For months now, my business has been down and I've really struggled financially. The stress from that has triggered some depression and anxiety which has triggered more stress. And the cycle continues. I've been caught up in that cycle before and I'm ashamed to say that this time I was giving in to it. I felt very defeated and helpless. In addition to the financial issues, I had some personal issues that were weighing on me and I seriously felt like I was down for the count. I felt like I had lost my power.
As far as my income goes, the housecleaning business is a high demand business even during economic down times. So I can always find new customers and increase my income.....if I try. To get new business, I typically distribute fliers in the neighborhoods I like to work in. But my income has been so low that I haven't been able to afford to get any fliers printed up. I should have put out fliers when I didn't need any new business so that I'd have a waiting list of customers instead of a waiting list of bills to be paid. But I didn't.
Finally, it occurred to me that I had accumulated some points on my Wachovia Rewards program and might be able to redeem the points for a gift card at Staples and use that to get some fliers printed up. After checking my account, I saw that I had enough points to get a $25 card. I knew that wouldn't buy me too many fliers but it would buy SOME and if I just got even one job from those fliers then I'd have some money to print up some more fliers. So yesterday I went to Staples to get the fliers made.
The guy at the copy shop was not very friendly and moved in slow motion. I found myself getting annoyed with him because it was taking him so long to wait on me. We had to work out how many copies I could afford to get with my $25 and he was taking forever to figure it out. I wanted to get two fliers per sheet but the photo on my flier didn't look very good that way so he was trying to fix that for me. Finally he got it looking good enough, though not as good as I had hoped. I told him to go ahead and print them like that. I also asked for colored paper, which costs more and he had to cut the sheets in half since there were two fliers per sheet. That was another additional charge. I knew that from when I've had fliers printed up before. I told him to just print up as many fliers as he could for the $25 I had to spend. He said he'd do them while I waited and I went and walked around the store for a while.
When I went back to the copy shop, the guy seemed to be ignoring me and was waiting on everyone else instead of me. Again I got annoyed with him but didn't say anything. Boy was I glad I didn't open my stupid mouth and make a fool of myself. After all the other customers were gone and the manager was not around, the guy leaned over to me and, in a quiet voice, said "Today is my last day on the job here so I made you 500 copies for the price of 250." And he put his finger to his mouth to say "Shhh". Well, you better believe I shhhhh'ed!!! I thanked him very much and took my fliers and left. When I got to the car, I looked at the receipt and saw that he also didn't charge me for cutting the sheets or for the colored paper. I ended up with 1000 fliers for $25! Once I get them distributed, I will probably get all the customers I need to fill my calendar back up and get my income where it needs to be!
I was kind of uncomfortable with this copy shop guy at first because of his physical appearance and because he never once looked up at me and was so slow moving and unfriendly and never smiled a single time. But what he did for me will make a tremendous difference in my life in the way of helping me get control of my finances and in giving me back my power that I felt I had lost. So he's on my angel list now and, once again, I've learned that angels don't usually have blond hair and wings. Some of them have ear gages and big sideburns. And I've learned that you never know what kind of heart a person has inside them regardless of how they look or act on the outside.
I doubt if that guy realized how much he helped me and he probably didn't think one bit more about me after I left the store. So I think another thing I've learned is that we never really know how our actions affect others and how we might be making a big difference in someone's life without even realizing it. And that's a good thing. I found some good! :D