26 Sep 2017
I was at my local supermarket. I needed to get some more pull up pants for my son who is being potty trained. As I approached the tills I did my usual split-second assessment, to work out which queue was the shortest and which checkout assistant looked the quickest. I picked a queue and joined it.
I was behind a female nurse who had filled the conveyor belt with groceries, and her her trolley was empty now. Good decision Paul. I had my headphones in and was catching up with the news on my phone, to pass the time. As the nurse was loading the scanned items back into her trolley, I was anticipating the inevitable text message from my wife saying "can you also get this for me please?" as she always does when I get to the front of any queue.
I looked up from my phone screen to see how much the nurse had left to go and noticed a tall thin man walking along the path outside, about 30 feet away from the store.This man had a shaved head, tattoos on his neck and was wearing scruffy looking khaki clothes.
As he was walking along, he disappeared out of sight behind one of the posters on the shop window, and he didn't reappear on the other side of it. It was weird. I carried on looking and noticed his feet appearing below the poster, as he approached the short metal fence. This was strange and made me uneasy. He wasn't trying to get to the entrance because it was at the other side of the store.
Next I saw him climbing over the fence, at this point I was getting quite worried. What was he doing there? Why had he made a bee-line for us? What did he want? He came up to the glass and started knocking on the window and looking at me. I just stared back at him not sure what to do or say. He kept tapping, trying to get the nurse's attention. I wondered if he knew her, was he her ex? Was he her patient? What did he want? The checkout assistant noticed him too and pointed him out to the nurse. She looked up at him and as she did, he pointed down at the floor.
She had dropped her purse and he had spotted it as he was walking past. She was very grateful and thanked him with a wave and said to the checkout assistant "what a sweetheart".
What a kind thing to do, to go out of his way and climb over a fence to let her know about her purse. It really does show you that you can't judge a book by its cover.