A Festival of kindness in a city I love

On a very busy Friday during which technology confounded me in one instance and distracted me in another, I relied on the kindness of strangers and, I have to say, if you’re going to Blanche Dubois your way through life, Appleton is the place to do it.

Here is my tale:

Following a maddening experience at an unethical gaming resale shop, I took my young friend’s new Playstation 4 to my friend Jack for analysis. “It looks like they sold you a defective model,” he said. “I would take it to uBreakiFix. They are very reliable and they’ll take care of you.”

So, I hauled the gaming system and my skeptical old self to uBreakiFix and they spent about two hours wiping and reloading it. When I picked it back up, they said, “No charge. We didn’t even need to write up a work order for this. It’s our pleasure to help you out.”

I couldn’t believe they had fixed the system in the first place, which thrilled me and certain members of my household, but that they did it at no charge? Of course, I will be giving all my technology repair business to uBreakiFix, and I hope you do too.

Flush with the success of that encounter, I headed to Festival Foods for a quick shopping trip. En route, my daughter Katherine called and we chatted as I made my way through the store. I chose the self-checkout lane so I could continue the conversation without being rude to a checker.

This turned out to be a mistake. Distracted, I paid with my debit card, requested $50, and left without my cash.

I was still on the phone with Katherine (we had a lot of catching up to do!) when I pulled in the driveway and realized my mistake.

“Shoot! I have to hang up!” I said. “I left my cash dangling out of the register at Festival Foods.”

I called Festival Foods on my way back to the store (hands free, of course), and they said they would look for the cash. When I arrived, they very kindly helped me scour the area, and even unlocked the machine to see if the money had been sucked back into it.

Sadly, we didn’t find it. So, they took the information from my receipt and my contact information, and I headed home.

The next day, Festival Foods called me and said they had reviewed their security cameras and confirmed that I had left the money behind and that someone else had taken it.

“You can stop by the service counter any time and pick up your $50,” he said.

“Wait,” I said. “I don’t expect Festival Foods to reimburse me for my mistake. It was my fault. I left the money behind.”

“We’re happy to do it,” he said.

“But, why should Festival Foods be out $50 because I left it behind?”

“It’s been turned over to our asset protection department,” he said. “Unfortunately, I’m going to have to insist that you pick up your money.”

“I’m kind of embarrassed to do that.”

“Don’t be embarrassed. I’ve done the same thing.”


“Yes. It’s easy to do.”

So, guess what I did with my $50? I spent it at Festival Foods. And, I’ll continue to spend my money there, too, because they have extremely fresh produce, an excellent meat department, a top notch bakery and, above all of that, the kind of service makes a harried mother’s day.

Man, I love this town!

This is Dustin, one of the extremely nice, very capable people who work at uBreakiFix. I thought they just fixed cellphones, but it turns out they can repair laptops (even Macs!) and gaming systems as well. He was also nice enough to let me take his picture.
Meet Miki and Hannah, two of the incredibly nice members of the Festival Foods staff who helped me out when I left my money behind in the self checkout lane. Thanks to them and the rest of the team. I will be back! (Actually, I already have been back twice since Friday, which is a testament both to my customer loyalty and my household disorganization.)

3 thoughts on “A Festival of kindness in a city I love

  1. We love our local one- and have a Xbox 360 in need of some love so that’s for the up lifting and informative blog!

  2. Thanks for the great story! I am a Festival employee in La Crosse and I once also left my cash back in the self service lane. The person behind me did turn it in but Festival did return it to me when I discovered my mistake, Festival is a great place to work and I am so happy that you enjoy shopping here as much as I like working here!

    1. Thanks for the comment and for making me feel better about my mistake :). I’m really glad to hear that Festival is a great place to work too. All those nice people deserve to be treated well.

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