On the Kindness of Strangers

Driving back home one day I was horrified to see a whole lot of white smoke appear from behind the dashboard on my trusty Volvo. Wafting a bit of it towards me to smell it I was relieved that it was steam rather than smoke – so it was a burst heater matrix (fixable) rather than an electrical fault (probably serious enough write off the car).

The next place to pull off happened to be a building site. I parked up on the slip road, opened the bonnet and indeed the coolant header was empty. So I went up to the security man on the barrier to ask if he could get me some water.

He comes over to confirm the diagnosis, goes back into the site and brings out a 5 litre water fountain bottle full of water. I pour that in, he goes back to re-fill it. And gives me the bottle.

Gratefully I offer him a tenner for his trouble, which he absolutely refuses.

With stops to refill the coolant system and the bottle I get home.

  • He could have just told me to go away – but he didn’t.
  • He could have kept the bottle – but he didn’t
  • He could have accepted the tenner – but he didn’tWithout thought of reward, he just helped. It doesn’t half make life better.