in stock? would it take long to wrap? etc., He was amazing. He got the plates in seconds, wrapped them up, asked me if I wanted a store card to which I replied no, because I lived in Switzerland, to which he replied asking if, as I lived abroad would I like a tax rebate form, showed me what to do and produced a map of the store of where I should go for the formalities. Amazing, so I thanked him and said what wonderful service he had given me and did he give this to everyone? With that a tall man in a grey suit approached me offering his hand to shake mine saying, “Can I introduce myself, I am the Chief Executive of Harrods and what an interesting conversation I have just heard”…. He had been wandering through the store (as you should do as a hands-on CEO!) and had overheard me thanking this salesman - whose face, I can hardly describe, was – frozen in a mixture of delight awe and astonishment! Can you imagine the salesman going home to his family and friends recounting, “the day the CEO spoke to him after overhearing him being praised by a customer”……….

"This story makes everyone smile (and feel happy?!) when I tell it – so why is that I asked myself (now focussing on what and why is happiness since meeting you and your work)! The ‘underdog’ receiving recognition? the unexpected? the coincidence? …… all of that!"

For me, one of the most satisfying basic storylines is "Virtue rewarded." To have been an instrument to see virtue rewarded is thrilling to contemplate.

*
I’ve started sending out short monthly newsletters that will highlight the best of the previous month’s posts. If you’d like to sign up, click on the link in the upper-right-hand corner of my blog. Or just email me at grubin, then the “at” sign, then gretchenrubin dot com. No need to write anything more than “newsletter” in the subject line. I’ll add your name to the list.

icon emailNewsletterLight

One Last Thing

Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?

Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. I share ideas for being happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

icon schooled

Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.

The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t actOur Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.

Take the quiz

Get My Weekly Newsletter

Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here, my Facebook Page, and new original work.