DON’T THINK ABOUT IT, JUST DO IT
Just when you might have thought all the “bad guys” were taking over, a “good guy” shows up and touches the lonely hearts and jaded minds of people from Hopkins, Minnesota to just about every village and hamlet in this eager-for-good-news country of ours. That’s where it happened: Hopkins, Minnesota at the Main Street Dairy Queen. The “good guy’s" name is Joey Prusack. He’s nineteen years old and is the manager of the Dairy Queen where he’s worked since the eighth grade.
Here’s the story: Joey had just sold some ice cream to a young, blind man (a frequent customer) who, as he struggled to put change back in his wallet, dropped a twenty dollar bill on the floor. Another customer, standing behind the blind man who was described later in media interviews by Joey as “an older lady,” immediately scooped up the twenty bucks and put it in her purse. Joey told her politely that the money belonged to the man in front of her and that she should give it back to him. She refused, saying that it was hers. Joey told her that if she didn't return the money to its rightful owner, he would not be able to serve her and that she would have to leave the store. She left, but not before "making a scene...” as Joey described it. But that didn’t bother him. He went over to the blind man who was sitting in his usual place eating his ice cream, took $20 out of his wallet and said, “Sir, on behalf of myself and Dairy Queen, I would like to give you a $20 bill to replace the one you happened to drop on the ground as you walked away from the counter. I realize that this is not the same $20 bill you dropped,” Joey explained carefully, "because the older woman stole it, but it still has the same face value.” The young man thanked him profusely and Joey replied that it was “no big deal.” End of story as far as Joey was concerned. He never mentioned the episode to anyone.
But a Main Street Dairy Queen customer - one of the “regulars” - observed this very good deed from beginning to end. She wrote it all down and sent her anonymous email to the Dairy Queen corporate office where it was printed, posted in the store - and then posted on Reddit. The story turned into a virtual "shout out” to Joey. Everyone wants to talk to him. Everyone wants to thank him. And people are flooding him with checks for $20. (Joey said it “wouldn’t be right” to keep the money and is giving it to charity.) One of my favorite online comments came from a guy in Key West who wrote, “Bless this young man! I don’t have a lot but I do have the utmost respect for this man...WAKE UP PEOPLE, FOLLOW THIS MAN’S HEART!!! PASS SOME KINDNESS ALONG!!” And he ended with, "You are everything I hope I've raised my son to be...”
Total strangers call up Joey to tell him how wonderful he is. And guess what? Warren Buffet (who has the majority stake in Dairy Queen) was one of them. He called Joey to tell him he had a “a good heart and did a good deed” - and then, according to Joey, “he started crying...” Joey said he was so “star-struck” he didn’t know what to say. Buffet invited Joey to come to his next shareholder’s meeting...
Here’s what I love: Joey didn’t stop to ponder how he should react, he didn’t do a cost/benefit analysis or weigh the pro’s and con’s of acting vs. not acting. He just dug down into his wallet and did it. Maybe he’ll spark thousands of us to “dig down" and do it, too. And maybe this one simple act of kindness will set in motion a whole movement: Don’t think about it, just do it.
Hey, a call from Warren Buffet wouldn’t be a bad thing, right? Or your dad...
To see Joey interviewed, click here:
To read the customer’s now famous email, click here:
Gail Blanke’s Lifedesigns©2013 All Rights Reserved
Comments are closed for this blog post