Sunday, May 24, 2009

comfort of strangers

Growing up, our parents would always tell us to never talk to strangers. Strangers must never be trusted. They could kidnap you if you talk to them long enough or they could get you hooked on drugs if you accept their candy. If you really think about it, it’s a little scary- the thought that this entire city is filled with strangers. Sometimes, they’re closer to us than we think.

In the age where technology exists to bring us together, it’s ironic how we’ve lost sight of intimacy. Sometimes, our best friends become strangers, too. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about.

Beep! My personal phone got a message. I was in the middle of class when I discreetly checked who it was.

For some time now, someone has been loading prepaid credits into my account. I first noticed it sometime in March. Someone loaded P100 into my account. I was very grateful and stuff but eventually dismissed it as some glitch in the system. Two weeks later, someone loaded P50. After a few more weeks, P30. I got a little curious. Who was loading money into my account? Maybe they jumbled a few numbers when they keyed it in and they’re still waiting for their prepaid credits. I felt bad for whoever that person was but I also felt grateful that I was somehow gaining from his stupidity.

For a few weeks, no one loaded into my account anymore. If that whole thing was a glitch, perhaps Globe finally fixed it. If the error was caused by a dyslexic loader, maybe he finally wised up. That’s why I was a little surprised when I saw that I got P30 again a few days ago. This could not be a glitch anymore. I decided to call Globe.

The woman I spoke with (I believe her name was Ella) was very nice. I basically told her that I’m not complaining or anything but someone’s been loading money into my account and I asked if there was a way to trace that. I told her I still had the message with me and I’d be happy to provide her with any information that she may need to trace this transaction. She placed me on hold while she checked on her resources and I couldn’t help but notice how professional she was. She spoke in broken English but she was very confident and she never made feel like my concern was really silly.

“Most people would just take the money and run.” I told her. “I’m really grateful for all the free stuff but I was hoping you could tell me who I have to thank.”

After several minutes, she told me she couldn’t find the transaction in the system. She gave me a couple of useless details, mostly things you could see from the message anyway. What I liked about my time with her is that she never made me feel like a stupid person for questioning something that was basically being given to me for free. I asked for her supervisor and gave her a commendation. I figured if a stranger was nice to me, I should be nice to strangers as well, starting with this one. She did an awesome job and I hope my glowing review of her customer service would help her get ahead.

Although I’m not about to eat their candy, I think I’m beginning to see the value in strangers. It’s an anonymous world out there and if one person would go out of his way to make someone like me smile, I think there’s hope for the rest of us. Although my commendation to Ella wasn’t much, it still felt good. It was the closest thing I could give to a hug. While she was thanking me, I could hear a smile in her voice. It was as if she hugged me back.

To the person who sends me load (even if my primary number is postpaid), thank you very much. I don’t know what I did to you or what moved you to start doing this but I want you to know I appreciate it very much.



Speaking of strangers, I got a really nice review from the people at Bloggy Award. Apparently, someone who reads this blog sent them my URL. It was very flattering to hear that a complete stranger took the time to nominate me. To whoever sent in the nomination, thank you very much. You just made blogging even more rewarding for me. You will always be welcome in this little piece of cyberspace I call home.

I got a nice review from one of their reviewers. I wanna thank Noemi for taking the time to read my blog (click here to read the full article) and for giving me a good review. I’m definitely going to take your comments into consideration the next time I update my template.  Thank you once again!

Beth Orton
Comfort of Strangers
Comfort of Strangers