a story about a nice man

Yesterday, an older, portly gentleman of approximately 70 came into my store. He looked slightly disoriented, like perhaps he had stumbled into the wrong store by some unhappy accident. I walked up to him and, as is customary procedure in my store, said, "Hello, sir, and how are you doing today?"

He turned his ruddy face toward me and his eyes expanded behind large glasses. "How do you think I'm doing when a beautiful woman walks up and says hello to me?" He laughed heartily. "Do I get a hug, too?"

Surprised, I laughed, as well. "No, sir, not today, I think." I appraised him quickly, noting that our store was probably not going to suit his fancy. "What brings you in today?"

He looked around. "I always walk into stores like this thinking I'll be able to wear the younger stuff, and then I realize I'm not as young as I think I am." He laughed again. I enjoyed his laugh. I informed him that our wares are relatively simple, which makes much of it suitable for all ages. I knew that what I was saying was completely worthless because he obviously wasn't going to buy anything here, but I didn't want to get in trouble with my manager for too quickly rebuffing a customer. He shook his head, thanked me for my effort.

He then told me that I was a wonderful employee. "Really, if I had a store, I would want you to work there. You're very good."

"Thank you," I told him.

"You know, you're going to go very far in life. You're just magnificent, I can tell. You're lucky in that God stretched your skin in a nice way, but it's not that, it's that your soul is lovely. You're very bright, people trust you and they like you. You'll go far in life, I know it. And there's something about the timbre of your voice... lovely, very bright."

I blushed. He thanked me again for my efforts. He left, and I stood where I had met him, stunned and pleased.

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